Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: Brooklyn Bred Pizza Crust

On a recent trip to BJ's Wholesale Club (a membership-based warehouse store like Costco), I purchased a twin-pack of "Brooklyn Bred" rectangular pizza crusts for $3.99. These are the product of Damascus Bakeries, headquartered near Williamsburg in Brooklyn. These pizza crusts were baked at their Newark, NJ facility.

Damascus Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

If you want to see a great example of the American melting pot, consider a Syrian immigrant baking pita bread and other Middle Eastern specialties in Brooklyn, and his grandchildren expanding the business to other baked goods including pizza crusts made with traditional Italian "00" flour. 
Click on image to enlarge!

Damascus Bakeries, opened in 1930 in the heart of a Middle Eastern community in downtown Brooklyn, was named after the founder's childhood home in Syria. Now the bread is sold across America in Costco, BJ's, and Starbucks.

I used the crust to construct a fairly conventional pizza. I brushed both sides with olive oil (per the instructions) before topping with fresh mozzarella, grana padano, soppressata, tomato sauce, and a few hot peppers and cherry tomatoes.

The package instructions recommended baking directly on the oven rack for a crisp bottom, or on a pan for a chewy crust. I baked this pie at 475 degrees on my Baking Steel, and finished it with 90 seconds under the broiler.

The crust is indeed tasty (it looked good right out of the package) with a nice texture and good hole structure. Even though I prefer a crisp and rigid crust 99% of the time, I this one became a little more dry and brittle than ideal.

On the second attempt, I used similar toppings, but baked the pie for about 8 minutes at 425 degrees. This pie got a nice crispy bottom but retained a nice chewiness in the center without being either dry or greasy. The lower temp made a huge difference.

Overall, good stuff that lets you easily craft a homemade pie that is, at minimum, better than any frozen pie and way better than the stuff from chains like Domino's or Pizza Hut. It is not as good as using a pizza dough from Trader Joe's or ALDI, but it sure is easier. This is B+ stuff for pizza, and I'd buy it again.

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