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News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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Bread: Overnight Multi-Purpose Dough

Del.icio.us bread feed - February 5, 2015 - 1:09pm
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Cracker-crust pizza: you’ll need this French dowel rolling pin giveaway

Artisan Bread in 5 - February 5, 2015 - 12:26pm

This pizza is so thin and crackly that light shines through it!  It’s much easier to achieve perfection with this Tuscan specialty than you might think. You will need a good rolling pin, and the good folks at JK Adams in Vermont have a terrific French dowel rolling pin that we like (especially the thinner 1 1/2″ model), and they’re providing five of them  to give away in a drawing here. We prefer these tapered handle-less pins to the handled straight rollered versions–seems that you get better control of thinly-rolled items…

To enter the drawing for the rolling pin: anyone posting a comment to this post will automatically be entered–we’re giving away one of these pins to five lucky winners. Contest closes and winners will be selected seven days after this original post. Usual rules apply (we’ll need your e-mail to notify you, we’ll only ship to a U.S. address, only one entry allowed, and you must respond within 24 hours if you’re a winner).

Everyone knows that cracker-crust pizza needs to be stretched and rolled really, really thin in order to get a crunchy and super-thin result.  But before you even start with that, two things to do:

  1. Pre-heat your oven for 30 minutes or longer, with a glazed or unglazed baking stone in the bottom third of the oven, and use the highest heat your oven allows (for me that’s 550 degrees F). It actually takes my stone about 40 minutes to completely preheat–guaranteeing a great crust.
  2. Prepare all your toppings before you start stretching the dough:  Otherwise the dough will glue itself to the pizza peel while it’s waiting to be topped and you’ll never get it into the oven.  Today I used a smooth and thick but plain tomato sauce (less than 1/4-cup), and about 1.5 ounces of fresh mozzarella.  Cracker-crust pizzas need very little topping– if you use lots, it won’t crisp and the whole thing may turn to porridge.

In Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day, our cracker-crust pizzas call for a dough-round that’s only 1/16-inch of an inch thick. Maybe there’s someone out there who can do that with their bare hands, but I can’t. I need a rolling pin, and I’ve come to love the handle-less French milled rolling pins, which give you better control in this situation (the JK Adams model in this giveaway is a beauty, milled from super-hard maple). Use a small ball, about 4 ounces (peach-sized) of refrigerated dough from one of our recipes. You need “lean” dough here (those not enriched with eggs and lots of sweetener) from our books: white dough, or the whole-grain are just two examples, see the books for more. Using some whole grain makes it easier to get very thin–plain white dough is the most difficult to stretch because of its gluten-strength. If you use a large ball, you’ll have a very hard time getting it this thin:

(You don’t really have to weigh it, but it can be nice when you’re learning).  Briefly shape it into a ball as in our other posts, and if you have time, let the ball rest under plastic wrap or an overturned bowl at room temperature for up to 60 minutes; that will make it relax and be easier to roll out.  So start with the rolling pin and your fingers…

It’s pretty easy to get it to 1/4-inch thick, and then 1/8-inch.  But for my ball of dough today, it needed to get to a diameter of about 14 inches in order for the thickness to be down to 1/16-inch…

Use plenty of flour…

Getting it to 1/16-inch takes a bit of perseverance.  Some tricks:

  1. If it just won’t “relax” and thin out, cover the partially-stretched dough-round with plastic wrap and give the gluten five or ten minutes to relax.
  2. Use the dough’s own stickiness to force it thin:  although you’ll need to dust with lots of flour, allow it to stick to your work surface a little. That pins it down and allows the work surface to oppose its natural tendency to shrink back into its thicker self.
  3. Use a dough scraper: It’s very difficult to make cracker crust without one, because this dough will try to stick to the work surface, and as I say, you want a little of that.  But periodically “un-stick” it, like so:

As you gather it up in your other hand, you can see that the top surface is going to need lots of dusting flour.  Don’t be stingy with it; most of it will fall off as you work with it. You know you’re getting close when the dough is looking paper-thin, and draping your hands like a glove:

