Bread Bakers Guild of America (BBGA) members from all parts of the U.S. joined together at our headquarters in Minneapolis recently for a two-day pizza and artisan bread master class at the General Mills Culinary Center of Excellence.
”Pizza: Demystified” was led by one of our very own “Doughminators,” master baker Bill Weekley, who specializes in teaching pizza techniques, formulation and troubleshooting to pizzeria operators at various industry events – and via the Doughminators toll-free number – throughout the year.
Teaching alongside Bill was flour veteran and fellow Doughminator Tim Huff, who helped the class attendees understand what makes pizza truly an art form.
One of the most interesting things about the “Pizza: Demystified” class was that it brought together bakers with various levels of talent and experience, from highly skilled home bakers to professionals working in the pizza industry.
Overall, though, whether novice or expert bakers, the attendees’ expectations of the class were the same: gain new knowledge and insight about pizza dough formulation, functionality of ingredients and applications that can be used both at home or in their pizza shops … and have fun!
During the two-day course, several variations of pizza dough were demonstrated, ranging from traditional, Chicago-style deep dish to cracker crust, from New York-style thin to Neapolitan, as well as some whole grain options.
No matter what the crust type, choosing the right flour was the primary focus of the class; after all, as Bill and Tim reminded the attendees, “Flour isn’t just flour.”
Flour is the main ingredient in pizza, and during the class it was demonstrated why a particular type of flour impacted each variety of pizza dough the way it did.
Throughout the two days, a common question asked by attendees was if our flours are available in the retail market, so home bakers can have the opportunity to make crusts like those served in high-end pizzerias.
The answer is, “Yes!” General Mills offers a product called Gold Medal Better for Bread that is available in select grocery stores across America.
The class also was given the opportunity to use of General Mills’ Wood Stone hearth oven to cook most of the pizzas. Reaching hearth temperatures above 650 degrees Fahrenheit and dome temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, it showed how some of the best pizzerias make it happen in a matter of minutes.
When it was all said and done, “Pizza: Demystified” provided attendees with a new or improved skillset that will enable them to produce fantastic pizzas. The course also helped strengthen our ongoing partnership between General Mills and the Bread Bakers Guild of America.
To learn more about choosing the right flour for pizza dough, or to connect with the Doughminators, visit ProfessionalBakingSolutions.com.