First Blog entry: Olive bread, some pizza and a broken toe
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:
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".
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.
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!