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…I found her little footprints in the snow…


Ummmm…the Imgur pics, the Reddit thread. Hey, all the serious journalists get their stories browsing Reddit, neh?

I’m using Uncle B’s new bread machine to make pizza dough. You may recall that I was once a Pizza Professional. Poncey Sicilian pizza restaurant in the early Eighties — the kind that pioneered vegetarian pizzas with brocolli and carrots. That sort of thing.

The raisins, they puffed up like engorged ticks.

But we made really good meat lover’s pizzas, too.

The only component we didn’t make in-house was the dough; we bought it raw from a local bakery and kept it frozen. We then thawed, shaped and baked the pizza bases in-house. I was upset when I discovered they don’t sell raw bread dough in the UK. Dunno why.

Anyway, this thing has a 45-minute pizza dough cycle that makes what seems exactly like what I used to work with. We shall see. It’s proofing now.

Bonus: according to sources, kids these days call pizza “za”. I have never heard anyone say “za” — except me, obviously — but that little two-letter word has gotten me out of several tight Scrabble dilemmas. You’re welcome.


Comment from Deborah HH
Time: January 10, 2017, 11:29 pm

My first real job was waitressing at Pizza Hut. Employees got a free small pizza and/or sandwich per shift. It was a great first job, but eating pizza every day is not a good meal plan 🙂 If you are happy with your pizza dough then share the recipe, OK? And the sauce too!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 10, 2017, 11:43 pm

Pizza was great. I think I forgot the salt in the dough, though — it tasted like it. I just used the standard pizza dough recipe — I think it was 300 grams strong white flour, a teaspoon of yeast, a tablespoon of olive oil and 170 ml water. I don’t know how much salt, I forgot it!

I don’t remember our sauce recipe. I used to make it up in an enormous vat out of these HUGE cans of steamed tomatoes. To give you an idea, it called for something like 3/4 cup of black pepper.

These days, I take a regular spaghetti sauce and add some pepper and olive oil. I only like the very thinnest coating of sauce.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: January 11, 2017, 12:33 am

The owner of the restaurant where I worked owned five or six Pizza Huts in town. Our dough was mixed early in the morning and delivered to the restaurants around nine o’clock. It was in giant Rubbermaid trash cans with lids—55 gallon barrels, but I don’t remember how many pounds of dough were in each barrel. Oh but the raw fresh dough smelled wunnerful.

This was before the incarnation of the “pan” pizza, where the crust gently fries on the bottom in a small amount of oil—my favorite, but I’ve not been able to duplicate the dough which must be almost batter-like.

For sauce I stir a teaspoon of “Italian” seasoning blend into an 8 oz can of tomato sauce. It’s very thin and runny, and makes a nice sauce. I never thought to add black pepper or olive oil to it, which I shall do next time.

I’ve been using Mitch’s Fabulous Pizza Dough
which absolutely lives up to its reputation, but I think I’ll give your dough a try this weekend. The Dallas Cowboys play at 3:30 🙂 so that is perfect timing.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: January 11, 2017, 1:43 am

I’m feeling generous so I’ll divulge my super pizza secret:

Fontina cheese.

Forget the mozzarella. Use Fontina. Trust me.

We get fresh pizza dough from our local grocery store. I let it rise just a bit then stretch in onto a perforated pizza pan, a large but not huge one. One tablespoon of good olive oil spread over the top is followed by a mixture of cheap mushroom stems’n’pieces and sun dried tomatoes in oil, and if you like a clove or two of garlic crushed into the mix. Add a pinch of Italian seasoning blend, mix well. Toss all that on the dough, then top that with six to eight ounces of grated Fontina. Bake for about 20 minutes at 400°F (if my math is right that’s about 205°C).

Note: the only tomato is the sun dried morsels. This is a white-ish pizza. Although I’m a meat lover, I don’t miss it on this ‘za.

(I think I first ran across the ‘za nickname in Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson in about 1993)

Comment from Armybrat
Time: January 11, 2017, 1:54 am

I have a Kitchenaid mixer. I use the dough hook and make 4x my favorite recipe for pizza dough. I proof it once and then divide it into 8 balls. 2 become 2 thin crust small-medium size pizzas the day I make the dough ( ther are 2 of us so that is dinner and lunch for both of us the next day). I freeze all the rest. Pull it out the morning I want to make pizza for dinner, let it thaw, let it proof again…it’s pizza dough!

Comment from drew458
Time: January 11, 2017, 2:37 am

I make my dough by hand. I’ve settled on this recipe which always comes out perfect. [warning, this website is ADDICTIVE!!]. It takes about 90 minutes to mix, rise, and knead, which gives me plenty of time to make sauce and toppings.

Comment from Timothy S. Carlson
Time: January 11, 2017, 3:29 am

I have a hard time finding mozzarella cheese. I come across ricotta cheese once in a blue moon. Fontina cheese? Fuhgettaboutit.

They put pineapple and hotdog slices on pizza here. And some carp cheese called “Eden Cheese”, which appears to be mostly gluten. Ugh. Bad crust with no yeast (yeast is hard to find here, too), banana catsup for sauce, gluten cheese, hotdog slices and pineapple. I don’t know how they could make it any worse. Oh, I know – it’s SWEET. Not italian at all. Heh, I made a pot of spaghetti one time, italian flavors and spices. Delicious. My family tasted it and everyone sprinkled their plates with sugar. Dammit.

What’s with the swastika shoes? Something new the leftists are fainting over? Have you heard the reports about Trump and “golden showers” that the press is running with at full speed? I’ve heard rumors that the reports started on 4chan. Heh. I think the press is going to get egg on it’s collective face again.

