Chef's Table

It’s Amore!

On your next camping trip if the moon hit’s your eye like a big pizza pie - Chef’s Joe and Meg of Urban Kitchen have found something way better to sing about than hot dogs. A portable pizza oven is a must have if you want to get serious about upping your cook-out game (they love their Ooni Brand). Not only is busting out a pizza oven a wonderful party trick but it allows kids of all ages to get as creative as can be. 

With busy schedules and most of their minutes accounted for during the week, The Romano Family is serious about Sunday Family dinner. It’s the one time of the week that everyone commits to be home and eat together. It’s no surprise that this uber talented chef family likes to up the stakes and create a theme for their weekly family dinners. Making pizza is a favorite because you can make it as versatile as you want and if mishaps happen a) they are always delicious and b)if your family enjoys a competitive spirit like the Romano’s - you can claim that’s exactly how you intended it. 

Small Pizza’s are the ideal project for family and friends to gather around. The Romano’s make their own dough but of course you can purchase it locally. Meg recommends working the dough fast and keeping the toppings simple so it slides off the board and into the oven easily. Pizza is a major art form so if you’re new to the scene stick with the basics like a Margareta. The key is less is more and keep all your toppings at room temp when you go to decorate so they create less steam when cooking and you get the crisp, clean slice. Depending on your family's palate and experience there’s a world of opportunity to get your pizza on. Some fan favorites the Romano’s have found are: Sweet pepper + Sausage, Fig + Caramelized Onion + Prosciutto, Peaches + Fresh Ricotta, White Clam + Sweet Roasted Garlic + Bacon...

Cold Pizza in college is one thing but artisan pizza doesn’t actually travel well because of the thinness of the crust it will get soggy. So, next time you’re headed up to Hyalite for a picnic don’t forget to load up your outdoor oven. If you’re working with propane it will get up to 700degrees in 2 minutes and the results promise to leave everyone feeling very engaged and very proud. 



1 pizza             2 (pizzas)

1 ¼                  3 ¾      c.         Warm Water               Proof

¼                     ¾         oz.       Dry Yeast

pinch                                       Sugar

2 1/3                7          c.         Bread Flour                 Sift, Knead for 5 min.

1                      2          t.          Salt                              


Preheat oven to 400’F

Place warm water in a mixing bowl.  Sprinkle yeast and sugar over and whisk into water.  Allow to activate yeast.  In 3 additions, add flour while mixing with a dough hook.  Continue mixing until the dough cleans the sides of the mixing bowl.  Remove the dough and coat lightly with olive oil, return to bowl and proof for 1 hour until double in volume.  Knock air out of dough, shape into a ball by pinching edges into a ball on the bottom and rolling into a tighter ball on a lightly floured surface.  Place dough balls onto a stainless steel baking tray that has been brushed with oil.  Brush the top and sides with oil and allow to proof for 1-2 hours.  

To form the pizza, cover hands with a bit of flour and stretch edges to form an 8” pie by holding pizza in the air.  Place on a lightly floured wooden paddle.  Place topping on and then slide pizza into the oven in one motion to prevent sticking.  Rotate pizza as it bakes for even cooking.  If you using an Ooni Pizza Oven, it is very hot and quick to cook so you need to move fast since it is done in just a few minutes.

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