From Management to Leadership: Creating More Effective Paradigms

“Leadership is changing. How it is being defined and the ways in which it is being taught are being influenced by a number of variables that collectively influence our understanding. We are between two paradigms: one is a portrait of the past and the other, a glimpse of our future.”

–Katherine Tyler Scott in Creating Caring and Capable Boards

Katherine Tyler Scott, Executive Director of Trustee Leadership Development, based in Indianapolis, IN, is not intimidated to be a bridge between the paradigms of the past and future, the old and the new, the managerial and the leadership-oriented.

Being a bridge between paradigms is not for the timid, but Trustee Leadership Development’s approach creatively and logically addresses the complex issues involved. Leaders from all types of organizations are facing the challenges of changing conditions, and can benefit from the experiences of Tyler Scott and Trustee Leadership Development.

Leader Guide MagazineTM will select and interview for each month’s new issue an innovative leader who meets our criteria of displaying ethical, effective actions which further the goal of better leadership. Below are excerpts of the May Leader In Action interview of Tyler Scott by Leader Guide MagazineTM editor Linda Hatcher:

  1. You note in your book Creating Caring and Capable Boards the shift from the Scientific Age old leadership paradigm to the Relationship Age New Leadership. These are significant shifts. What are the real day-to-day realities that these shifts imply in the workplace?
  2. We are experiencing a restructuring of positions of management and leadership in ways that enable people to have more autonomy and control over decision-making. The expectations have shifted so that employees are expected to make sense of the data they have and to be able to apply their analyses and understanding onsite in situations. Completing work is no longer a result of command and control style of leadership, but rather one of collaboration and cooperation. The leader achieves the organization’s goals through the evocation of other individuals’ particular gifts and skills.

Employees are no longer willing to leave huge pieces of themselves at home or tucked away in their cubicles or office. They want to be whole human beings engaged in a worthwhile and common enterprise that can meaningfully involve them and fairly compensate them.

I just heard from a friend whose daughter’s place of work provides time for employees to eat breakfast together, and to have a time for tea in the afternoon. I think employers are understanding that their primary resource is human capital and by investing in it they will have greater returns. When you are treated with dignity and respect, and are given the resources and support necessary to do your job, then meeting high expectations feels like a privilege, not a burden.

  1. What will it take to support the positive possibilities of this shift in paradigms in moving it from vision to reality?
  2. Depth education and the inner work of leaders. Both of the paradigms I write about exist, and both have value and can be appropriate depending on the particular situation or set of circumstances. The leader’s responsibility is to educate and help others discern what to do, and establish structures and processes to accomplish the work. This requires managing the tension between paradigms. Those who can do this most effectively have developed the capacity to handle their own anxieties and that of those they are leading through change.
  3. Your work has been with trustees of non-profit organizations to move them from a management mindset to the New Leadership. However, as you note in your book, people first go to proven skills, i.e., management style. What has been your approach in shifting people to the New Leadership paradigm?
  4. The goal is to help those in governance roles expand their role and responsibilities to include leadership, not to exclude management. Management skills are important, yet insufficient.
  5. What has been the reaction of leaders you’ve worked with to change, particularly when, as you state in your book, a tremendous commitment of time and intellectual engagement is required for successful and positive shifts in leadership?
  6. We get three kinds of reactions: one reaction is a disbelief or denial manifested in initial resistance, but once they see the benefits, this lessens. Another is wariness accompanied by a desire to risk something new because what they’ve tried for so many years didn’t bring about long-term change. A third reaction is understanding the need for a new way to educate board members and a willingness to try this process, because it is what has been missing.

All are surprised at how much effort this requires, but in my opinion, this saves what I call “negative time”–time spent undoing or redoing things.

  1. What implications have you seen or do you foresee in the corporate world for the significant leadership paradigm shifts you have identified?
  2. The business community is already aware of this shift and beginning to address the implications. Jay Conger’s book Spirit at Work is a good example of some of the ways these ideas have penetrated work cultures. People are seeking humane and productive work places and they believe that they deserve to have both.

