Artisan Pizza Class at Beechwood Inn – North Georgia

Artisan Pizza Class at Beechwood Inn – North Georgia: Libby and Piage enjoyed a “Ladies Day Out” at Beechwood Inn. They learned to make rustic pizza and savory tarts and then enjoyed dinner with a glass of wine. Cooking classes are a great way to get together with family and friends.

Artisan Pizza Class at Beechwood Inn – North Georgia

Pizza and Tart Class Menu:

Paige & Libby Cooking Class 

Amuse: Smoked Trout Cakes with Lemon Scented Aioli

Salad: Organic Micro-Greens with Aged Sherry Vinaigrette

Entrée: Pizza and Tart Medley

Dessert: Rose Petal and Raspberry Sorbet


Smoked Trout Cakes with Lemon Scented Aioli

Trout Cake

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons minced scallion greens

1 Shallot Minced

1 Clove Garlic Minced

1 tablespoon capers, drain & chopped

2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges, for serving

Freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

1/2 pound boneless smoked trout fillet, skin removed and trout flaked (2 cups)


1 cup panko

¼ cup olive oil


½ cup flour

Two eggs beaten well


¼ mayonnaise

1 teaspoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Minced Garlic Clove

Dash or Two Hot Sauce

In a large bowl, mix the mayonnaise with the lightly beaten egg, scallion greens, shallots, garlic, capers, Old Bay, Dijon mustard, parsley, lemon juice and pepper. Add the smoked trout and fold to combine. Fold in just enough Panko to make the mixture sticky, about 1/2 cup. (I run my Panko through the Vita Prep for about 10 seconds to reduce the size of the crumbs).

Place the remaining Panko, the flour and the two mixed eggs in separate shallow bowls. Form the trout mixture into eight 1-inch-thick cakes. First coat them in flour, then dip in the egg wash and finally coat each of them in Panko.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the cakes to the skillet and cook over moderate high heat, turning once, until browned and heated through, about 6 minutes. Transfer the trout cakes to paper towels to drain and then transfer to serving plates.

For the Aioli, mix ingredients together until emulsified.

Serve the Smoked Trout Cakes with a bowl of the Aioli on the side.

Pizza Margherita

Thin, crisp crusts like this one are the hallmarks of much of Italy’s pizza. Another vital element is not overloading the pie with toppings; less is definitely more on pizza. This dough goes together quickly and can be used after a single rising. If time is very short, blend, knead, rest for 30 minutes, and roll out.

Surprisingly, we’ve found because of the extra-thin crust and spare toppings, these pizzas actually reheat remarkably well, so cooking ahead by several hours is an option.

Makes 2 10 to 11-inch pizzas


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water (110ºF)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup lukewarm water (110ºF)
1/2 teaspoon salt


To make a sponge, combine 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water, yeast and 1/4 cup of the flour in a large bowl. Let stand for 20 minutes until it bubbles up. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup lukewarm water and salt. Stir together with a wooden spoon to mix the dough thoroughly. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is soft yet still very moist. Oil a bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it over to coat it with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap tightly and a towel and put in a warm place, at least 70º to 75ºF. Let it rise for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.

Pizza Toppings:

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Sauce:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

5 cloves whole garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife

2 Red Peppers

1 pound tomatoes, about 1 cup, peeled, seeded and chopped, fresh or canned

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup grated Parmagiano Reggiano

20 large basil leaves, cut into thin strips


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 medium onion, minced

½ pound local sausage or pepperoni

1 large clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary

1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

3 ounces fresh shredded mozzarella

2 ounces shredded parmesan

2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper and salt

For the sauce, roast the peppers under the broiler until the skin is dark brown all over and toasty. Immediately place the peppers in a sealed container to steam. When cool enough to handle rinse the peppers peel off the toasted skin. Place the peppers in a Vita Prep with 1 can crushed tomatoes and process until smooth.

Warm the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook stirring frequently, until light golden, about 3 minutes. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and discard. Reduce the heat to medium low; add the pepper and tomato sauce and cook just until nice and thick, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

More Variations: Sparingly is the operative word here. Use any of the following flavorings, but only enough to flavor, not overwhelm: Sliced red onion, pitted olives, pepperoni, anchovy, sliced mushrooms, steamed broccoli or cauliflower, salami, prosciutto, pancetta, roasted peppers, shrimp, cooked Italian sausage, hot pepper, fresh herbs such as marjoram, oregano, mint, garlic, rosemary, or sage.

Thirty minutes before baking, place a pizza stone or unglazed quarry tiles on the bottom shelf of the oven and set the oven temperature to 450°F.

Punch down the dough. On a floured surface, divide the dough into 2 pieces and form into balls. Roll 1 piece into a 10-inch circle, 3/8 inch thick. Transfer to a heavily floured pizza peel. Spread half of the tomato sauce on top of the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Add torn basil. Add any other ingredients you chose. Slide the pizza onto the pizza stone and bake until golden and crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Prepare the second pizza. 

Goat Cheese and Vidalia Onion and Olive Galette with Capra Gia Cheeses

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour chilled in the freezer
½ cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled in the freezer
1/3 to 1/2 cup ice water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 Vidalia onions thinly sliced

2 cloves minced garlic
5 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces ricotta cheese
¾ cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
¼ cup Crème Fraiche or Plain Greek Yoghurt
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Place the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse until half of the butter clumps are the size of peas and the rest are a little larger. Transfer to a mixer and using the paddle and add a little water at a time until the mixture forms into a ball.

Handle the dough as little as possible so as not to warm the butter. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle and trim the edges. Place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment and refrigerate.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the vidalia onions. Cook until soft and lightly browned, 30 – 45 minutes then add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Mix together the goat cheese, ricotta, mozzarella, Crème Fraiche, and ½ the parmesan. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator. Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge uncovered. Spread the onion evenly over the top of the cheese. Fold the uncovered edge of the pastry over the cheese. The filling will be exposed in the center. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, and then slide the galette off the pan and onto a serving plate. Alternatively, slide the galette onto a cutting board. Let rest 5 minutes and then cut into pieces.

Garlic-Shallot Vinaigrette

Ingredients for the Garlic Shallot Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons diced shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup high quality aged sherry vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Raspberry Rose Petal Raspberry Sorbet

2 cups fresh raspberries

½ cup sugar

1 tsp cup fresh squeezed lime juice

½ teaspoon Guar Gum

2 tablespoons rose petal water

Run the raspberries through a Vita Prep until liquefied. Pass the juice through a fine mesh screen while scraping with a spoon. Heat the juice in a sauce pan with the sugar until dissolved. Add the rose petal water and lime juice. Transfer the juice to a container and refrigerate until cold. Put the ingredients in an ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer instructions. Put in sealed container in the freezer to harden for 2 hours or over-night. Serve with thin slices of organic rose petals as a garnish.

Authors Note: How to Make Your own Rosewater: Use aromatic roses. Pick freshly opened flowers in the early morning or in the cool part of the day. Make sure they have not been sprayed with pesticides. Detach the petals and place them in a bowl or strainer and rinse well. When detaching rose petals, pull gently as they bruise easily. Fill a pot with clean rose petals. Pour boiling water over and cover with a lid. Allow to stand. Place the cooled mixture in the refrigerator overnight. Strain. You’ll have a beautifully colored liquid that you can use in recipes that call for the addition of rosewater. Pour leftover liquid into ice cube trays and freeze. Store ice cubes in a plastic bag for future use. Thaw the cubes each time you need rose-flavored liquid.

Artisan Pizza Class at Beechwood Inn – North Georgia