Zeak’s Tweaks Jeff Zeak
and Garlic Bread
Jeff Zeak offers tips for adding
herbs to dough and creating
Is it a good idea to add herbs to my dough for extra flavor?
00 PMQ’s Pizza Magazine – The Pizza Industry’s Business Magazine
Herbs, spices, seasonings and flavors can be used throughout
the pizza making process—in the sauce, as toppings and even
incorporated into the cheese. They certainly can be added
with the other ingredients during the mixing of the pizza
dough as well.
Typically, dried herbs, spices, seasonings and flavors are
added at a starting level of 0.25% based on the amount of
flour—that is, 1 ounce (2 8 grams) for 25 pounds ( 11. 35 kilograms) of flour. Because of higher water content, the level of
fresh herbs should be two or three times greater than that of
dried herbs—0.5% to 0.75% flour basis (FB), or 2 to 3 ounces
( 56 to 85 grams) for 25 pounds of flour.
Use caution when adding garlic or onion to the dough; both
act as reducing agents due to naturally occurring enzymes.
Reducing agents cause the dough to relax and make it easier
to stretch, sheet and/or press. Although this can be a positive
attribute in pizza dough, the reducing effect from the garlic or
onion can also reduce the oven spring/volume of the resulting
crust and shorten the refrigerated life of the dough. Garlic and
onion powders can be added to dough mix at 0.06% to 0.12%
FB, or ¼ to ½ ounce ( 7 to 14 grams) for 25 pounds of flour.
Chopped or crushed garlic should be used at 0.25% to 0.5% FB,
or 1 to 2 ounces ( 28 to 56 grams) for 25 pounds of flour.
These levels of herbs, spices, seasonings and flavors should
be considered starting levels. The levels may need to be
increased or decreased to suit your tastes; for example, fresh
herbs, although more expensive, have a cleaner, truer, more
robust flavor than dried herbs. Keep in mind that you want
to offer only a hint of these flavors and aromas in the dough.
Personally, I’m not a big fan of adding herbs, spices, seasonings and flavors to the dough; I find them to be more useful in
other ways when creating a delicious pizza. I want to be able
to appreciate the delicate fermentation flavors from the dough
in the resulting crust, and an excess of herbs or added flavors
tends to mask that natural taste. I like to layer ingredients
and flavor components on the pizza to ensure that each bite
offers a different experience and the eater’s taste buds aren’t
overwhelmed on the first bite.
We’d like to start offering garlic bread with our pasta, but
we have been struggling to find the easiest way to do it.
Can you help?
The easiest way to add garlic bread to your menu would be
to purchase loaves of baked French or Italian bread, slice the
loaves into serving portions, top them with garlic-infused
spread, oil or butter, and sprinkle the slices with various herbs
or cheese as desired before toasting them.
Ready-made garlic spreads and oils are available through
most foodservice suppliers. Alternatively, you can easily assemble garlic-infused spread/butter by blending softened margarine or butter with garlic powder. Or you can add chopped
garlic to melted margarine or butter, which is then painted
onto the bread and sprinkled with herbs or cheese, as described above. Various oils, including olive oil, can be infused
with chopped garlic, too.
It should be mentioned that, when infusing fresh or jarred
garlic into oils, margarine or butter, the product should be
used on the same day that it’s produced to prevent the growth
Once you’ve topped and seasoned the bread, simply toast it
to desired doneness and serve.