Chef Anderson's Blog

Month: March 2021

Thawing Frozen Pizza Dough

Thawing Frozen Pizza Dough – 5 Genius Hacks to Use

Thawing frozen pizza dough can be very tricky. The wrong method used to defrost the frozen pizza dough will harm it. Some methods even make the dough partially cooked. Thus, you need to be careful with the method you use in the thawing process. So, what are the best methods to use? Get to know 5 brilliant tips to defrost frozen pizza dough here.

#1. Using a Microwave

You can use a microwave to defrost your frozen dough. However, some people think that this method is a bit risky and not always recommended. This is because the device can make you accidentally cook part of the dough. Using a microwave will be a good option to take if you need a quick thaw for the dough. But, make sure that you are careful in using this method. You can set the microwave to high for 25 seconds to avoid the dough cooked partially.

#2. Give It a Cold-Water Bath

Giving your frozen pizza dough a cold-water bath has been considered an effective method to thaw it. Unlike the method that involves a microwave, this cold-water bath method will not make you accidentally cook it. Not only that but this method will not harm the dough. All you need to do is remove the frozen dough from the fridge. Then, keep the frozen pizza dough in a plastic bag and then put it in a bowl. Add cold water to the bowl until the dough is soaked entirely. Leave the dough in the cold water for about two hours until it begins to rise and show bubbles.

#3. Thawing It in the Refrigerator

Thawing frozen pizza dough by using a refrigerator is easy to do. Make sure to keep the dough in an airtight bag. After that, you can put the dough in a large bowl to allow it to expand. Leave the bowl in the refrigerator overnight. The dough is successfully defrosted if you see it starts to soften, rise, and show tiny bubbles. Take the dough out from the airtight bag and leave it for an hour before using it to make pizza.

#4. Give It a Warm-Water Bath

Just like a cold-water bath, soaking the frozen pizza dough in warm water is also effective to defrost it. This method needs you to put the dough in an airtight bag first before placing it in a medium-sized bowl filled with warm water. Thawing frozen pizza dough with warm water needs you to change the water every 10 minutes until it is entirely defrosted and get the best results.

Top 3 Substitutes for Guanciale Whole Foods

Top 3 Substitutes for Guanciale Whole Foods

Guanciale whole foods can be easily found in a lot of Italian dishes. Coming with a large proportion of fat that will melt around the ingredients when the meat is cooked, guanciale creates rich flavor. Following the ban from the FDA to import guanciale to the US, it is a bit hard to find the meat in the country. However, some kinds of meat are also known to provide you with perfect substitutes for guanciale to make an authentic Italian recipe. Here is the list. 

#1. Bacon

Bacon

 

Bacon can be a great substitute for guanciale for some good reasons. This choice of meat can even be cured without smoking. However, if all you can find in the supermarket is unsmoked bacon, you can still use it to replace guanciale. Just use boiling water to blanch the meat for about 1 to 2 minute to get rid of its smokey and salty flavor. Use a towel paper to pat dry the meat before cooking it. However, bacon is less fatty if compared to guanciale and has a less sharp pork flavor.

#2. Pancetta

Pancetta

Consider using pancetta to substitute guanciale in an Italian dish. Though the cut of meat is taken from the belly – not from the jowls as guanciale – it’s prepared by using an almost similar method. That’s why pancetta has nearly similar quality as guanciale. Before being consumed, pancetta is aged with herbs and salt for up to four months. The pancetta will be suitable the most for Italian cuisines such as tagliatelle ala ragù bianco, casserole, and soup.

#3. Lardo

Lardo

Lardo is another great option to substitute guanciale. The meat will provide you with a rich umami taste, making it perfect for pizza, pastry, steak, and bread. Lardo also has a buttery texture and much more subtle pork flavor if compared to other meat options.

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