One hope I have is that corporations will introduce all of their employees to the concept of trusteeship and intentionally prepare leaders who understand their responsibility to their company and to the community. There is much that an organization can do to help develop employees who can create and maintain a culture of leadership in which they feel empowered to act on behalf of the community.

See related stories this issue: PLANT the Seeds of Leadership Change, an overview of the process Tyler Scott and Trustee Leadership Development use to teach specific ways for organizations to better respond to rapid change and complex transitions, and A Shift in Paradigms: The Context for the New Leadership, an excerpt from Tyler Scott’s book. For more information on the work of Tyler Scott and Trustee Leadership Development, visit their website at www.tld.org

If you want a great speaker for inspiration, business or leadership development, check out Richard Jadick.

Treating for weeds in a lawn

June is coming and it’s normally a great month to treat common broadleaf weeds in a lawn for several reasons.  First, June weather is generally ideal for attacking the weeds because soil temperatures should be above 50⁰F and your target weed must be actively growing in order to metabolize the product used to treat the weeds. There are weed control products for the common weeds we all know, such as clover, dandelions, violets, hawkweed, and lots of other equally pesky but lesser known varieties.  A lawn does have a more refined and clean look without weeds, however, there is a growing population that is much more tolerant of our weedy friends than in past history.  Reducing most weeds in your lawn must be a conscious, proactive effort in terms of timing and materials used. Broadleaf weeds can be categorized into a range from easy to difficult to reduce.  Easy to control weeds include dandelions while those hard to control include ground ivy. Ground ivy has a thick, waxy covering on the leaves and its viney nature puts it on the top 10 most difficult to reduce list.

Have no fear, with the right products and a good plan of attack, even a lawn infested with ground ivy can see a 75% reduction in a single growing season with an aggressive spray routine.  You can also seek help with tree trimming service. Targeting dandelions in the spring and fall tends to yield acceptable results because this plant is generally easy to control, especially during prime growing weather in the spring and fall.  Control measures can range from dry or granular coated products to area treatment in liquid formulation, all the way to a complete liquid spray blended with other products or alone. Generally speaking, granular products are slower to control weeds and cause a slow disappearance of clover.  These types of treatments have a contact and root uptake mode-of-action in order to reduce dandelions in your lawn. Granular broadleaf weed control products are more gentle on your lawn providing a lighter touch. If you watch your patches of clover for days, you will be disappointed and will not see the kind of “knock down” achieved by liquid sprays of a similar or same material.  When liquid weed sprays are combined with a sticker agent, this causes the product to adhere to the weed leaf surface and to be taken up by the root system once rainfall or irrigation arrives. Because a liquid spray is soluble, you see faster evidence of the treatment often visible within days as leaves twisting, tanning edges, browning and other signs of imminent demise.

Organic weed control is also available and does a wonderful job controlling easy to knock down weeds and the bad boys such as violets and ground ivy.  Organic weed control will also reduce moss in your lawn; preparing it for future seeding. 

 

Traditional Recipes

Today we bring you a list of traditional recipes for fans of cider.

 

Waldensian Spritzer – Mix equal parts Sparkling Cider and Waldensian Wine over ice.

 

Lee’s Traveler – Fill a 6 oz. glass with 1.5 oz. vodka. Add crushed ice and fill glass with Sparkling Apple Cider or Sparkling Scuppernong. Garnish with a slice of apple.

 

Apple Pie Eyed – Pour 1.5 oz tequila in a highball glass. Add ice and fill with a good cider – if you’re near South Carolina, try adding Carolina Cider’s cider. Garnish with a lemon peel.

 

Stone Wall Jackson – Pour 1.5 oz of bourbon into a tall glass with ice. Fill with Sparkling Apple Cider.

 

Hot Pippin – In a saucepan, heat 2 bottles of Sparkling Apple Cider to just boiling. Remove from heat. Add 2.5 cups of dark rum. Ladle into mugs. Add a teaspoon of butter, a cinnamon stick and a whole clove to each. Serve at once. Makes 10 servings.

