Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring fling pizza

To celebrate the end of asparagus season (in our garden, that is), I made this colorful as spring-y red and green asparagus, double-smoked bacon, and goat cheese pizza. I refrigerated the dough overnight, but in a pinch, you can use it the same day -- just don't refrigerate, or refrigerate briefly. If you don't have sourdough or levain on hand for the crust, increase the flour and water by 80 g each and the yeast to 3/4 teaspoon. Or even better, build a levain following the instructions on my website.
Makes 2 12-inch pizzas  - use one for this recipe, freeze the other for future use or another pie.
  • 274 g all-purpose flour
  • 48 g whole wheat flour
  • 161 g levain
  • 200 g water
  • 9 g salt
  • 1/4 teas instant yeast
  • 1 teas olive oil
  1. Mix all ingredients and let sit, covered with a dish towel, for 25-30 minutes. 
  2. Knead by hand for about 6 minutes if using a levain, about 12 if not.
  3. Place in container misted with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap (also sprayed), and place in refrigerator overnight.
  4. Remove from fridge about 3 hours before baking.
  5. At least 1 hour before baking, place a pizza stone into oven on top shelf, and preheat to 500 degrees F.
  6. Divide in half, form a ball, let the dough sit, covered, for about 10 minutes to relax, then form the pizzas. (If only making one pie, freeze the other ball of dough at this point.)
  • 6 or so asparagus
  • 1/4 pound double-smoked bulk bacon
  • 1/4 pound fresh goat cheese
  • A few tablespoons of grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  1. Cut the asparagus on the bias into about 2-inch pieces and toss with 1 Tbl olive oil
  2. Cut the bacon into half-inch cubes, saute until cooked halfway through
  3. Crumble the goat cheese into chunks.
Assembly and cooking
  1. Brush the crust lightly with olive oil, top with asparagus, cheeses, and bacon.
  2. Place onto pizza stone, bake until crust is brown on the edges, about 5-8 minutes, depending on your oven.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

See my cover story of the American artisan bread movement, and how I translated it to my kitchen, in the May issue of Saveur magazine. Also, some great recipes by Dan Leader (Bread Alone).

Here's a crumb:

I was at a French conversation class in New Jersey recently, and a poor soul who didn’t speak French, having been dragged there by his wife, had taken refuge in the back row. The teacher asked each of us introduce ourselves, and when my turn came I said, in my fractured French, that I enjoyed baking bread.

“Pain au levain?” came a voice from the back of the class.

“I thought you didn’t speak French,” another student said in disbelief.

“Not a word! But bread I know!”

That’s when I knew the artisan bread movement had arrived.


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