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MozzaPi brings bread maker’s art to remarkable pizza

by Robin Garr » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:08 am

MozzaPi brings bread maker’s art to remarkable pizza

LEO's Eats with Robin Garr

A traditional cheese pizza and a pleasantly spicy spinach and ricotta pie at MozzaPi.
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Which came first: The pizza or the bread? A trip out to Anchorage to visit the excellent MozzaPi might recalibrate your thinking on this not-so-simple question.

After all, if you’ve been eating pizza in Louisville over the past generation, you may be excused for thinking that pizza is all about the toppings. That’s the way Derby City pizzerias roll at such iconic local pizzerias as Impellizzeri’s, Clifton’s and Wick’s, where the signature pie is piled high with such goodies as sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, bacon, and more. Crust? Nah. It’s just a vehicle for the goods.

But travel to Italy, particularly to sunny Naples where pizza was born, and you’ll find a completely different approach. Serious Neapolitan pizza is about the bread, not the tomatoes and cheese. We’re talking about crusty, chewy, firm Italian bread rolled out paper-thin, topped only lightly with fine ingredients, then set next to a searing wood fire just long enough to sizzle the toppings and mark that crusty bread with dark, sweet charred blisters.

That, folks, is what real pizza is all about. And that’s what you’ll get when you make the pilgrimage out to MozzaPi, where owner and certified pizzaiolo Tom Edwards is making remarkable artisanal breads from organic ancient grains grown by Kentucky farmers and milled in-house for the breads and combined with Italian Tipo 00 flour for the pizzas. (The bread business operates as LouisMill, sister company to MozzaPi.)

Head East through suburban Anchorage, and just a hundred yards or so after LaGrange Road crosses the tracks on the way to Crestwood, you’ll spot MozzaPi’s new brick building that looks like an oversize barn.

Built by Edwards with his sister and her husband, MozzaPi houses a remarkable pizza oven that’s wrapped in a shiny copper enclosure. “Over the years I have built several wood ovens, and this one is my latest creation,” Edwards said. “The oven core itself is a LaPanyol from France … made from clay that is fired at 2,000 degrees to form modular pieces.   This allows for more even heat retention and better performance.”

MozzaPi serves pastries with coffee and espresso drinks weekday mornings; weekend brunch adds sourdough English muffin breakfast sandwiches priced from $6 to $8. Lunch brings pizza time, with a half-dozen 9-inch pies from $8 for plain cheese to $12 for any of several specialty pies. There’s also Italian sandwiches ($12), salads ($9 to $11), and a house rosemary focaccia bread appetizer ($3). There’s an extensive list of bottled beers and a shorter but well-chosen wine list. ...

Read the full review on LouisvilleHotBytes,
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/mozzapi-bread-pizza

You'll also find this review in LEO Weekly’s Food & Drink section today.
http://www.leoweekly.com/category/food-drink/

MozzaPi Pizza
12102 La Grange Road
494-7012
http://mozzapi.com
https://twitter.com/mozzapi
https://instagram.com/mozzapi
Robin Garr’s rating: 92 points

Noise level: Not too loud for conversation.

Accessibility: The entrance and restrooms appear accessible to wheelchair users.
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Re: MozzaPi brings bread maker’s art to remarkable pizza

by Jason M » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:27 pm

Just wanted to add my 2 cents...

This place is really great. In addition to having easily some of the best pizza in town, the breakfast pastries are quite excellent. I suspect everything is baked with flours milled in-house, and the scones are easily the best I've ever had. Last weekend, in addition to some more traditional offerings, they had a savory scone with Spanish chorizo, gouda, and dates. It was as amazing as it sounds.

I don't find the English muffin breakfast sandwiches to be as good as their other offerings. The ingredients are all top notch - poached eggs, speck ham, etc... I will admit to having an extremely strong predilection for biscuits, though. The English muffins probably never had a chance :D
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Re: MozzaPi brings bread maker’s art to remarkable pizza

by Robin Garr » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:31 am

Thanks for the report, Jason! They do make almost everything with flour milled in house, much of it from locally grown grain but some from North Dakota hard wheat that won't grow around here. I liken it to Blue Dog in a way ... both run by insanely (in a good way) dedicated bakers who go miles beyond "just good enough." MozzaPi actually goes a step beyond with the grain milling, as Blue Dog uses commercial flour from King Arthur, a good thing in its own right. I'm just glad we have both places, and only wish MozzaPi was a whole lot closer to home. (I say this just after having walked home from a brisk Saturday morning walk to Blue Dog for lattes (Illy espresso from Trieste!) and pastries. :) )
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Re: MozzaPi brings bread maker’s art to remarkable pizza

by Jeff Cavanaugh » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:25 am

We somehow completely missed the fact that MozzaPi is only open until 2pm and had planned on going there for dinner after a nice walk on the Anchorage trail Saturday evening. Alas. A pizza place that doesn't serve dinner is not something I would have imagined existing, but now I guess I've seen it all.

