It may only cross your mind late on Saturday nights, but if you’re like me, pizza always sounds good. Recently, I had the opportunity to delve more into the craft aspect of my favorite dish during this year's Camp Bread in Providence, Rhode Island.

My class, “From Rome to Detroit: Pizza for the Bakery Case '', was led by Nicole Bean, owner and operator of Houston-based Pizaro’s Pizza.  One of my biggest takeaways from the class was a unique dough recipe that Nicole shared. This dough allows a little ease and flexibility in the kitchen but definitely doesn’t skimp on flavor or texture, and thanks to Nicole's innovations, it makes a perfect base for multiple styles of pizza. For example, Nicole used ice in her recipe to keep everything very cold, and proofs it in the fridge because she utilizes a cold fermentation process, which is a method that can create a more complex flavor.

We used this versatile dough to craft two different styles of pizza: Detroit style and Roman style. Detroit style pizza is shaped and baked in a, you guessed it, Detroit Style Pizza Pan. This specific pan helps a thicker crust form and when the cheese melts, it makes a crunchy-baked-cheese border around the edges. I like to describe it as a mini (and in my opinion, much better) deep dish sort of pizza.

Roman style, not to be confused with Neapolitan, has a thinner crust than Detroit style that is created by stretching the dough into a longer, flatter, rectangular pan. This style of crust looks a little more like the classic Neapolitan pizza but with some key differences. Roman style dough proofs a lot longer than some regular pizza doughs, and in turn needs to bake longer to achieve the fluffy, chewy inner crust while still being crispy on the outside. This style also allows for a lot of creativity in topping options and works really well in a grab-and-go setting; in Rome, it's normally just cut into squares and sold by weight. In our class, we topped our pizzas with a variety of wonderful ingredients: Hand-crushed tomato sauce, creamy burrata, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, roasted mushrooms, and mustard aioli drizzles were just a few of the options on offer.

As a person whose only training in the baking world comes from what I’ve learned through doing my own baking and from the knowledge I've gained working at Kentucky Native, it was truly such a fun and gratifying experience to learn from such skilled bakers and chefs in their specific crafts. And like I mentioned, pizza is my favorite--the class really got my creativity flowing to invent new dishes, both for myself and potentially for the cafe.

By Peyton Aston

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Flora Michler
Tagged: Team Trips