The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Pizza

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JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Working from home has its disadvantages: it's all too easy to blur work into home-life, you're somewhat isolated from co-workers, and it's tempting to try to do chores when work is slow.

But bread baking poses no problems at all. Most of bread baking, especially when you use the stretch and fold method to develop dough instead of traditional kneading, consists of 2-3 minute bursts of activity separated by long periods of waiting. The trouble, of course, is that the timing of those little bursts of activity is really, really important. Working from home, the kitchen is always just a few steps away from my computer, and doing the work of making bread takes about as much time as going to fetch a fresh cup of coffee.

Lately, I've been doing a lot of sourdough baking, even when the bread itself isn't truly a sourdough bread. For instance, here's my results from baking Peter Reinhart's Mash Bread, from his new (and fabulous) book, Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads.





The sweetness of the bread was really surprising, and I was astonished by how much oven spring I got. It's easily the best I've ever gotten from a 100% whole grain bread. Unfortunately, I was in a hurry and didn't let the sourdough mature fully, so the flavor was less than I'd expected. In short, sweet, but bland. I'm eager to try it again, though, and next time I'll let the sourdough fully ripen, which is especially important, since the sourdough is used almost exclusively for flavoring rather than leavening. If you want to make this bread, I'd suggest heading over to Bill Wraith's excellent write-up.

I had some starter left over, so I made up some sourdough pizza dough -- two of the doughballs went in the freezer, while the others went into the fridge so that I could make them up for dinner the next night. Probably two of the best pizzas I've made. A woman at the Corvallis Farmer's Market was selling wild chantrelle mushrooms, so I got some, sauteed them in a bit of butter, and plopped them on the pizza. They were great, along with some black olives and turkey-chicken sausage:



The crust was nice and holey!



Here's how I made it:

Formula

  • Whole wheat flour: 50%
  • AP flour: 50%
  • Water: 80%
  • Salt: 2%
  • Olive oil: 5%
  • 15% of the flour is pre-fermented as starter
Recipe (2 crusts):
  • Whole wheat starter (75% hydration): 100 grams
  • Whole wheat flour: 130 grams
  • AP flour: 180 grams
  • Water: 250 grams
  • Olive oil: 18 grams
  • Salt: 7 grams

Mix the water and the starter, and mush it all up with your fingers until it's a soupy mess. Add the salt and the oil, mix again, and then add the flour. Let it sit, covered, for 1 hour and then give it a stretch and fold. Do two more folds spaced 30 minutes to an hour apart. Let it ferment a total of 4-5 hours at room temperature (about 68-70 degrees F), and then divide into two. Shape each lump of dough into a tight ball, pop them into plastic bags, and put them in the fridge if you plan to use within the next 3 days. Otherwise, put them in the freezer, where they'll keep for at least one month. When you're ready to make the pizza, let the dough sit out for about 2 hours if it was in the fridge, 4 hours if in the freezer. Shape, top and bake on a stone preheated for about an hour in an oven at the highest setting possible. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Last, my standby: whole wheat sourdough sandwich bread.



Always tasty, always reliable.

Next on my agenda: some of those potato-onion-rye rolls from Peter's book!
KipperCat's picture

Oops! Forgot the salt

August 21, 2007 - 10:08pm -- KipperCat

Today I took my large amount of accumulated starter out of the fridge, and made pizza dough with it. I rolled out one for tonight's dinner, and put 4 balls in the fridge. It was only as I rolled out the first one that I realized I hadn't added salt to the dough. I added extra salt to the sauce and salted the baked pizza as well. All things considered, it wasn't too bad. But I'd like to get the salt in the dough for the remaining ones. Any suggestions?

beenjamming's picture
beenjamming

So for a while I've been meaning to start documenting my baking a little better, and contribute a bit more to this wonderful site, and today! today is the day.

