How you doin’? With some extra time on my hands I started going through old computer files. We use a program called Worldox. It is an excellent shareable filing system that tracks down even the oldest and most obscure files. When we first installed Worldox (over 20 years ago) we transferred all our files over to the new program. Last week I “rediscovered” all my old Pizza Hut files. Perspectives was a consultant to the company for many years.
Pizza Hut was founded in June 1958 by two Wichita State University students, brothers Dan and Frank Carney, as a single location in Wichita, Kansas. Six months later they opened a second outlet and within a year they had six Pizza Hut restaurants. The boys began franchising in 1959. Back then a pizza parlor outside of New York City was a rarity. They went to their mom and borrowed $600 renting a small building near downtown Wichita and purchasing secondhand equipment to make pizzas. The Carneys opened the first Pizza Hut and were off to the races. By 1966, Pizza Hut franchise units had grown to 145. Frank claimed that he and the Pizza Hut system had made over 500 millionaires.
In the early days of Pizza Hut, the pizzas—crust, sauce and topping—had a distinct New York halo. A lot has changed at the hut since the early days as the company grew and mainstreamed their offerings. The pizzas are not any better or worse, they’re just different. If you are still yearning for the flavor of the original red roof version… here is a hack of the crust recipe, circa 1959. It’s kind of easy to make and provides an excellent platform for a great pizza sauce, cheese and toppings—I have always been a double pepperoni guy, myself.
Frank Carney and I worked on several projects together—Applegate’s Landing (casual dining Italian anchored by pizza); Solo’s (a fast drive-thru mini 5-inch pizza concept), Chi-Chi’s (casual dining Mexican food) and China Rose (themed casual dining Asian food). This was always against the background of our relationship from the original Red Roof Pizza Huts. Frank… thanks for the memories.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Proof time: 60 to 90 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (previously sifted and measured)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper, find grind
1 packet dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (no higher than 110⁰ F)
2 tablespoons lard, melted (that’s authentic)
1/4 cup whole milk
ChefSecret: You say you don’t have the time to make the crust—too much trouble; takes too long??? Try the following crustless short-cut recipe to make an entrée-worthy hot pizza dip.
Short Cut Pizza Dip
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
8-oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, divided
1-1/2 cups (6-oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup (4-oz.) finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup pizza or marinara sauce (I prefer Rao’s)
20 pepperoni slices (about 2 ounces, optional)
Stuff to dip with: sliced baguette, toast rounds, pita chips, flatbreads, crackers, bagel chips, or tortilla chips
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: Just a quick question… So, to enter stores now, do I need a face mask or a brick? 2020 is so confusing.
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©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., 2020
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