An Ode To Dark Skies, Defending The GAB, Food Friday: Grandma Style Pizza

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What do you see when you look up at night? Light pollution obscures many skies around the world, but one town in Canada is celebrating its unobstructed skies. We learn about the Jasper Dark Sky Festival taking place this weekend in Alberta . Then we hear from a Wisconsin political scientist about why he is defending the Government Accountability Board and we indulge in the world of “grandma style” pizza for this week’s Food Friday.

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  • To Make Grandma Pizza, It's All About The Crust

    It’s really difficult to replicate thin-crust pizza in one’s own kitchen without a special pizza oven, but there’s one kind of pizza that can be done in a home oven with a half-sheet pan and some olive oil. It’s called “grandma pizza” — and according to Bon Appetit magazine, it’s the most reliably delicious pizza people can make at home.

    Wisconsin Public Radio’s music host and in-house foodie Lori Skelton decided to put that claim to the test. She made six pizzas over two weeks for WPR staff, experimenting with different toppings and kinds of crusts to see what tastes the best.

    The thing that really sets a grandma pizza apart from other pizza varieties is the crust.

    “Unlike a thick Sicilian deep dish pie, which is baked in a pan that can sometimes be 3 inches high, you’ve got a crust that you don’t roll out, that you don’t toss, you actually pat it into the pan with a lot of olive oil underneath it,” Skelton said.

    This Long Island style of pizza also has minimal toppings, without a lot of cheese. The sauce is uncooked and very fresh. After putting the pizza in a very hot oven with lots of olive oil, the crust gets crunchy and almost fried on the bottom, but pillowy on the top. Because one doesn’t use a lot of toppings, the crust doesn’t get crushed.

    The recipe that Skelton found for grandma pizza required the dough to sit in the refrigerator for a full day for the dough to rise. She decided to try making the dough with a rapid-rise yeast, to see if the crust could be made in just a few hours.

    “The day that I used the rapid-rise crust, which spent less than three hours rising before I baked it, everybody said, ‘You know, Lori, it’s good — it’s not as good as the other one.’ Everyone said it tastes dough-y or bread-y,” Skelton said.

    Her verdict? Use the rapid-rise yeast in this recipe, if it’s worth the sacrifice of some texture and a lot of the taste. Otherwise, chill the dough for a full day.

    Skelton also tried a gluten-free version of the grandma crust by using a gluten-free pizza focaccia flour mix. She said the result was tasty, but it wasn’t quite grandma pizza. She said the best option for people who want to make gluten-free pizza would be better off finding a good crust recipe and rolling it out thin.

  • Wisconsin Political Scientists Defend Government Accountability Board

    Both parties in Wisconsin have criticized the state’s Government Accountability Board for being partisan. A group of Wisconsin political scientists wrote a recent op-ed defending the board, saying that a nonpartisan organization by nature, at times, upset both parties.

  • Jasper Dark Sky Festival In Canada Is A Great Place To Stargaze

    Friday is the beginning of the annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival in the Canadian Rockies. A tourism expert from Jasper gives a preview of the ten-day festival and tries to describe the beauty of the sky.

  • Food Friday: Grandma Pizza

    Without a pizza oven or a pizza stone, making pizza at home can be a challenge. On this Food Friday, we learn about a new kind of pizza that’s easier to make at home: Grandma Pizza. Regular Food Friday guest Lori Skelton shares her advice after making several different kinds of Grandma Pizza.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Galen Druke Producer
  • Barry Burden Guest
  • Bryan Attree Guest

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