Thursday, August 17, 2006

Salt Dough

Uncolored Salt Dough

Bronzed Salt Dough

People eat with their eyes first. Hence, the use of show pieces in Culinary Arts. I’m sure a lot of us are familiar with Ice Sculptures. Salt Dough is another one of the many attractive eye catchers in food service. The art of salt dough making is an ancient one, dating as far back as Egyptian times.

In many past cultures, dough modeling was tied up with religious beliefs and ceremonies when sculptures would be offered as gifts to the gods, or presents to people on important occasions. Examples of these would be weddings, christenings, funerals etc. In Europe the craft was much favored, especially in Germany where the art was used widely in home decoration, especially at festive times.

This particular work was made of corn starch cooked in water and mixed with heated popcorn salt. The pictures show the before and after progress. The coloring I've used is actually a mixture of vodka and fine coffee powder that was painted gently onto the sculpture.

For the Boys...and Girls

"Hand tossed...stuffed crust...Lunch is on the way".

Pizza! Pizza!

It's not delivery...It's delish! I been making pizzas for the guys for three days now and it seems like they can't get enough. The lean dough I've used was a left over from our French baguette which I hand tossed extra thin... (Yeah! that was fun and I got to show off I love a crunchy, thin, semi burnt edges. I even stuffed the crust with mozzarella cheese which made it even better. It was a simple topping of chopped roasted turkey, red onions, champignon a la greque'...(wine cooked mushrooms), mozzarella cheese and parmesan. The tomato sauce was home made, of course; with a drizzling of some extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkled all over it were dried rosemary, thyme, anis and oregano with ground black pepper. It was yummmm!

Here’s a tip that works: Thin and crispy crust is the best. Don’t smother or flood it with too much tomato sauce, it’ll make your crust saggy. You can use BASIL PESTO instead of tomato sauce for a change and cook it quick in the oven on a high temperature at 500*F.