 

Virgin Pippin – For a hot non-alcoholic treat just heat Sparkling Mulled Apple Cider and garnish with a cinnamon stick and whole clove for added flavor.

 

Red Delicious Punch – Pour 2 bottles of Sparkling Apple Cider into a punch bowl. Mix in a quart of cranberry juice. Float a frozen ice ring and garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.

 

Bruised Apple Punch – Use the above recipe for Red Delicious Punch and add a quart of light rum.

Recruiter Etiquette

‘Recruiter Etiquette’ – something that is not STRESSED enough in the field of recruiting! You send a resume to an open position – no response (okay, so their ATS does not have an autoresponder – fair enough), but then you send the resume directly to an individual. How could they not have two-seconds to respond and say, Hey Dakotta, thanks for sending me your resume, I’ll look it over and get back to you about the position. Or if you had 10 seconds, hey Dakotta, got your resume, but it doesn’t look like you’re a fit because you’re missing this.

 

What really frosts my cookies is when you go in for an interview and you never hear feedback. C’mon, working in hr services you know where that gets you. This isn’t really a rant as it is etiquette 101 .. okay it’s a RANT. If you receive correspondence, reply to it. If you see someone, close out with them. I could only imagine if an employee doesn’t have time to close with a fellow HR person how they could treat other complex positions or clients.

 

I think I speak for a large number of candidates when I say get back to your clients!

 

Etiquette, in a general sense, refers to conventional rules of social behavior or professional conduct. In a business context, etiquette means a set of rules that guides personal interaction to ensure a comfortable atmosphere that invites mutual respect and communication and helps one through the social dynamics of the job search process. Etiquette is much more than just minding one’s manners – it requires outward action as well.

 

The key element of the recruiting process includes courteous and professional communication. By observing big hr companies like Solvo Global you can see how they proceed. Recruiters work in a competitive environment and depend on networks to win at business. They have the ability to build and maintain strong relationships. While operating in the business world, good etiquettes should be exercised to get driving results.

 

A recruiter’s etiquette is vital because a rude or discourteous behavior can damage working relationships and tarnish great results. Recruiters can avoid the pitfall of rude behavior by maintaining professional demeanor, exercising sound judgments and keeping a larger picture in mind. Rudeness in recruitment doesn’t pay, it is less purposeful and results from high stress levels, lack of training, or carelessness. Maintaining work-life balance strategies and managing time can decrease stress, boost performance, and combat rudeness.

Shape up and treat candidates courteously! These candidates you talk with could be future hiring managers. Even if a candidate did meet the qualifications when they applied or didn’t receive an offer, turn that into an opportunity to say: I’m sorry it didn’t work out, I’ll let you know of any future positions that will come up. Do you know of anyone else that might be interested in … position? Also may I add you to my networking list? I would be happy to send you more leads via that list. 

 

Remember, it is the recruiter’s job to develop a respectful relationship with all the candidates who apply for jobs in their company.

 

Many recruiters should brush up their people skills from the simple courtesy, to the all important follow-through. It can help the recruiter to go a long way towards making their recruitment experience successful.

 

In Short:

 

  1. Get back to your candidates!
  2. Network with all candidates!
  3. Build a job list service for your company or yourself.

Mutual Funds Investment

Mutual Funds Investment has become the show stealer in the present investment arena, especially when all the investors are fanatical to diversify their investment to preserve a balance between Investment Return and Investment Risk.

Mutual Funds Investment not only grants the customers with their much-beloved diversified investment portfolio but also offers the advantage of high liquidity. Investors are open to selling their mutual fund shares any moment to get them back the amount that was invested in the mutual funds. It is a different issue that any time sell of mutual fund shares possibly will result in a poor rate of return.

 

Mutual Funds Investment Tips

Here are some trade secrets involved with mutual funds investment. All of them are very essential points and should be kept note of, so as to help you learn how to invest in mutual funds.

