When Margarita Maggie hosts wine club at her cabin emails fly back and forth about everything. There are decisions about what the menu will be. What the craft will be and if there are any games to be played.
One of the great things about having wine club at the cabin is we are able to drink as much as we like or not at all and there is no need for designated drivers. It is also a weekend to eat whatever we want.
We have fallen into a pattern when it comes to menus. The first night is always pizza night. Pam is our Pizza crust capo. (That’s boss in Italian). Pam’s secret ingredient for the pie crust is King Arthur’s flour. Silly me I thought all unbleached flour was the same. So not true which is why her crust beats out mine hands down.
I did a little research because I wanted to know why and here is what I found. First of all King Arthur is the oldest flour company founded in 1790. Henry Wood began importing flour so that the young American Colonies had access to a high quality flour. The interesting thing about the flour is that the company does not mill the flour. It purchases it from other mills but it’s standards are extremely strict.
According to this website I found Joy The Baker the make up of King Arthur’s flour is extremely consistent especially when it comes to the protein content. She is a professional baker and that seems to be the consensus among people who do a lot of baking. I could not easily find a professional comparison of the specific make up King Arthur versus other flours and I really don’t want to bore you with too much chemistry. Bakers use the brand because their baked goods consistently taste the same.
So that is the scoop on the crust. The toppings are another story. All club members suggest toppings that they would like to see on the pizzas. Then by a democratic vote we all decide what the toppings on Pizza Friday will be.
I think the best one ever was The Surf and Turf Pizza. Our Navy Mom, Mary Ellen brought this incredible crab dip. Surprisingly, we did not finish it when she set it on the table for Happy Hour. I guess we were too busy drinking. The night before we had grilled steaks. We broke tradition and had steak night Friday and Pizza night Saturday due to the prediction of inclement weather. Yes it did rain.Again don’t know how there were leftovers but there were and we used them. We spread the crab dip on the partially baked crust, added the sliced grilled steak and topped it with shredded cheese. So great.
I think in all the years we have been doing pizza creations only one turned out not quite right. It was the banana bacon pizza. Everything tastes great with bacon but the pizza just didn’t work. I wouldn’t call the pizza a dud, just a creative mishap.
Pam willingly shared her recipe.
Add 1 tsp. yeast and 1 tsp. honey to 1 cup of warm water.
Mix 2-4 cups Unbleached all-purpose flour (it really depends on how
dry it is) with 1/4 c. Olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add the water and
yeast mixture while mixing with a flat beater in a stand mixture.
Gradually add the flour until the dough forms a ball. Change to a
dough hook and add sprinkles more flour until the dough stops being
sticky. Cover and let rise at least 1 hour (can put in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for 2 days; bring to room temperature before rolling out). Roll out and bake at 475-500 deg. F for 5-7 minutes if you want to pre-bake before topping. Makes 2 full-sized or 3 thin-crust pizzas.