Week 19: Mother Sauces – Cheddar Stuffed-Crust Pretzel Pizza

I got a little ambitious for this week’s Mother Sauces challenge (which I’m just now putting together is themed so for Mother’s Day). Making, documenting and incorporating the tomato sauce I regularly make, a batch of which I completed last night for restocking purposes, would be a pretty big yawnfest. Instead, I chose to take the béchamel route and build a pizza around the cheddar sauce so introduced by the designated wikipedia page. What followed was a plot to not only create a pretzel crust to enhance the tasty mustard and cheddar elements, but also to stuff said crust with cheddar. It went pretty alright.

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I began with the sauce, first whipping up a basic béchamel sauce to work from.

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Then dry mustard, cheddar and worcestershire sauce was adding according to whimsy.

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The dough was rolled out and thin slabs of cheddar were wrapped into the crust. Transferring the dough into a pre-heated cast-iron pan without incident proved to be difficult but manageable with the help of a large, flat spatula.

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The cheddar sauce was applied liberally as the base with mozzarella and pepperoni to follow on top.

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A baking soda-boiling water concoction was dabbed onto the crust to earn that familiar pretzel browning from some oven time. Pretzel salt was specifically sourced for this project and the remaining half gallon requires a commitment to future pretzel projects, which I’m okay with.

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All this cheesy business requires a wine that can withstand a salty punch to the face. When a dish veers to an extreme savory note, a push towards fruity expression in wine can offer some balance to the palate.

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Torres Alegre – 2005 “Cru Garage” Zinfandel (Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico) is a sun-pampered, incredibly fruit-driven style expressing dried dark berries and overripe plums with hedonistic intensity. Alone, this wine can sit heavy, especially with a lackluster acidity that would normally be a deal-breaker for me personally. Alongside a plate of salty flavors, all is forgiven as the fruit brightens and sings. The same concept can be applied with most any fruit-forward wine and should be.

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