Author Topic: Infused oil  (Read 2742 times)

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Offline cava

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Infused oil
« on: May 22, 2005, 11:26:23 PM »
I have been to the French Riveria quite a few times and have had many a great pizza there.  There are many, many outdoor pizza cafes in Nice and Cannes and they all make a delicious thin crust pizza baked in wood fired ovens.   Literally every pizza  place has a bottle of infused oil, usually sunflower oil infused with a variety of spices, on the table  that is dripped on the pizza after it is cooked.  It sure does add a new dimension to pizza, especially for a vegetarian like myself who is limited in his choice of toppings.
I'm going to start experimenting with my own infused oils.  Does anyone have any experience/suggestions/sources on this subject?  I have several bottles that I bought in a market in Nice.  They have turned rancid but at least the ingredients are listed and that should get me started.


Offline scott r

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Re: Infused oil
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2005, 08:22:48 AM »
I love making my own oils to top pizza.  This process is so easy, and can add such a dimension to plain pizza. With greasy toppings (which you obviously don't need to worry about) it can be a bit much.  I understand where starting with sunflower oil would be sort of a blank slate for the other flavors, but I prefer to start with a  nice unfiltered olive oil.  These oils can have a strong flavor, but I love it.  The easy stuff that I like to infuse is garlic and pepper flakes.  I would imagine fresh peppers would taste even better.  All you have to do is find a nice bottle, and drop in a bunch of garlic cloves and pepper flakes.  I usually let it sit for a few days.  The oil can get too strong after about a week, so at some point I put it in the fridge which seems to slow down the absorption of flavors into the oil.  I have tried heating the oil briefly with the garlic, and it does have a different flavor.  The advantage here is that you can use it right away.  The problem is that the oil will loose some of its good characteristics when heated.  To fix this problem you can heat just a portion of the oil with the garlic, then add it to the rest of the uncooked oil. 
It is a little tricker, but making basil/herb infused oil is well worth the trouble.  If you like the taste of pesto you will love this drizzled on your pizza after it comes out of the oven.  First take about a third of the oil you plan to use and put it in a blender with a good amount of fresh basil, or whatever herb you like.  Puree the mixture, and add enough oil to make it a little thicker than a paste.  Simmer this mixture for 8-10 minutes.  Let it cool, and drain it through a cheese cloth, or very fine mesh.  You will have to squeeze the oil out of the herbs.  Now combine this with the rest of your uncooked oil, and add garlic and pepper if you want to.  This mixture is so amazing, and you don't need much of it to zap your pizza with flavor.  This is also great drizzled on anything, oven/grill roasted vegetables, pasta etc.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2005, 08:43:20 AM by scott r »

Offline cava

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Re: Infused oil
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2005, 11:18:22 PM »
Scott, thanks a lot for the info.  The garlic/pepper flake combo is the one I'll probably try first.  I prefer olive oil also.  I found this chart on the net showing which type of oil(s) go with various herbs/spices/veggies/fruits etc.

http://www.springthyme.com/products_herb.html

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Infused oil
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2005, 11:39:42 PM »
Ever tried white truffle oil on a pizza bianca? I drizzle just a small bit after baking - no one can actually realize what I have done, just a mysterious hint.

Bill/SFNM

Offline cava

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Re: Infused oil
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2005, 11:23:31 PM »
Bill- I'll have to try the white truffle oil.  I'm not bit on white pizza but who knows!

Offline bakerboy

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Re: Infused oil
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2005, 07:20:34 PM »
I like to infuse oils with different flavors.  The 2 most popular ones i made were garlic oil and red pepper oil.  I start with 2 metal bowls.  I smash a whole bunch of garlic cloves and put them in one bowl and a cup of red pepper flakes in another.  I heat about a quart of corn or sunflower oil to 350F.  pour half over the garlic and half over the pepper flakes and let it come to room temp.  The red pepper oil gets a crazy addictive flavor about it and turns a golden orange color.  The garlic oil has a roasted flavor to the oil and the garlic itself is only poached so if you fry it or top a pizza with it, it turns crispy brown (kinda like a french fry).  these are the 2 that we use at the shop the most.  The first pic is the smashed garlic and the second is after covering with hot oil.