Sunday, January 28, 2024

Pizza at Home - Flat Iron Pepper Company

Happy Sunday! That means it's time for pizza! 

For a few years now, Sundays have meant pizza day. For a time, I was making a unique pizza every single week! Sometimes to relate to where we were traveling. Sometimes because of a particular ingredients. Maybe there's a different style I wanted to try making. Sometimes just being weird with it (looking at you cereal pizza). I've slowed down on making unique things, and Sundays have turned into "just make everyone's favorite." 

Jacob however started bringing his own red pepper flakes that he was sent one year from his friend Cory. Now, I have a shaker of red pepper flakes that I bought from Walmart for $1.44. Aren't you being a little pretentious bringing over this new bottle of pepper flakes when I have some already? 

Well... then I tasted them. Ooh, those are a lot better! Do they make others? 

So, a few weeks later, Jacob showed up with 3 different Flat Iron Pepper Company flavors! 

It's their 3 top-selling flavors! There's Dark & Smoky, Four Pepper Blend, and Hatch Valley Green! I'm excited to taste them! 

Now, I love regular crust pizzas, but the family likes thin crust more. After 2 years now of making thin crust pizza dough from scratch, I've tweaked my recipe to something everyone likes. It's even strong enough to hold up to all the toppings I want to put on top of it! 

My recipe is based on weight, so things are consistant every single week. 
My bowl starts with 300g AP flour, 25g sugar, 7g salt, 7g baking powder. Stir to combine. I heat water in the microwave until almost boiling, then add 175g of water and 68g of oil to the dry ingredients. This makes approximately (4) 140g pizza dough balls. You can use it right away, or wrap it in plastic wrap and let it sit until you're ready for it. 
Preheat an oven to 480F (the maximum mine goes) with a pizza stone. I then take my 140g pizza dough and roll it between two pieces of parchment until it is an approximately 12" circle. Leaving it on the parchment and trimming the excess, I slide the dough/parchment into the oven. After 2 minutes, the dough has cooked enough and I can slide the parchment out, letting the crust touch the pizza stone directly. After another 2 minutes (sometimes it varies) the bottom of the crust is starting to brown, and the top is starting to cook. Now it's ready to come out and get toppings. 
This precook step helps keep the crust nice and crispy, while still allowing multiple toppings (sometimes soggy toppings) to be added. 

Bake for 7-9 minutes again until the pizza looks hot. Then enjoy! 

And so, that's what we did one pizza night as we were prepared to taste and compare all these 3 peppers! 
Except... the pizzas have so many toppings they're too flavorful. It's not easy to isolate just the flavor of the peppers and tell the differences. Hmm. 

So, the next day, yes the very next day, for lunch no less, I put in a Little Caesars order for Cheese Sticks. 

Theresa wanted to give Props to Little Caesars for keeping their pizza prices a great value. She remembers pizzas being $5 when she was in her teens. Now, just a few years later, this Slices and Sticks pizza is only $6.99! Only a 40% increase. Compare that to Taco Bell that used to sell a $0.79 taco, which will now cost you $1.99. A 150% increase! 

So, now that we have this cheesy bread, we can give the peppers another try. The kids decided to sit this one out. 

And if we go crazy with the peppers, we can taste them even over the pepperoni pizza flavor. 
Jacob - I'm going to eat the slice upside down so the peppers go right on my tongue!

Developed by two pizza enthusiasts, Matt and Mike, in Colorado, one day they were eating pizza and wondering what exactly was in that red pepper flake shaker on their table. What peppers are in here? Does it have to taste like this? They asked "Why do Red Pepper Flakes Taste like Cardboard?"
So, they set out to make their own red pepper flakes and the very first thing they came up with was the Four Pepper Blend ($7.95). 

Their slogan is "You'll Never Go Back to Generic Red Pepper Flakes". 
Inside you'll find Habanero: Bright citrus flavor, plenty of heat. Jalapeno: Fresh and green for balance. Arbol: Classic red pepper with a slow burn. Ghost: Dark, smoky and notoriously hot.  

This clocks in around 80,000 - 110,000 scovilles on the Heat Rating Scale. For reference, Tabasco sauce is 3750 scovilles. 