When you get to 1/16-inch thickness, place the dough-round onto a pizza peel dusted with flour.  Periodically shake the peel to be sure that you’re not sticking.  Start with the sauce; you can use a spoon, but a pastry brush is quite handy for the thin coating of sauce that’s called for here:

… OK, maybe a little more than that, but don’t overdo it:

In our pizza book, our cracker-crust pizzas don’t call for the big cheese chunks that work so nicely on Neapolitan-thickness pizza– go for grated cheese if you’re using commercial mozzarella, or small pieces of fresh mozzarella as in these pictures (you really can’t grate the fresh stuff, it just disintegrates). And not so much– 1.5 ounces is enough here:

… so you’re spacing the cheese a little. Now slide it onto the pre-heated stone (more on that technique in the book).  Hopefully the 30-minutes preheat was enough, but if you’re not getting the crispiness you like, next time preheat for up to an hour:

In my oven, which runs hot (and I’m never getting that fixed), this was ready in 5 minutes.  If your oven runs cooler, you’ll need more time, but check early– this is thin stuff and you don’t want it burning. Check your oven with a thermometer or it can be challenging to get the crispiness you want. A little scorching is OK– see the blackened bits on the underside and at the edge, and yes, the light should shine through it:

Give my regards to Siena!

RUMSON: A LUCKY FIRST IRISH SODA BREAD - redbankgreen

Google News Bread Feed - February 5, 2015 - 7:02am

redbankgreen

RUMSON: A LUCKY FIRST IRISH SODA BREAD
redbankgreen
But then came a “frantic” call from Pete Hogan informing her that her bread won the competition, judged by Phil Deffina, executive chef at David Burke Fromagerie. “The chef just awarded your bread first place. He's making this big deal about your Irish ...

Categories: News

A taste of history: 125-year-old sourdough 'starter' has been good to area ... - Naples Daily News

Google News Bread Feed - February 4, 2015 - 6:51pm

Naples Daily News

A taste of history: 125-year-old sourdough 'starter' has been good to area ...
Naples Daily News
There's something heavenly about the aroma of fresh sourdough bread coming out of the oven. A world of fast food and microwave meals stops — and salivates — over hearty bread done the old-fashioned way. At 91, Charlie Zebrowski has been making ...

Google News
Categories: News

Stop & Shop recalls bread because soy not listed on ingredient label - MassLive.com

Google News Bread Feed - February 4, 2015 - 3:51pm

Stop & Shop recalls bread because soy not listed on ingredient label
MassLive.com
QUINCY — Stop & Shop removed from sale select lots of Joseph's bread products which may contain soy, an allergen that is not listed on the ingredient label, following a recall by Middle East Bakery Inc. The product is safe to consume for individuals ...

Categories: News

Bread products recalled for unlisted soy allergen - Providence Eyewitness News

Google News Bread Feed - February 4, 2015 - 3:38pm

Providence Eyewitness News

Bread products recalled for unlisted soy allergen
Providence Eyewitness News
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Stop & Shop Supermarket Company has pulled certain Joseph's bread products from shelves after a recall reported by Middle East Bakery, Inc. The products are said to contain soy, an allergen which is not marked on the ingredients list.

Categories: News

5 places for free bread in Phoenix - azcentral.com

Google News Bread Feed - February 4, 2015 - 3:05pm

azcentral.com

5 places for free bread in Phoenix
azcentral.com
Many restaurants are charging for bread, but here are five Phoenix places where you can still get a free slice. Loading… Post to Facebook. 5 places for free bread in Phoenix Many restaurants are charging for bread, but here are five Phoenix places ...

and more »
Categories: News

Rosca de Reyes Bread Contaminated with Synthetic Marijuana - Food Poisoning Bulletin

Google News Bread Feed - February 4, 2015 - 2:07pm

Food Poisoning Bulletin

Rosca de Reyes Bread Contaminated with Synthetic Marijuana
Food Poisoning Bulletin
More than 30 people were sickened in January 2015 after eating Rosca de Reyes bread produced at Cholula's Bakery in Santa Ana, California. The bread is also known as King Cake and is made with candied fruit and a baby Jesus figurine. It is eaten as ...

