A shout-out to some great folks – Pizza Dough

I’m sitting at the computer with a glass of Chardonnay (used it with fish last night, can’t let the rest of the bottle go bad!) and writing to stave off a SERIOUS craving for frosting. I’ve looked up at least a dozen different recipes in the last 24 hours, and can almost recite the differences between Swiss, Italian, and French buttercream. If a recipe ever calls for vast quantities of Crisco or other shortening for frosting and does not use butter, please, do us all a favor. Rip the recipe out of the book, throw away the recipe, and burn the book. Yuck.

However, to set up for an easy dinner tomorrow and keep away from the sugar, butter, and eggs (that’s it! well, and a bit of vanilla…) I picked up a pizza dough recipe I looked at recently. I’ve talked before about Rouxbe, the online resource for cooking tips, recipes, and lessons. They’re star people, and Dawn and Joe have both been supporters of my food adventures, answering questions and giving plenty of advice along the way. I’ve been a member for a long time now. Funny enough, Joe remembers me for starting the conversation about how even trained chefs eat Costco hot dogs – I’ve got to work my way up from that!

To give you a taste of what they have to offer, I’ll let them show you the recipe preview (Flash required):

They offer this high quality video detailing step-by-step all parts of a recipe, with tips sprinkled throughout (see "Related Techniques" above) that boost your knowledge. The dough slow-rises in the refrigerator overnight, so I’ve done the first part tonight and will do the rest tomorrow – plus, I now have dough in the freezer ready for another day.

That’s not the best part. Last week, they (finally!!) launched the Rouxbe Cooking School, a partnership with the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. This is something I wanted to see years ago – this is the sort of instruction and comprehensive learning facility that is missing without actually leaving my career and changing worlds. I’ve read all sorts of instruction on technique and skills, and consider myself reasonably capable in a kitchen, but actually seeing it and going through all the details is a wonderful experience. It’s high quality, and perfect for the enthusiastic cook like me with a day job.

Here’s a taste of the cooking school lessons:

I really can’t say enough good things about what these folks have done, both in growing an online community, providing good video recipes that are easy to follow, and now especially to publish a curriculum like this.

Ding! Laundry’s done. Off to bed now – I’ll let you know how the pizza turned out tomorrow.