On the bright side, we ended up at Coals Middletown, which was just as fantastic as Coals always is.
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Re: MozzaPi brings bread maker’s art to remarkable pizza

by Robin Garr » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:02 am

When we were at MozzaPi, Jeff, they were talking about adding dinner hours "soon." I don't know when "soon" is, though. And, yes, I agree that a pizzeria that doesn't serve dinner seems odd, but they really are just about as much bread-focused as pizza-focused, and bread baking starts early in the day. (Note, for example, that Blue Dog is open only for breakfast and lunch also.)
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Re: MozzaPi brings bread maker’s art to remarkable pizza

by James Natsis » Mon Apr 02, 2018 12:35 pm

Jeff Cavanaugh wrote:We somehow completely missed the fact that MozzaPi is only open until 2pm and had planned on going there for dinner after a nice walk on the Anchorage trail Saturday evening. Alas. A pizza place that doesn't serve dinner is not something I would have imagined existing, but now I guess I've seen it all.

On the bright side, we ended up at Coals Middletown, which was just as fantastic as Coals always is.



Same thing happened to me last Saturday around 6:30. I circled around wondering what the heck was going on. The owner, Tom, peeked his head out the back door and I got out and talked to him. He was milling a ton of corn (1500 lbs) for Churchill Downs and took me on a tour of the place. They have been such victims of their own success that they need to get a handle on their current hours before they can open in the evening. ........all-in-all, the place is really nicely done and their mission and products are impressive. This is what makes Louisville's culinary scene so cool.

By the way, Robin, he said they've been grinding flour for Blue Dog baguettes for the past 2 years. I was surprised to hear that. It may be worth looking into the next time you take that long trek up the road for your latte.
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Re: MozzaPi brings bread maker’s art to remarkable pizza

by Robin Garr » Mon Apr 02, 2018 1:23 pm

James Natsis wrote:By the way, Robin, he said they've been grinding flour for Blue Dog baguettes for the past 2 years. I was surprised to hear that. It may be worth looking into the next time you take that long trek up the road for your latte.

That is fascinating, and a credit to both artisans. I can tell you that if you walk past Blue Dog's bakery windows (just west of the restaurant), you'll see a lot of 50-pound bags of King Arthur commercial bread flour waiting to be used. But I guess the baguettes are different. I know I love their baguettes!
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Re: MozzaPi brings bread maker’s art to remarkable pizza

by JeffD » Tue Apr 03, 2018 9:27 am

I recently took MozzaPi's Introduction to Sourdough class. It was a gift from my wife for my birthday, although I'm still trying to decide if it was a gift for me or more for her. :wink: Truth is its a gift to us both. Tom Edwards taught the class and the very first thing you realize is that he (and his partner/sister Lori along with the rest of the staff) has a sincere and deep rooted passion to bread, supply stewardship, and excellent qualityin all they do. The class was outstanding and I learned a ton but it just touched the surface of the real art of bread-making. They also offer a week long deep dive into the craft for those who want to really get into it. My first loaves were good and I'll keep learning to adjust which is exactly what Tom would want one to do. For anyone who would like to learn more about the basics, I strongly recommend the Introduction class.

Part of the perk of taking the class though was a wrap up where they provide the attendees a meal to sample all their pizzas. They were made fresh as we were wrapping up the 3 1/2 hour class and we were able to sample all we wanted. Believe me when I say I have had a lot of pizza in my day and lucky to have some really good ones along the way. I have to put these in the top spot. The crust, as you could imagine, is the real star. Each pizza was just so perfectly crusted with just the right texture, but with a bit more heft around the edges. They have several different topping choices to suit most palates. I particularly liked the Spicy Giardinera because it's so different than the usual taste profiles you might imagine. The Thai pizza was also a deliciously unique combination of flavors. The Sweet Onion Marmalade combined savory with sweet and added decadence with bourbon cherries and bleu cheese. Really, you can't go wrong with any of the pizzas they offer and you'll taste the nuances in every bite. I do wish they find a way to have evening hours so the pizza were more accessible but in the meantime, I found everything they did to be of high quality.
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Re: MozzaPi brings bread maker’s art to remarkable pizza

by Robin Garr » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:03 am

Thanks for the report, Jeff. Now you've got me thinking about those classes. :) I'm also eager for them to start opening for dinner soon ...
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Re: MozzaPi brings bread maker’s art to remarkable pizza

by BevP » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:37 pm

After reading your review of MozzaPi I spoke to my son Matt, who has been looking for a new position in baking. I thought he should talk to these folks as I thought he would be a great fit with his experience and his hard work ethic,( I am his Mom ,what can I say) To make a long story short he did contact them , had an interview and starts as a probationary employee next week. I think Matt will do well for them and thanks Robin for bringing this wonderful establishment to our attention.
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Re: MozzaPi brings bread maker’s art to remarkable pizza

by Robin Garr » Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:09 am

That's wonderful, Bev! Best wishes to Matt as he takes his next steps in his baking career. I'm glad we were able to be a catalyst for that. :)

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