Categories: News

Great Harvest offering free loaves of bread in honor of U.S. 250 Bypass event - The Daily Progress

Google News Bread Feed - February 4, 2015 - 2:06pm

Great Harvest offering free loaves of bread in honor of U.S. 250 Bypass event
The Daily Progress
To celebrate the opening of the U.S. 250 Bypass at McIntire Road, Great Harvest Bread Company in Charlottesville will be offering a free loaf of its Honey Whole-Wheat bread to everyone visiting the bakery after Thursday's ribbon-cutting event and all ...

and more »
Categories: News

Bread (Whole-Wheat, of Course) May Really Be the Staff of Life - Huffington Post

Google News Bread Feed - February 4, 2015 - 9:14am

Bread (Whole-Wheat, of Course) May Really Be the Staff of Life
Huffington Post
A quick scan of Internet postings, books, media reports and testimonials will convince anyone that approaching a loaf of bread holds the same danger as getting near a hungry crocodile. Variations of this theme include, that if you eat that slice of ...

Categories: News

Trader Joe's pita bread recalled because it may contain undeclared soy - Syracuse.com

Google News Bread Feed - February 4, 2015 - 4:58am

Syracuse.com

Trader Joe's pita bread recalled because it may contain undeclared soy
Syracuse.com
Syracuse, N.Y. -- Pita bread sold at Trader Joe's stores is being recalled because it may contain undeclared soy which could cause a serious or life-threatening reaction in people allergic to soy. The bread is being recalled by Middle East Bakery, Inc ...
Middle East Bakery recalls Joseph's bread products and Trader Joe's pita productsConsumerAffairs
Bakery recalls bread products due to undeclared soy ingredientsTurn to 10
Yorktown, Somers Consumers: Recall for Some Joseph's and Trader Joe's ...Patch.com
Outbreak News Today -EIN News (press release)
all 25 news articles »
Categories: News

Raise a toast to perfectly golden, custardy bread - HeraldNet

Google News Bread Feed - February 4, 2015 - 2:59am

HeraldNet

Raise a toast to perfectly golden, custardy bread
HeraldNet
Once the soaking mixture is in place and settles into the bread, one side of each slice is coated with crushed brown rice cereal and a glimmer of cinnamon sugar. Out of the skillet, then, comes French toast memorable for its custardy richness and ...

and more »
Categories: News

Salvation Army Bed & Bread program helping Detroiters in need - WXYZ

Google News Bread Feed - February 3, 2015 - 3:47pm

WXYZ

Salvation Army Bed & Bread program helping Detroiters in need
WXYZ
(WXYZ) - There is nothing like a hot drink on a cold day, especially for a lot of kids out of school. The Salvation Army's Bed & Bread Program is offering that along with hot soup and a sandwich to anyone who needs a good meal in the cold weather. One ...

Categories: News

instagram.com

Del.icio.us bread feed - February 3, 2015 - 6:45am
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instagram.com

Del.icio.us bread feed - February 3, 2015 - 6:45am
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Cornell University - Search Cornell

Del.icio.us bread feed - February 2, 2015 - 5:14pm
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5 places for free bread in the northeast Valley - azcentral.com

Google News Bread Feed - February 2, 2015 - 4:17pm

azcentral.com

5 places for free bread in the northeast Valley
azcentral.com
Many restaurants are charging for bread, but here are five northeast Valley places where you can still get a free slice. Loading… Post to Facebook. 5 places for free bread in the northeast Valley Many restaurants are charging for bread, but here are ...

and more »
Categories: News

Milk Bread - The Woks of Life

Del.icio.us bread feed - February 2, 2015 - 12:40pm
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