Thursday, October 29, 2009

Experiments







The big event is Pizza night Friday nights. Pizza is and always should be with a capital P. I am constantly trying to out geek myself and last week I think I did it, so this week there is a lot of pressure on me.


I have spent the last five years becoming more and more obsessed with this culinary treat, one that most people don't think of as a gourmet food, true there has been a revival of late with fancy obscure toppings but what about the grass roots? Simple, classic, and clean flavour? Crust, Sauce, Cheese with minimal adornment. For that reason we do two types, the classic margarita and a fennel salami, but this blog is about the crust - this is the vehicle.


Pizza has an immediacy to it, the first bite, hot from the oven. It has a slight crunch, not crisp like a cracker but nearly. The texture should give slightly but have some chew. The flavour should be subtle with a slight tang and there should be air. My first recipe for pizza dough was simply yeast, salt, water and flour. It still is, but because I learned to crawl before I could walk, I can now run.


Experiment after experiment I have finally come up with a base recipe that works for me, so now I can play with it. One of our friends joined the first grain CSA in our area and share some of the product with us. I am trying two separate batches with two different whole wheat grains- a Hard Red Winter and a Hard Red Spring Wheat. Tomorrow night will be the Winter slowly fermenting in the refrigerator and next week the Spring safely stored in the freezer.

 photos by me

The dough was a minor disaster- but not major enough that it couldn't be fix by time. I allowed another day of resting and rising and it made an adequate crust. I now have some experience and can make adjustments  next time.

1 comment:

  1. The whole wheat flour rendered the dough denser and heavier then with regular unbleached flour, after the first rise (took all day) I punched down the dough and returned it to my fridge to try again the next day. I didn't out-geek myself except for the ingredients. The crust was chewier then desired. I will attempt my recipe again next week with a lower proportion of whole wheat flour. I want to continue to use local ingredients.

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