Canadian Pizza Magazine

The Pizza Dude: Nothing Like Dessert

By Roberto Vergalito   

Features In the Kitchen Ingredients

Nothing Like Dessert

You know, the thing I like most about coming to work is
how great my kitchen looks when it’s clean.  Not to mention how great
the guys look with uniforms.

You know, the thing I like most about coming to work is how great my kitchen looks when it’s clean.  Not to mention how great the guys look with uniforms.

What a great atmosphere to walk in to. All my customers compliment the guys and the kitchen, which is a great reflection on the boss. It makes it all worthwhile.

And now that we’ve crossed the hurdle of spring-cleaning and getting things back into ship-shape, we move on to the summer ahead of us. A great little promotion we have in my shop is dessert pizzas.


When I make the crust, instead of using sugar, I use honey. Sprinkle some ground cinnamon on the crust, melt some mascarpone cheese on it and top with fresh fruit, (strawberries, black-berries, kiwi, etc.)  drizzle with some chocolate and whipped cream, bake and voila!

That’s just one, you can do so many other things with this, tell your customers to top the pizza with their favourite ice cream and let me tell you, it will literally melt in their mouths.

To help get the summer season rolling, I thought I would share this dessert dough recipe from my friend and fellow pizzaiolo Tony Gemignani, and his co-writer Diane Morgan, from their book Pizza.

Enjoy, and remember, make pizza not war. I’m the Pizza Dude.

Dessert Pizza Dough 
2 1/4 tsp    active dry yeast
1 cup    lukewarm water
    (90 to 100 F)
1 cup    ice-cold water
1 tbsp    sugar
1 tbsp    salt
2 tbsp    olive oil
2 tbsp    honey
5 1/4 cups    flour, plus more
    for dusting
1 tbsp    ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp    freshly ground nutmeg

Makes 44 ounces of dough.
With the addition of honey, cinnamon and nutmeg, this pizza dough bakes up to give not only crunch to dessert pizzas, but also a rich, sweet, spice flavour. It can be used with any dessert pizza recipe.

1. In a small bowl, using a fork, stir the yeast into the lukewarm water. Set aside until the yeast dissolves, about five minutes.

2. In another small bowl, combine the cold water, sugar, salt, oil and honey. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.

3. To make the dough by hand: Place 5 1/4 cups of the flour in a large bowl. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre of the flour and stir in the yeast mixture along with the cold-water mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix the dough, incorporating as much of the flour as possible. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and elastic, 10 to 12 minutes. It will still be a little sticky but shouldn’t stick to your hands. Add only a minimum amount of the flour to the work surface to keep the dough from sticking.

To make the dough using a mixer: Fit a heavy-duty stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Place 5 1/4 cups of flour in the mixer bowl. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and mix on slow speed to combine. Add the yeast mixture along with the cold-water mixture and mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated and the dough gathers together to form a coarse ball, about four minutes. Let rest for two minutes and then mix on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and not sticky, about six minutes longer. (If the dough begins to climb up the dough hook toward the motor drive, stop the mixer and push it down. If the machine labours and the motor feels hot, stop and wait a few minutes for the motor to cool down.) Turn the dough out on a well-floured work surface and knead for one to two minutes until it forms a smooth ball, adding up to 1/4 cup of additional flour if necessary.

4. Cut the dough in half to form two even portions, about 22 ounces. With floured hands, pick up one portion of dough and pull the opposite sides together, wrapping them underneath toward the centre to form a tight smooth ball. Pinch to seal. Repeat with the second portion.

Refrigerate dough for at least 10 hours or up to two days. Remove from the refrigerator one hour before using.
SOURCE: Pizza, by Diane Morgan and Tony Gemignani

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