Ingredients list for reference. They like to tout the fact that they don't use any fillers or salt in their bottles. 

And a look at the finished product. 
Jacob - Still delicious. 
Joe - I like it better than the Walmart red pepper flakes for sure. Woo! I'm getting some heat! 
Theresa - To me, that one doesn't have a strong particular pepper flavor. It doesn't taste like one pepper to me. It tastes like hotness. 
Jacob - I do get flavor out of it, but I don't know what flavor. It depends on how many of each flake you get. Looking at the website, they sell a grinder to make them into finer flakes. 
Theresa - <getting one caught in her throat> Ahh! Those are mighty spicy! 

The next flavor we're trying tries to bring the flavor of Hatch Valley New Mexico and their green chiles. Like the Green Chile Pizza we made to represent the state of Colorado! It's the Hatch Valley Green ($7.95). 

Hatch Valley New Mexico is world renowned for healthy, flavorful green chiles. 
Hatch Valley Sandia: Bright green flavor and a deep burn. Hatch Valley Big Jim: Mellow, fresh and sweet. Jalapeno: Classic flavor and moderate heat. Habanero: Just a pinch, it packs a punch. 

Less kick than the Four Pepper Blend, this Hatch Valley Green is 30k-50k scovilles. 

For reference. 

And a look at the pepper flakes. 
Jacob - I can smell it even before it got into my mouth. 
Joe - It's got that Jalapeno smell. 
Theresa - I'm not tasting this one as much. 
Jacob - That's yummy. What order is jalapeno in? 
Joe - Looks like it's the first out of the four peppers. 
Theresa - That was good, but it was pretty mild compared to the other one. 
Joe - It tastes very green to me. It has that green, salsa-y flavor to it. 
Theresa - That's why I like it. I love that salsa on my pizza. 

Finally we have Dark and Smoky ($7.95). 

There Is No Smoke Without Fire.
Chipotle: Jalapeno's smokier, tastier alter ego. Ancho: Dark, sweet and savory. Habanero: Citrus followed by intense heat. 

Around 50k-70k scoville units. 

And the ingredients. 

Plus the pepper flakes. 
How do we like them? 
Jacob - It's very good. 
Joe - I like the smokiness. 
Theresa - I don't really like the smokiness on my pizza. 
Jacob - Same as me. 
Theresa - I think if you put it on a BBQ, like pulled pork or something, I'd be like, yeah! 

Load those pizzas up! We're definitely going to be tasting the red peppers now! 

Joe - I got a pepper flake stuck up in my gums. At first I didn't realize it, but after a little bit it started to burn! Oof! Pull that piece out of there! 

So, favorites? 
Jacob - First is Four Pepper Blend, Hatch Valley Green, then Dark and Smoky. But I wouldn't turn any of them down. 
Theresa - 
Joe - I like the Dark and Smoky, then Four Pepper Blend, and Hatch Valley Green. 

Alli - Why don't you try all three of them on one? 
Bold of you to say when you're not tasting any of these. 

All of these peppers were really tasty! I've put enough on my pizza that I'm slightly sweating, but my taste buds are happy. 

Looking at the website, there's 12 different flavors of peppers you can try! The Sweet Heat ($8.45) looks like it could be tasty. Maybe even the Smoke Show ($13.95) with it's 450k scoville heat. I'd try, but not sure I'd like the I Can't Feel My Face ($19.95) and the 750k scoville burn. I would love a sampler box to try a small quantity of everything, but they only have small packets of these top 3. 

Still, if you're looking to kick up your pizza flavor, you can't go wrong with these. They are a delicious addition to your pizza! 

1 comment:

  1. Whoa...those Flat Iron Pepper Flakes are flavorful but HOT, HOT, HOT!!!...not sure I could handle any of them. Never realized how pepper flakes can vary so greatly in, no more generic ones for you :-) Looks like Jacob introduced the family to some special, tasty pepper flakes. Your thin crust pizza making has become a refined art, perfected through trial and error...looks like you developed THE recipe and THE process of baking & topping it...end product is delicious! Maybe a pepper grinder is what's needed to prevent another occurrence of a pepper flake stuck in the gum...what a slow burn there!...yikes! EOM