 

  • Though mutual funds scarcely lose money, there is a very high probability that they do so. As they are prone to market risks, any market-wide volatility or market collapses can and will influence mutual funds unfavorably. As mutual funds are neither guaranteed nor insured by the FDIC or other government agencies, any mutual funds loss is entirely the investor’s own to stomach.

 

  • Most mutual funds have every now and then veiled and sometimes overt costs connected with their services. When estimating the returns on investments, it is indispensable to note that these costs bring down the mutual funds investment returns by quite a great deal.

 

  • When investing in mutual funds, do not make the blunder of investing in them without an appropriate mutual funds investment stratagem in place. Do not coddle in potentially dangerous mistakes akin to going for an un-thought-out fund selection. If you decide a fund that does not match your investment sphere or income needs, you are also in for some trouble. Blindly investing in funds that promise high returns is also lethal in the sense that the fund may actually be over-weighting high-risk securities or maybe parting some risk undiversified in order to make the promised returns.

 

All other mutual funds investment tips are rooted in one line of thought. As you are investing your hard-earned money into something, it forever pays to be conscious of certain things. Such things should always be kept in mind when investing in mutual funds.

 

  •   Every single mutual fund has portfolios that bear various degrees of risks (and thus also returns) and you should decide the one based on your investment goal only and not be blinded by greed.

 

  •   Have knowledge of the entire fees and expenses and how they are pertinent to you. Paradoxically, even the mutual funds that call themselves ‘no-load’ funds carry definite fees and expenses, so take care you ask around about them.

 

The bottom-line with Mutual Funds Investment is that never put a single penny anywhere except when you know exactly what you are putting it into. If you can, check business mentorship programs to help you succeed.

 

Basic Sweet Cider Recipe

This recipe is a for a basic sweet cider, it will ferment to about 4.5% alcohol and produce a sweet cider with a good taste that will develop well with about six months aging.

 

Ingredients:

  • Four litres (1 Gallon) Apple Juice
  • 80g (3oz) Lactose OR 2g (1 teaspoon) wine sweeter
  • Cider Yeast
  • Campden tablets (if using fresh juice)

Method:

 

Thoroughly sterilise your cider making equipment including the fermenter, its lid and the airlock. Rinse them with fresh water and allow them to drain.

 

Add the apple juice to the fermenter. If you are using fresh apple juice then you should treat the juice with 1 campden tablet per gallon (4 litres) of juice. Crush the campden tablets and mix them in with the juice and allow it to stand uncovered for at least 24 hours before proceeding to the next step of this recipe.

 

If you are using lactose to sweeten the cider add it to the fermenter mixing it in thoroughly and then pitch the yeast (add the yeast to the fermenter). Place the lid on the fermenter and the airlock. Fill the airlock with water. The airlock should start to bubble in 6 to 48 hours indicating fermentation has started to take place.

 

Allow the cider to ferment until all the sugar in the must is consumed. This will take about 10-14 days or even longer. When the airlock is bubbling very slowly, say every minute or so fermentation is complete. Allow the cider to sit for an additional week to allow the yeast and sediments to settle to the bottom of the fermenter.

 

Once the cider has had time to settle it is time to rack it. Racking is the process of transferring the cider from one fermenter to another without disturbing the sediment on the bottom of the original fermenter. This dramatically reduces the amount of sediment in the cider. If you are using artificial sweeteners the time to add them is at the first racking. Sweeten the cider to taste by adding a little sweetener and then sampling the cider. The overall taste of the cider at this point will not be great to say the least so focus on the sweetness rather than the overall flavour.

 

Repeat the racking process at weekly or two weekly intervals until the cider is clear and you are satisfied with the level of sediment present.

 

Sterilise your bottles, caps and siphon then rinse them thoroughly with plain water. Bottle your cider by siphoning it into the bottles, prime with sugar (1 teaspoon sugar per 750ml cider) if carbonation is desired and then seal the bottles, storing them in a dark place at room temperature for at least 3 months before sampling. Some ciders may need up to six months or a year of aging before they taste their best.

