Kneading Conference West is a three day event held in September at the Washington State University Extension and Research facility in Mt. Vernon. It brings together bakers, plant breeders, millers, brewers and even oven builders, all with some connection to grain.Continue reading
San Juan Island area is a beautiful place to live. The locals are very friendly, it has been fun to meet new people. I attended a transportation meeting to see about road safety and bike trails. I joined a prayer group from the church I attend and I was able to help out at the local soup kitchen this week and bring some of my bread.
This month has been a pizza month in this household. Earlier I made a morphed pizza dough using both a starter (natural levain) and commercial yeast. It is featured on pizzaquest.com:
A Morphed Pizza Dough The dough is silky soft, easy to work with and makes wonderful pizza dough.
Visiting with some of my family:
I have been busy and haven’t posted or baked much lately. However I always seem to be thinking about sourdough anyway. While visiting family in California, I came upon some “California Sourdough” baked in the Midwest and shipped to the coast. I think it should have read, “Midwest Sourdough.” I decided to pass on it. I would like to find more local Artisan sourdough style breads to review.
Want a cool pizza on a hot day????
I thought maybe it would be fun to play around with dessert pizza. I have never really been fond of dessert pizza, but that might be because I only ever tried one sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. I have a great fondness for blueberries, I also like strawberries and most other kinds of berries. So I decided to make a berry cheesecake dessert pizza. The results have been very tasty!
We all love pizza, that is just the way it is! (If you don’t, don’t tell anyone, you will be deemed a suspicious person) If you like a chewy, tasty crust, you might want to add some sourdough to your dough. For this formula, I added not only 60% motherdough which had been cold fermented three days ( for the flavor and added extensibilty), but also some vigorous 100% hydration starter as well (for the yeasts).
A customer of mine has asked me to make up a sourdough pizza dough recipe. He gave me his to convert, but I felt like being creative so I …
Made a preferment at noon with (this was fermented at room temperature):
Next day at noon I poured this preferment into my mixer and added:
I mixed the dough until the ingredients were well incorporated and then let the dough autolyse for 15 minutes. Once done autolysing, I mixed the dough for another minute on low speed. The dough really looked great. I let the dough bulk ferment for another four hours and then made up the pizzas. The dough weighed 5 lb 10.6 oz and is a stiff dough at 58 % hydration although the extra oil makes it easier to work. It could have made up three large pizzas, but I let the little ones make up their own pizzas and I had some dough left over so I put it into the refrigerator to try out something tomorrow with “old dough”. I made up two large pizzas with the diameter of 16″. I was preheating the oven at 550 degrees with the baking stone two racks from the bottom. The pizza dough felt really smooth and silky, yet stretchy:
I had made up the sauce and simmered it for two hours to thicken and distribute the flavors.As for the sauce, I just winged it and added two cans of tomato sauce,some oil, a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic, some garlic salt, some onion salt and some Italian seasonings. It tasted great! My daughter prepared the toppings, which were, onions, olives, mushrooms, sausages and of course cheese. I didn’t have any Mozarella cheese, just Cheddar cheese. After I rolled out the dough some, I let it rest for a while so it could be handled easier and I could roll it the rest of the way. I made up two little pizza doughs for my little kids who don’t like anything on their pizzas 🙁 and let them put on the cheese. I baked their pizzas first :
I baked them by making sure there was plenty of Semolina under the dough and then I whisked them onto the hot pizza stone. For the larger pizzas I did something similar. I allowed the dough to raise for a while, about twenty minutes, spread oil over the top of the dough, and then I pulled, whisked, the dough onto the stone and baked it for three minutes to allow it to bubble up and set the top, after which I took it out using my nifty pizza peel ( I got one for Christmas!) and added the sauce and the toppings and then popped it back onto the stone for another 7 minutes.
(That’s burnt Semolina on the stone)
I placed the dough right onto the stone which was easy with the crust already somewhat set. Getting the raw dough onto the stone the first time was a feat though, just make sure you use plenty of semolina under the dough and it will be easy enough. By the way if the pizza bubbles up with bubbles that are too large, simply take a fork and poke the bubbles down. The pizzas were the best I had ever made and I got a lot of raves for them. They did suggest however that I didn’t exactly have it down EXACTLY right and maybe should experiment a LOT more to get it just right… 🙂
Here they are:
I really will have to experiment more with the pizza dough as it is really great to have it turn out so nice. Crisp, yet chewy, large bumpy holes, yumm! I have to thank Donald Hrascs for sharing his experiments with pizza dough with me and inspiring me to bake up pizzas tonight for dinner, my family thanks him too!