Eva and Max Edleson of Firespeaking, the Oregon-based oven builders who have done more than anyone else to bring barrel ovens to the United States. They have published their first book on how to build and use a barrel oven, which is a great resource for anyone interested in wood-fired oven design, DIY pizza ovens, and cooking in general.
This post took some time to get to us. Due to Next's quick moving schedule, the Sicily meal recapped here is no longer available. But since many of us didn't get experience this unique menu when we could and because these pictures are so good, I thought a little eye candy wouldn't be such a bad thing.
Former pastry chef and baker Rick Katz is behind the bubbly, chewy, tender crust that are the star of the show at Picco in Boston. These desirable characteristics are yielded by a high hydration dough that is also responsible fot the crust's one flaw.
Pain D'Avignon just celebrated its 20th year of supplying breads to restaurants and retail outlets up and down the Cape and throughout greater New England. They currently produce 2.8 million pounds of bread each year from their Hyannis bakery. Take a tour of the bakery with us, where nearly all of the breads are still shaped and baked by hand.
All Star Pizza Bar, the newest Inman Square outpost from Kosta and Johnny Diamantopoulos, sits diagonally across the street from the brothers’ All Star Sandwich Bar. Like its well-regarded, older sibling, the All Star Pizza Bar serves inventive food in a friendly and welcoming environment. (In contrast to the Sandwich Bar, which offers salads and dessert, this is a focused affair: aside from beer, sangria and soft drinks, it serves pizza and only pizza.)
A vacation on the island of Hawaii (also known as the Big Island) presents something of a paradox for food lovers. If you have access to a kitchen or can afford resort dining it's a dream, but good low-end, hole-in-the-wall places are few and far between. And that goes for pizza, especially. With some help from Albert Grande of Pizzatherapy.com, I found Slice-worthy pies at Kona Brewing Co.
Cambridge's newest pizzeria, Area Four, sports quality, often homemade toppings on a tender, flavorful New York-Neapolitan crust. With some guidance in the pie size department, you can capitalize on the crust-to-good-stuff ratio.
Though it sounds more like a destination for flying saucers than one for earthlings in search of a good meal, Area Four is in fact a new restaurant in Kendall Square, just a stone's throw from the MIT campus. (The odd moniker refers to the city-designated zoning section in which it resides.) You can trust whatever comes out of pastry chef Katie Kimble's oven here, but there are two items you definitely don't want to miss: the breakfast sandwich and the craquelin.
Nice Slice is a hipster-slash-hippie slice joint, with RISD-alum Shepard Fairey's Andre the Giant posters plastered on its walls and a substantial portion of their menu friendly to a vegan clientele. A recent visit revealed the thin crust pies make a solid slice.
These photos should give you a sense of what life is like for the typical oyster grown at Island Creek Oyster Farm on Massachusetts' south shore, just north of Cape Cod. It's an ideal habitat for oyster farming because it's protected on three sides by land and open to Cape Cod bay. At any one time, there are between 15 and 20 million oysters growing here. They start their lives about the size of a pepper flake.
Dome masonry ovens, regardless of size or which end of the cost spectrum they sit, are inefficient when used infrequently—as they are in most home settings—since they operate by virtue of retained rather than direct (or continuous) heat. Enter the barrel oven...
Even though most of the people who travel there come from Boston, New York, and other cities with sophisticated food scenes, for whatever reason, most seem perfectly happy settling for not-so-great food. Spiritus Pizza, located in the heart of downtown on Commercial Street, is an exception, having served up its thin-crust pies since 1971.
The Kneading Conference is like Burning Man for breadheads—if bread and baking is your passion, this is the place to be. There is nothing more invigorating and stimulating than spending two days meeting and hanging out with fellow travelers, swapping stories, learning new techniques, and getting your hands in the dough.
Flatbread Company in Davis Square, Somerville s located in Sacco's Bowl Haven, one of the few remaining old-school candlepinbowling alleys in the area, and the lanes are still open for business. What could be better than pizza, beer, and bowling? Nothing, of course, so a few weeks ago, I got the team together and we dropped in to Flatbread Company to play a couple of frames and sample some of their pies.
Maria di Napoli Ristorante in Newton, MA, is an unassuming spot in the sleepy Italian-American neighborhood of Nonantum, a few miles outside of Boston. The pies at Maria di Napoli Ristorante are both larger in width and thinner-crusted than a true Neapolitan. But the brightly-flavored, uncooked crushed plum tomato based sauce, simple, sparingly-applied toppings, and a crust with ultra-tender crumb all shout Neapolitan just the same.
This time around, the crust was deeply charred with blistered leopard spots along the exterior of the cornicione. And the pliable, faintly smoke-scented crust encased a moist interior crumb that was almost pillowy soft.
I've always assumed that the best you could do was throw cold pizza into a hot oven, and resign yourself to the fact that the crust on a reheated slice never approaches the texture of a freshly-baked one. But I've recently found a much better method.
The Maine-based mini-chain Otto has opened a tiny storefront shop right in the heart of Harvard Square. In keeping with the space's diminutive size, the focus here is on slices (mainly for take out, given the single stool that sits almost mockingly in the front window).
According to the staff, the original pizza cook at Bar once worked at Sally's on Wooster Street, and at first glance, the pedigree is apparent: the pizzas are served over a sheet of parchment paper set into aluminum sheet trays, shaped into elongated circles to better fit the rectangular pan. There are differences, too, though—the pizzas are substantially thinner than other New Haven pies, and they are sliced into rectangles rather than the usual wedges.
Cambridge, 1 is located in the heart of Harvard Square, in what used to be the the city's original firehouse, with a recently-opened second location in Boston's Fenway neighborhood. Appropriately enough for a former fire station, this hip, minimalist bar, as popular with the locals as it is with Harvard glitterati, serves pizzas grilled over a charcoal fire.
Armando's Pizza on Huron Avenue, just a short walk outside of Harvard Square in Cambridge, is quite popular among Boston pizza enthusiasts. It is so well-loved that people rave about it while in line to order their pies. But we put it to the test, and we weren't completely impressed.
The Riverview first opened its doors in 1947, serving pizza (and, aside from beer, wine, and cocktails, only pizza) to generations of local devotees ever since. The pizza is tasty, light, and entirely satisfying, and a bargain to boot.
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