Accidental specialty pizza

Frequently when I make my own pizza I will just throw in a variety of things, some which we do not offer on our menu just to have something different. Yesterday I wanted to make something with these little screaming hot peppers we have growing on our porch. I also wanted broccoli because I am trying to eat healthier so I put olive oil, garlic, a little cheese, sliced romas, sliced hot peppers, red onions, broccoli and some chicken. topped with a little more cheese. WHile I was eating a guy came in that had met me at a political event and wanted to try our pizza. He asked what I was eating and I told him. He wanted the same. I had him try it first and he liked it. So I sold him one. Today, one of his friends called and wanted one. I really was not all that impressed with it because with the tomato and broccoli it was a little too juicey but I guess I will have to keep a few of those pepper plants around in case these guys come back .

As the story goes, an old and frugel Austrian baker was peeling small bread rolls into his wood fired oven (they didn’t have gas back then) and one of the dough pieces fell off of the peel and landed in his bucket of water that he used to swab our the oven with occasionally so he wouldn’t be baking on a bed of ash. Being frugel, he retrieved the dough piece, brushed it off as well as he could and placed it into the oven to bake. When he removed it from the oven he discovered that the roll had a shine to it, and it tasted distinctly different from the other rolls. You see, wood ash is quite caustic (pioneers used to mix tallow into wood ash to make soap, they also put animal hides into it to slip the hair from the hide). The wood ash and water solution was the caustic dip in this case, and the product ultimately became known as a “pretzel”. There is a similar story for the Schlotsky’s bun, which was another mistake gone good. Good things can come from mistakes, you might have a real winner!
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Re: Accidental specialty pizza (Pretzel Bread)

Tom, can I use any recipe, like your hoagie roll recipe for pretzel rolls? If not, where would I find a good formula to start with? On a bread development tear, and building a repertoire for various occasions.

Would this formula make sense?
Pretzel Rolls by Chef Nick

Flour 100.00%
Salt 1.50%
Brown Sugar 3.25%

Compressed Yeast 3.40%
Active Dry Yeast 1.70%
Instant Dry Yeast 1.13%

Whole Milk 8.00%
Oil 11.00%
Water (70F to 75F) 62.00%

water bath:
2 quarts water
1/4 cup baking soda

Nick;
Pretzels, like pizza, bagels, French bread, and flat breads is what we call an “ancient bread”, this means that they are all made from a very lean formula consisting of only flour, water, salt, and yeast with sugar and fat as “additive” ingredients. I think your yeast level is wat too high. I would suggest bringing it down to 1% as compressed yeast. You may have a problem with the fat in your dough formula saponifying in the alkali bath (not good). Watch the sugar level too, as the final crust color might tend to get too dark. I would suggest starting with a very basic pizza dough formula (flour, water, salt, yeast) and then working in the sugar and milk gradually so you can assess their impact on both flavor and performance.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Ancient, sounds like it is right down Nick’s alley!

Here’s a recipe for pretzel rolls I use for sandwiches and hamburgers. Everyone loves them.

Flour 100%
Warm Water 52.5%
Warm Milk 5%
ADY 1.25%
Brown Sugar 12.5%
Melted Butter 5%

Parboiling liquid
2 qts water
1/2 cup baking soda

I usually add a little kosher salt to the top prior to baking

Aerotech,
Was that sugar supposed to be 2.5%? 12.5 seems high for any dough.

Tom, thanks you soooo much for your feedback. That recipe I quoted was a from a random website recipe, and sounded wierd even to me. You gave me reasons why it is wierd. I may try a slightly higher leavening to lighten it a little over a traditional pretzel.