Posts in Category: Tips & Techniques

The Thin Crust Pizza Silver Bullet

I love pizza, especially thin crust, but have struggled to find a dough recipe I like. One of the biggest challenges was spreading out the dough. Then I read an article on using parchment paper to make thin crust. Parchment paper is cellulose-based paper that has been treated to make it non-stick in baking use. For this technique, we use two sheets of parchment paper.

  1. Lightly grease with a cooking spray each sheet and place the dough between the greased sides of the sheets. Roll out the dough. As the dough is not touching the rolling pin, there are no sticking issues.
  2. How thin do you like your crust? To thicken up the crust, let the dough site between the parchment sheets for up to 10 minutes. For the thinnest crust, go immediately to the next step and do not let dough rise.
  3. Remove the top sheet. It peels off easily.
  4. Roll the edge of the dough up to give the pizza a rounder shape and create a thicker edge
  5. Dress the dough with your favourite sauce and toppings.
  6. Place the pizza in the oven. Leave it on the parchment paper. The pizza should sit on a hot well pre-heated steel sheet or pizza stone. Bake for the appropriate time.
  7. Remove from the oven. The paper is not hot to the touch so can be used to drag the pizza.
  8. Lift the corner of the paper and slide the pizza off. It will not stick at all.
  9. Slice and serve.

Looking for a good dough? Thin Crust Pizza Dough Recipe

I love that my pizza is not perfectly round. My wife and I pre-divide up our sides so that we can add toppings appropriately.


How to make Pancakes (Tip)

Details: How to make Pancakes

Included with each pancake recipe.

Be Sure to Flip Your Waffles (Tip)

Today I was testing a new variation on the Lemon Milk Waffles recipe, using egg white substitute (Meringue Powder) in place of an egg. I figured the lack of egg yolk would result in a lighter waffle, as the yolk turns brown during baking. Here are two waffles, one showing the top, the other the bottom. The lack of egg yolk created more contrast than I usually see.

There are two types of waffle makers: a flip and a traditional. These waffles were created with the traditional maker. The waffle top is not brown on the edges, as the batter did not touch the top plate. On a flip maker as you turn the plates over after closing, both top and bottom plates get batter. The result is a prettier waffle.

What surprised me was how pretty the bottom side was on a non-flip waffle.

Moral of the story: flip your waffles before serving..

Ripe Test

Dough rising times change with the recipe, room temperature and humidity. I list times in the recipes but they are guidelines only. In my case I do all of my rising in an oven equipped with a Proof setting. This keeps the oven at 95F (35C). Some days the dough is just slow. The “Ripe Test” tells if the dough is ready.

Ripe Test – Ferment

After the ferment (first rise), gently stick two fingers deep into the dough. Remove. If the holes remain in the dough it is “ripe” and ready for the punch down and forming. The fingers should go in easily.

Ripe Test – Proof

After the proof you do not want to damage the look of the dough. Gently touch the side of the dough with your finger tips. If the indentation remains, the loaf is ready to proceed.

In the proof test photos I actually pressed in a bit too much. I wanted the dent to be clearly visible. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

Favourite Bread Recipe Websites

I spend a lot of time researching bread recipes. Slowly I have found websites that have consistently good bread recipes. Commercial sites for yeast and flour makers are some of my favs. In no particular order, here is my list.

  • King Arthur Flour – All recipes have volume (cups) and grams. I like most bakers work in grams.
  • Fleishmann’s Breadworld – Lots of beginner recipes here as well as more advanced.
  • Robin Hood Flour – Living in Canada, Robin Hood is the most commonly available commercial flour I use.
  • The Kitchn is a cooking/baking site but there are some nice breads in here.
  • – General food but some nice bread gems here.
  • – General food site. Great variety.
  • The Fresh Loaf – News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Finishing the Crust – glazes, washes and toppings

I baked three loaves of beer bread. Same recipe the only difference was how I treated the dough ball then how I baked it.

Spreading Seeds and Cornmeal

Use salt and grated cheese shakers for seeds and corn meal.

Use salt and grated cheese shakers for seeds and corn meal.

I love using common low cost kitchen items to make tasks easier. I found when I applied seeds on a dough or spread some cornmeal on a peel I was wasting too much. The answer was salt shakers. These generic restaurant/diner version are low cost. I filled them with small seeds like poppy and celery. The problem was that sesame seeds were too big. The solution was graded cheese shakers. I have my row of shakers handy and find I am getting a nicer spread of them as well as wasting hardly any.