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The 5 Second Rule

A new favorite at our house, Floor Pizza.

A new favorite at our house, "Floor Pizza."

  • A new favorite at our house, Floor Pizza.
  • The 5-second rule saved the day (or dinner, rather), but I still had to apologize to the dog.

By Laurie Buckle, editor

December 10th, 2009

Until just the other night, I’d never had much luck with store-bought pizza dough. I struggled with rolling it out: The results were usually thick, misshapen and tough. But at a recent photo shoot, I learned a couple of tricks: Let the dough warm up when it first comes out of the fridge, and let it rest if it starts resisting your efforts to roll it out or shape it (for more tips, check out this great article by master baker Peter Reinhart).
With that knowledge under my belt, I had more luck; in fact, I had two good-looking pizzas in the oven, topped with little more than olive oil, some pretty good mozzarella and ricotta salata, salt and pepper. Reaching in to turn the baking sheet, I watched in horror as one them slipped off and onto the floor--cheese down. Silly me: Why didn’t I use two oven gloves? Why was I going at warp speed?

As I stood there shouting, “no, no, no, no, no,” my daughter, who’d come out of her room to ask why the dog had slinked off to the corner (but I hadn’t meant to hurt the dog’s feelings!), commented on the pizza on the floor. “Just pick it up and put it back in,” she said. “Five-second rule.”

So I did, after I’d topped it with a little more cheese, having wiped the first round of cheese up off the floor before the dog got it.

“Dinner’s ready,” I called about 10 minutes later. “What are we having then,” my daughter asked. “Floor pizza?” If there’s anything worse than a cocky cook, it has to be a teenager who’s given you some good advice.

posted in: Blogs, Pizza, Laurie Buckle, fine cooking, UnBuckled, Peter Reinhart, 5-Second Rule
Comments (9)


ChristophTBC writes: This is a fabulous story...But why be paranoid about 5 seconds. The 10 second rule is much less stressful. Posted: 11:28 pm on March 12th

Mapi writes: I've always followed that rule, agree that is good for the immune system! Posted: 9:34 pm on January 12th

EllenZC writes: As a two dogs owner, and parent of teenagers, sometimes you got to take a deep breath and laugh. I would rather eat that pizza then go to a restaurant where you don't know what's going on behind the kitchen doors. Great story!!! Posted: 5:32 pm on December 21st

Pielove writes: Ha, that is a great story! In the world of science, there is accumulating evidence that a little dirt is good for your immune system, so bring on the 5-second rule. Posted: 11:06 am on December 15th

alanbrit writes: Funny story! 5 second rule works for me! Cute Dog BTW. Posted: 10:51 am on December 12th

Emelia_Zuccheri writes: Very funny! Since everything that touched the floor stayed stuck to the floor, I'd have to say why not? If it happened in my house, my dog Micky would have caught the pizza before it even hit the floor! :O Posted: 7:58 am on December 11th

lauriebfc writes: The good news, I had just mopped the floor (prior to the little accident!) Posted: 10:05 pm on December 10th

nono writes: Yuck! No way would I serve food from a floor that a dog has walked upon! Or for that matter, any floor! Posted: 7:47 pm on December 10th

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About [Un]Buckled

As the editor of Fine Cooking, I live a food-centric life. And I don’t mean just from 9 to 5. The bigger slice of my waking hours is spent talking about food, shopping for food, cooking in and eating out. Food is what I do; could I get any luckier?

The plan for this blog is two-fold: to help me remember what I’ve eaten (because one meal too quickly fades into the next and out of memory) and to share some of the food fun. I’ll write about diner discoveries and my ice cream habit, about my stove-side mistakes (full disclosure: I’m no culinary school graduate) and my occasional successes, about meals that change my view of the world and books that take me away from it. In short, I’ll take a bite and pass my plate. There’s plenty to share.