This weekend I had three buddies from Rochester come down to ithaca to visit for the weekend, and I had some more friends over and I pounded out half a dozen pizzas. I had some serious doubts that my apartments rickety half-size oven was up to the task. Turns out the bugger gets up to a solid 550F and is fantastic for pizza (though it heats kinda unevenly, but nothing a mid-bake spin can't fix). My camera batteries were dead or i'd share some pictures but for fun, here's the lineup: 2 Margherita, 2 Chicken Wing(fried chicken tossed in franks red hot, sharp cheddar, low moisture mozz, danish blue and a few dots of roasted garlic), 1 roasted tri-color pepper pesto pie and 1 sauted mushroom and roasted garlic pie. Those last couple had healthy dollops of herbed riccota, fresh cow's milk mozz, parmigiano and all the pie were on top of Reinhart's neo-neopolitan dough with an extra tablespoon of honey. Far as i'm concerned, that's about the easiest to handle and best tasting pizza dough i've ever had. Here's a pic of an older pie, white pizza with tomatoes:

white with tomatoes

This afternoon I also put my young starter to the test and mixed up a batch of thom leonard's kalamata olive bread from Glezer's "Artisan Baking".

tlkob

I took a few liberties, which is to say I didn't listen to ms maggie when she told me to mail order olives, and I used a smalled percentage of ripe oil-cured olives to replace the softer kalamatas she calls for. Loaves turned out pretty well...the crumb is a bit dense and the loaves sourness isn't terribly pronounced. I've been having some issues keeping my starter sour. It was very sour initially, but one miserably hot week later its sweeter and much less potent. I've been feeding it with ice water (lowering the temp to promote acetic acid, not sure if it's working) and trying to catch and feed it before it smells even faintly alcoholic in order to bring back it's potency (it's smelling less sweet and has got a little tang back). Any suggestions on this front would be really appreciated.

crumb

 

As for the crumb issues, I think i could have let the dough proof a little longer and i also forgot to fold it until the 2nd hour of fermentation. I rushed the proofing a bit in a frustrated fit after I tripped over my still unpacked slow cooker in my bedroom floor and broke my pinky toe. It had been a bit to long since a mid-baking injury occured. i suppose i was due, haha.

I was pleased with how everything turned out and have to say that buying glezer's book was probably the best decision i've made since getting bba. Absolutley gorgeous pictures and warming baker profiles. I highly recommend it to any fellow intermediate baker. This following weekend I'll be in NJ, but there'll be plenty more bread on the way this week (i'm planning a roasted garlic/asiago cheese ciabatta, a saranac b&t loaf with caraway and onions, and maybe some pane siliciano). take it easy everyone!

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I'm having a good, relaxing weekend here. I hope y'all are doing well too.

Inspired by LilDice's quick rustic pizza, I made pizza last night. I didn't follow the rustic pizza recipe exactly, but I did use a dough with around 90% hydration. I made it around noon and folded at 2 and 4, then baked it around 6.

The results were really good. I did one pesto pie:

green pizza

And one with tomatoes, cheese, basil, olive oil, and garlic. Lildice: how can you forget the garlic?!? ;^)

red pizza

a whole pizza pie

basil

crust

Real nice open crust. Much more sturdy that the neo-Neopolitan dough I usually use and which required the nose to be folded up, NY pizza style. I'm not sure I prefer one over the other, they are just different kinds of pies.

Blueberries are here. I made blueberry muffins this morning. And a batch of banana nut muffins too, while I was at it.

muffins

I've still got another day to bake. Methinks my sourdough starter is feeling left out, so I'll have to do something to entertain it.

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Even in the midst of moving, a family’s got to eat. And with the beautiful summer weather we’ve been having in New England (70 degrees F, sunny, low humidity – ah, New England, I’m gonna miss ya), I’ve been cooking an awful lot on the grill, and I finally got around to making grilled pizza. Of course, I did it with whole wheat.

I don’t have the recipe in front of me, but if there’s interest, I’ll add it in the comments sometime later. All I can say is, Peter Reinhart’s advice in American Pie is easy to follow, and makes a fantastic pie. It’s surprisingly simple to do.