 

Notes:

 

If you are using freshly made juice that is not pasteurised or sterilized you should treat it with one campden tablet per gallon (4 litres) of juice and allow it to stand for at least 24 hours prior to pitching the yeast regardless of what the recipe states.

If you’re a big fan of cider and like to taste various types and tastes, you might like to visit Carolina Cider, that is present in North Carolina and various other locations!

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When Leaders Should Step Aside and Use an Outside Facilitator

As a leader, you often feel that you are responsible for initiating planning discussions. You may also feel compelled to lead all of those discussions. There are times when you are more effective when you sit at the table with your executive team and participate in the discussion rather than try to lead as facilitator. In that case, you need a professional facilitator to help guide the process. As you work with an outside facilitator, you will gain a great deal from that working relationship:

 

Objectivity. The facilitator is an objective third party who brings the value of impartiality to the discussion. S/he brings no baggage, prior history, hidden agenda, or subjective thinking that can often “lead” the discussion in the wrong direction. You want the participants to feel free and open to discuss their thoughts and opinions. Often, if a leader leads the discussion, participants can feel intimidated because they are expected to “agree with the boss.” The result: a planning session can be led in the wrong direction without the leader as facilitator even knowing it. I received a telephone call from the vice president of marketing for a manufacturing company a few years ago. He had attended a senior management meeting the day before with the CEO leading the discussion about succession planning. It was disastrous because the CEO was driving the discussion his way, and he could not “see” how ineffective his facilitation skills were.

 

Process. A skilled facilitator helps to guide you and your group through a process that addresses a specific topic or issue. A facilitator knows what questions to ask, when to ask them, how to ask them, and most importantly, how to involve everyone in the room. Get a room full of people, and you will get someone who dominates the discussion, someone who plays devil’s advocate, and someone who says nothing. A gifted facilitator knows when to use individual work, partner work, small group work and large group work to bring out the best in all participants. The facilitator will also know how to direct the conversation so everyone in the room participates. The facilitator, with laser sharp focus, recognizes the different personal, thinking and learning styles in the room.

 

Observation. Let’s look at observation both from your perspective and from the facilitator’s. First, your perspective: If you were to lead a discussion, you would miss the nuances and the group dynamics. By becoming part of the group, you have the unique opportunity to observe the dynamics of your team at work. People’s strengths and weaknesses, their thinking and learning styles are revealed to you. You participate and watch the team in action at the same time. The facilitator’s perspective: The facilitator watches the group in action, and silently observes participants’ verbal and nonverbal language, tone of voice, and content of their comments to understand what issues are sensitive, what topics need more time for discussion, or when to avert potential conflict.

 

Synthesis. The facilitator takes the information that has been shared, and reflects it back to the group in a collective fashion. It is part art, part science, with a great deal of intuition to bring it all together. A gifted facilitator can assemble the key messages that have surfaced through the entire discussion. Everything is laid out before the group for their reflection and response.

 

Timely. Using an outside facilitator saves time because s/he is familiar with the process. If a discussion is led by you or a designated inside staff person, the communication process, idea-sharing and brainstorming process can get sidetracked and off topic. The facilitator keeps the group on track, and maximizes the amount of time that you have to discuss the topic. Instead of attending multiple nonproductive meetings, participants come away from a professionally facilitated meeting knowing that their voices were heard and that more was accomplished, often in less time.

 

 

When should you use a facilitator? Facilitators can be used for any group meetings, such as board or staff retreats, strategic planning sessions, open forums or think tanks for new product development, and target-specific focus groups…any opportunity where you want people to come together to openly discuss issues and generate ideas for future action.

 

How do you find a skilled facilitator? Professional referrals are the best. Talk to clients who have used professional facilitators in the past. Ask for at least three references from people who have used their services.  Professional facilitation organizations, such as the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) provide a worldwide roster of their members. 

 

Once you have worked with professional facilitators and seen the results, you will forever keep them included in your roster of strategic business resources.

