Tuesday, January 8, 2013

TWD -- A most satisfiying pizza

I had the wonderful experience of actually baking the Tuesdays with Dorie assignment, Pizza with Onion Confit, with my daughter, Katie. We live approximately 1,300 miles apart,  and since we are both Tuesdays with Dorie participants, we decided to make the January 8 assignment together when she and her family were at our house in Ohio for Christmas. What a thrill!

The sponge
Since everyone in her family loves pizza and we needed a break from turkey leftovers, we decided that the Onion Confit would be the ticket for supper one evening. We started by mixing up the sponge (I love any bread that has a sponge), then started making the Onion Confit. We live in a very small town and buy a lot of our groceries at a drug store (that's right, a drug store). But our drug store is more than just a drug store which offers some boxes of cereal and half gallons of milk to see weary shoppers through until they could get to an actual grocery. Our drug store has become a grocery -- complete with fresh lettuce, peppers, celery, carrots and onions. When we went shopping for the onions, my granddaughter couldn't believe the price -- a 3 lb. bag of nice onions for 49 cents. That's right, 49 cents.

Caramelizing the onions
Katie sliced those onions as per instructions, and I rode herd on the cast-iron skillet (a Midwest staple), slowly caramelizing the onions with the addition of sugar, wine, vinegar and thyme (we had to used dried.) We had seven inches of snow on the ground and our thyme was buried.

After that mixture was thick and gooingly delicious, we patted out our pizza crusts, topped them with the Onion Confit and some gourmet olives we had in the fridge and tossed on handfuls of a combination of Italian cheeses (also purchased from our drug store).

The finished product
The result was delicious. Katie and I both agreed we would make this again. In fact, after she headed back to Texas, I experimented, making the crust again with pastry flour (two-thirds all purpose flour and one-third cake flour). I buy this flour at a Mennonite market but it can be easily made at home using the above proportions. I loved the result. The crust was not as chewy and decidedly crispier. That will be my go-to flour for pizza crust in the future.

Now, bear with me here. As you can see by my moniker, I am a retired newspaper editor, one who wrote editorials on a regular basis for many years, sometimes causing a stir in the community in which I live. The desire to add editorial comments is a hard one to give up, even after one retires. So here is my editorial comment: The drug store where we buy much of our food is Discount Drug Mart. We have a WalMart, but I prefer not to shop there. WalMarts are hard on home-town newspapers. They don't, as a rule, advertise in them, and tend to drive out the good advertisers who do. That happened in our town. We lost our one supermarket (a fabulous place to shop and a major advertiser) after WalMart arrived. But, Discount Drug Mart stepped up to the plate and added fresh fruits and vegetables after our supermarket closed. It has always supported our local newspaper faithfully with ads and inserts. Eighty percent of a newspaper's income is derived from advertising. So when people see their newspapers getting smaller or disappearing altogether, they need to know that the internet is only partially responsible.


  1. Your pizza looks great!

    I agree with you on Walmart. Some people don't realize how much of an effect the big box stores can have on a community. We try to shop at our local merchants whenever possible. I know some people need to watch every dime, but if you don't, it's worth it to support your local stores.

  2. Your pizza looks great and I will definitely try it next time with the pastry flour proportions you provided. I work at a small business that is definitely in competition with Wal-Mart in our area so I totally hear what you're saying.

  3. Glad to hear you had great success with the pizza. It was good. And I like that you tried a different flour combination.
    Walmarts and all big box stores are hard on communities. I think when we started seeing the big box stores we thought of it as a novelty, but they have taken over. It is sad to see the little independent stores closing up shop. It seems that all towns and cities are starting to look the same.

  4. Sounds like a great pizza collaboration. I love my cast iron skillet - I won't let anyone else in my house use it :-)

  5. How fun to be able to make this pizza family-style! Now I am curious were you live in the midwest and will go searching around your blog. I am from a small town in Nebraska and definitely understand small town retail needs. Blessings, Catherine www.praycookblog.com

  6. Love your post. How much fun is it to bake with someone? Glad you liked the pizza; I did too. And I'm with you on Walmart.

  7. Great post. Your pizza looks delicious. Glad you enjoyed it and could make it with your family. Walmart is always hard on the local community and its economy. We also lost a local grocery store, when Walmart came to town.

  8. What a great opportunity to make the pizza with your daughter...Look forward to making it.


  9. Lucky you to make this with your daughter. Such fun. HATE W-M because of exactly what you said. Luckily we still have our local store.

  10. I don't shop Wal-Mart but for different reasons - add this to the pot. I really enjoyed this recipe as well. Will make it again.