Comment from Timothy S. Carlson
Time: January 11, 2017, 3:34 am

OMG. I love the handle of the guy who bought the boots and that Esquire reported: FRSHFSHFCKR.


Comment from Nina
Time: January 11, 2017, 5:35 am

Don’t commit a crime in those boots, jes’ sayin’. Although Dylan Roof might have, waste of a human being that he is.

Comment from Timbo
Time: January 11, 2017, 9:02 am

Pies are a staple here in Galicia, so unless you are making a cornmeal based crust, the thing to do Is buy a kg of dough from the bakery. We are truly spoilt as three different bakers make delivers daily, So as long as it’s not a spur of the moment decision you can order the dough the day before. Also, in the village are two bakeries and some people take their *empanadas* in to be baked, but I think that’s just lazy.

Comment from oldowan
Time: January 11, 2017, 11:15 am


Back in the late ’70s, in the southern suburbs of Boston, lots of us called pizza ‘za’.
I haven’t heard it since then, though….

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: January 11, 2017, 2:51 pm

Comment from oldowan
Time: January 11, 2017, 11:15 am

Back in the late ’70s, in the southern suburbs of Boston, lots of us called pizza ‘za’.
I haven’t heard it since then, though…

I was just going to say that I’ve never heard anybody call it that. Except, around 1980 when the “Preppy” Look was in (before being replaced by the Urban Cowboy Look?), some magazine — maybe TV Guide? — mentioned it in an article on How to Be, Look, or Sound Preppy. Along with red-and-black striped watchbands, J. Press shirts, Bass loafers without socks, etc., referring to pizza as “za” was an essential component of the style.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: January 11, 2017, 3:03 pm

Uncle Al—Fontina cheese?! I am swooning.

I have never called pizza—ZA—but I am rarely in style. Sometimes my personal choices predate a particular style however. I’ve been wearing beef-roll Bass loafers since John F. Kennedy was president 🙂

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: January 11, 2017, 4:42 pm

@Deborah HH – Re: Fontina – Try it! You’ll like love it! It browns, bubbles, and toasts much better than mozzarella.

In my 60s high school days all I wore were Bass Weejuns. Not only were they “in” but also were one of the few decent shoes made in my size: 12 AAA (US). My pals always said I should take up barefoot water skiing! Now in my other 60s, my feet are fatter but I still take a B width in size 13.

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: January 11, 2017, 5:46 pm

When I was in law school in the late ’70s, a couple of classmates who were a few years younger (I spent three years working between college and law school) used ‘za to refer to pizza. They also talked about their ‘rents–parents, not cost of housing. And I once read a detective novel by someone who was a contemporary of theirs in which a character tells another character not to be ‘noid–in context, clearly “paranoid.” I have the sense that there was a period in the late ’70s/early ’80s when the habit of dropping all but the last syllable was a popular slang-generator among at least some portion of the late teens/early 20s population. And, yeah, preppy would fit, as long as one doesn’t use it too literally.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: January 11, 2017, 6:07 pm

Dear Uncle Al,
Weejuns are the best!
You may remember girls who wore Coty’s Moonlight Frost lipstick (somewhere between white and barely pink). I also wore Yardley’s Black Label cologne because I thought it smelled too fabulous to leave it to the boys.
Sigh. We may be old.
Best wishes, your pal Deborah

Comment from Spice
Time: January 11, 2017, 11:46 pm

Didn’t those dudes in the movie Dune say “Za” before they had sparkey, ray things shoot out of their hands?

Comment from OldFert
Time: January 12, 2017, 1:47 am

There’s a regional fast-food place in Hawaii called Zippy’s. When we were stationed at Schofield Barracks, it seemed the local Zippy’s used the same tomato-ish sauce for Spaghetti, Pizza and Ketchup.

When we were stationed in Japan we ordered a delivery pizza from the NCO club on base. They took the Pie part of pizza pie a little too literally and our pizza had its toppings atop a standard fruit-pie type pie crust rolled flat.

And regarding the raisins looking like engorged ticks, that’s how they came out the first few times we fed them to our 18-moth-old son.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: January 13, 2017, 2:35 am

Pastorelli’s in Chicago make a fantastic pizza sauce. I put a mix of mozzarella, Cojack, and cheddar on my pizzas.

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: January 14, 2017, 3:22 am

Back in 1987, we all had these stupid userid’s on the mainframe (our student numbers). I see Jackal logged in, and he’s not back at the residence yet, so I try to contact him on the mainframe to tell him the food’s arrived.

Me to what I thought was Jackal’s student number: “DUDE! Where the hell are you, ‘Za is here!”

Reply I get two minutes later: “What’s ‘Za?”

Me: “Are you drunk or something? Get your ass over here.”

Reply I get: “Where?”

Me: “My room, you stain, hurry up.”

Turns out it wasn’t Jackal logged in, it was a student number that looked VERY close to his.

And that’s how I ended up introducing myself to the future Mrs. Tiger.

We still call it ‘Za. 🙂

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: January 15, 2017, 2:02 pm

Great story, Mr Tiger! 🙂

Comment from Allen
Time: January 16, 2017, 5:32 am

Pizza Dough:
2 C warm water.
1 package Yeast
1/4 C olive oil
Enough flour to make a good not-sticky dough. I use a Kitchen Aide.
Proof the dough, then roll it out in rounds of about 12 inches, and brush with more olive oil.

Grill the rounds quickly on a very hot gas grill until you get good grill marks and they are firm. You’ll have to press them down with your spatula as they cook. They tend to balloon on you.

You can freeze them or use them then.

Substitute other ground items for some of the flour. Pistachios, acorns, and almonds are some good choices. Go easy first time out though.

Comment from Ново-Зеландия
Time: January 16, 2017, 11:31 am

Paedophilia Pizza?

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