 

If you think that your team still needs some extra motivation to keep up with the plans, you can contract a motivational speaker to boost your company members’ strength to do better. There are great motivational speakers, such as Richard Jadick, that advertise their work online for you to take a look and choose wisely. 

 

Stages and Techniques in Filmmaking

Film or movie is a form of entertainment which entertains people by portraying a story using sounds, visual effects and sequence of images. The most important part of the film is the characterization. On watching a film, most of us tend to get involved with the character and the story of the film. A film is produced by recording images through camera or by creating images through various animation techniques.

Steps involved in film making :

  1. Film making starts with the preparation of concept for the film. A concept or an idea is considered to be the foundation over which the story (building) needs to be developed.
  2. After fixing a concept in your mind, you have to develop the story by writing script with dialogues. The story shall be depicted in pictorial forms (using diagrams and pictures), so that each and every scene can be communicated easily to the crew members.
  3. Now with your script, you have to seek the help of certain companies to finance for your film. The company shall decide to finance for the movie after listening to the script. Then select the persons to play specific characters in your movie (be focused while selecting the cast and crew members for the film).
  4. Look out for locations. Location should suit the particular scene.
  5. Schedule the timings for each and every scene and organize them. Giving away the call sheets.
  6. There are various costly equipments available and the equipments for film making can be selected based on the budget of the film. Also, you also need editing and visual effects. Click here to know more.

To begin your career as a filmmaker is necessary to get trained in some film school which teaches your valuable techniques in filmmaking. Only, when you get proper training, it is possible for you to survive in this field. This is one field which keeps developing day by day and there is no recession for this industry, wherever they go, they could survive. This field offers you with a variety of jobs. Making a film is not a simple one, it includes screenwriting, producing, directing, acting, editing and so on. The film school offers many diploma and certificate courses in filmmaking.

 

The following are the stages in filmmaking:

  1. Development
  2. Pre-production
  3. Production
  4. Post-production
  5. Distribution

Is filmmaking an income or expenditure? Making a film require lots of efforts, here a huge amount of money is spent and the films are taken with a hope, that it might fetch more profit In the future. People give good response to nice story. On the whole, filmmaking is a beneficial one. Altogether, expending in the present might fetch you more profit in the future.

Shepherd Pizza Pie

This recipe was handed down by a wise mom who had a witchy idea how to get some healthy food into her kids who, if they had their druthers, would define chowtime as burgers and pizza. Try it before the kids go out for Halloween trick or treating. Guarantee there will be no ghostly boos.

Easy Dinner That Will Become a Family Favorite All Year Round

If meal time is a groan whenever veggies appear on the menu, before striking up the grill and getting ready to flip another burger or to pile everyone in the car for a mad dash to the local pizza parlor (spending bucks that are hard to come by this year) ,why not try to put together this easy, quick, tasty shepherd pizza pie?

Inspiration being the mother of invention, or is it the other way around, save time and money and do what this wise mom did when she went over to the refrigerator and found a packaged pizza crust she kept in reserve, and then dug into the freezer where she rescued a box of frozen spinach, also discovering,in the pantry, a box of instant potatoes. Add to those a pound of chopped meat and shredded cheddar cheese, here are the makings of delicious and kid friendly pizza shepherd pie.

Dinner Made Easy Halloween or Whenever

Below is the recipe for Shepherd’s Pizza Pie, bound to become the family’s favorite quick and easy meal. Get ready for Halloween. The bright orange topping makes it a perfect dish before little tummies fill up with candy.