To make the pie whole wheat, I simply increased the amount of water by about 2-3 Tbs per cup. I downsized the recipe to make just two pies, and smaller ones at that. A 12-15 inch pie would be too large to fit on one side of the grill, which was a necessity, since I was using the one-grill method.

The key, it seems to me, really is to rake almost all the coals to one side so that there’s a blazing hot side and relatively cool side. I shaped my pies in a rough oval, because they fit better that way, but they got deformed because, even though I slathered the back of my baking sheet with olive oil, it was still not an easy task getting the dough off the sheet and onto the grill.

I was a little too worried about burning the dough. I could have left the second pie on the grill a little bit longer and gotten a better crust. But who’s complaining? It was excellent! For cheese, I used a 50-50 mozzarella-parmesan blend, and then added dollops of goat cheese. Toppings were roasted tomatoes, roasted red bell peppers and dollops of basil pesto.



We’ll be making these again.

Friday night, I’d started refreshing Arthur, my whole wheat starter, at 1-5-5, and did so again on Saturday morning, so by Saturday night, I had about 550 grams of starter at 100%. I decided to set up three things:

  • Whole wheat sourdough hearth bread: 88% hydration with 5% of the flour pre-fermented as starter
  • Whole wheat sourdough sandwich bread: 85% hydration with 10% of the flour pre-fermented
  • Sourdough whole wheat English Muffins: I used this recipe for Sourdugh English Muffins, substituting whole wheat flour for the AP flour and adding 2 Tbs more milk. I used only 2 cups flour for the entire recipe. Good Lord these are easy!


When I woke up, I used what has come to be called “the French Fold” on both breads, and then set about making the English muffins. Did I mention that these are easy? And delicious?

Here they are set on the breakfast table:




And here’s one opened up. I was very pleased with the spongy interior!



I rolled these out a little thin, but they were still lovely. Plus I got 15 muffins, instead of just 12. Next time around, I’ll keep them thicker, though.

Here’s the whole wheat sourdough hearth bread we had for dinner. I was rushed when shaping, so I didn’t preshape and was a little rough. You can see the results in the crumb – not nearly as open as I’d like, but still good for dinner.



We had the bread with a delicious and quick-to-make asparagus-spinich pesto over whole wheat linguini and a white bean and spinach salad. (I like 101 Cookbooks a lot, and her cookbook, Super Natural Cooking, is very good, but she uses a lot of exotic, hard-to-find ingredients. For the salad dressing, I just used some lemon zest, plain olive oil and cider vinegar, and it turned out fine.)

Last, the sandwich bread. I let it ferment a bit too long, but it nevertheless turned out just fine, if a little on the sour side (which my wife says is a feature, not a bug). The blur you see is my daughter’s hand grabbing the slice mid-shot. She’s a growing girl, what can I say?

pudnpie's picture

Reinhart American Pie book

June 8, 2007 - 5:42am -- pudnpie
Forums: 

Hi - both me and a friend have ordered this book from different souces and both have turned up with ragged outside edges to the pages. It's like the pages didn't separate during manufacture and they have been ripped apart by hand. It seemed a bit of coincidence. Is there any chance that the book was supposed to be that way!? Or perhaps there's just a faulty batch floating round the UK.

Aelric's picture

Americas Test Kitchen Grilled Pizza

June 7, 2007 - 7:03pm -- Aelric

I spent a few months looking for a good grilled pizza recipe awhile back. I eventually stumbled upon a version by Americas Test Kitchen, which actually turned out pretty darn good. It took me awhile to convince my wife and kids that I could make a pizza on my gas grill, but that didn't stop them from eating it. :) Actually, everybody I've mentioned it to is skeptical about it. Not sure if they doubt my skills or the concept in general. It's a fairly straight forward recipe, but there are a couple things that can easily be modified for your tastes.

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