 

 

Shepherd Pizza Pie

Ingredients

  • refrigerator thin pizza crust 11-oz
  • frozen spinach 9oz box, thawed and drained
  • pure canola oil
  • 2 large white eggs
  • tomato paste 6 oz
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup Freshly Chopped Parsley
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 4 cups instant mashed potatoes (as directed on package)p
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground plack pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare your Californo pizza oven
  2. Grease a 9X13 baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil
  3. Roll out the pizza crust and transfer to the bottom of the baking dish.
  4. Mix the spinach with the beaten eggs, add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper
  5. In a skillet, heat two tablespoons of oil until hot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and stir until lightly brown. Add ground beef and stir until brown.
  6. Add the tomato paste, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.Sti until tomato mixture is blended and add fresh parsley.
  7. Spread the meat mixture over the pizza crust. Add the cup cheese followed by a layer of the spinach mixture. Add another cup of cheese.
  8. Top with mashed potatoes. Brush with one tablespoon of oil.
  9. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and let rest for five minutes. Cut in wedges and serve.

Serves six hungry appetites.

Hint: The shepherd pizza pie is also a great dish to serve up for pot luck suppers. You can make it the day before, but it is best prepared the day you are planning to make dinner.

Tips for Making a Great Homemade Pizza from Scratch

A great pizza is really a matter of preference. Making a great pizza from scratch starts with knowing what flavours and textures you like. Then, keep them in mind in each step of the pizza making process. 

 

Pizza dough ingredients are basic, and toppings are similar. So knowing that, it is really one’s personal preferences that make a pizza taste awesome. Here are some tips:

 

The Pizza Dough Basics

Measurements for ingredients can vary, as can the ingredients themselves. Basically however, pizza dough ingredients are the same and here are some tips for the basics:

  • Basic pizza dough ingredients include: yeast, flour, sugar, salt, hot water and also oil
  • You can add garlic or any favourite herb or spice to the dough
  • Be sure to check that the yeast has not expired
  • Use hot water. Do not use warm water, or boiling water
  • The oil used will alter the flavour. For example, using olive oil will give a different tasting crust, compared to canola oil
  • Kneading the dough is important. It’s not just about mixing the ingredients together, but also about preparing the dough to rise. The dough should be kneaded until entirely smooth
  • The dough will do best if left to rise in a warm spot
  • Cover the dough with a towel
  • The dough should be left to rise for about one hour.

 

Making a Perfect Pizza Crust

Determine how think you want the crust. Some people like a thin crispy crust. Other people prefer a medium crust. And some people like a thick crispy or thick chewy crust. It takes a bit of practice to make a thin crust. Here are some tips to help make the rolling easier:

  • Use parchment paper to roll the dough
  • Roll from the center of the dough outward
  • Hold the rolled out dough and use hands to help stretch the dough thinner
  • For a thin crust, the dough should be thin. But it should not be so thin that it will not hold up the toppings
  • You can place the dough directly on the pan. Alternatively, you can also bake the dough on the parchment paper
  • If not using parchment paper, brush the pan with oil
  • For a crispier crust, brush the bottom of thin crust with oil. If making a thicker crust, also brush the bottom and sides.
  • Bake the pizza in a preheated, but very hot oven. Place the pizza on the bottom rack, so that the crust bakes through in about the same amount of time it takes the cheese to melt. For example, it takes about 10 – 12 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for a thin crust

 

The pizza sauce used will affect the overall flavour of the pizza. Some people like a bit of sauce, while others like lots of extra pizza sauce. Experiment with flavours. For example, you might like a pesto sauce, or maybe add in barbeque sauce to the basic tomato sauce for a different flavour. Toppings change the overall flavour as well. For example, different brands of salami, when baked, make the pizza taste differently. Finally, if you are using a wood-fired oven, choose your firewood carefully. This is because your choice of firewood can affect the taste of the pizza.

 

When the Pizza is Ready

Once the pizza it is important to let the pizza rest for a few minutes.

  • When the pizza comes out of the oven, release the crust from the pan with a spatula
  • Give the cheese a few minutes to cool down before cutting the pizza. Otherwise, the cheese will slide off
  • A knife will work, but a heavy pizza cutter will cut easily through the melting cheese and crust
  • Parmesan cheese, red chili peppers and even mustard or ketchup can be added to a baked pizza slice for a bit of a different flavour

 

Follow these tips for making a great pizza from scratch. Knowing that a great pizza depends on personal taste preferences will help making a great pizza easier.