Friday, April 30, 2010

Brussels Sprout Sourdough Pizza

The wife and I were recently in NYC and ate lunch at Motorino's East Village location. The wife had the Brussels Sprout pizza (smoked pancetta, mozzarella, garlic, pecorino). It was fantastic! Here is my attempt at recreation:

I made the dough two days in advance and then put it in the fridge. I'm using an adaptation of Jeff Varasano's recipe.

- Make sure your sourdough starter is fully active. I used mine approx 9 hours after the last feeding. A little later than I would have liked (darn job!).
- Mix 50g sourdough starter, 1/2 tsp salt, 125g bread flour, 110g water until everything is mixed together into a batter. Cover and let rest 20 minutes.
- Mix for approx 8 minutes by hand or in a mixer. During minutes 5-8, mix in an additional 45g bread flour. Cover and let rest 15 minutes.
- Transfer to floured board and shape into a ball. Let rest 10 minutes.
- Transfer to oiled container and put in fridge.

Take the dough out of the fridge approx 90 minutes before baking. Begin preheating your oven 60 minutes before baking. I set my oven to to highest it will go, usually ends up being 500-525.

I only recently cooked Brussels sprouts for the first time, I boiled them using these instructions. After boiling, I cut each in half. Next time, I would probably quarter them for smaller pieces.

- Spread the dough until you have the desired thickness, I leave a little bit of a rim around the edge for the crust.

- Mix approx 1 tbsp of olive oil with 1/2 tsp minced garlic. Spead this on the dough as you would pizza sauce.

- Add mozzarella, sprinkle some chopped/cooked bacon, add Brussels sprouts and grate some Pecorino Romano cheese over everything.

- Cook for approx 8 minutes, rotating 180 degrees half way through.

And the finished product:
And a mozzarella from the same batch:

Hey YeastSpotting, what up?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mixed Grain Sourdough

I was itching to use the Organic Grain Mix (millet, flax, corn, wheat, rye & oats) I had recently purchased from Bread Alone (my local bakery). Most of my bread baking has been with with white or whole wheat flour, so I thought it would be best to use a simple recipe for testing. I decided upon a slightly modified version of Ed Wood's "San Francisco Sourdough" recipe from Classic Sourdoughs. I used my liquid Camaldoli (Italian) culture (also from Ed Wood).
Night Before:
Combine 1/2 cup refridgerated liquid sourdough culture, 3/4 cup white flour, 1/4 cup whole grain mix, 1/2 cup water. Mix until smooth. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 hours.

Add 3/4 cup white flour, 1/4 cup whole grain mix, 1/2 cup water. Mix until smooth. Cover and leave at room temperature for 8 hours.

Mix/knead in 3 cups of white flour 1 cup at a time. Transfer to floured surface and mix/knead one additional cup, or until proper texture. I used about 1/2 cup here. Split into pieces and form/shapes loaves. I went with 2 batards and a boule to rise in my round brotrum. Let rise for 3-4 hours. I cooked the batards after a 3 hour rise and the boule at about 3 1/2.

The recipe calls for cooking 40-45 min at 375, but I prefer to follow Peter Reinhart's method (from BBA) of cooking basic sourdough at higher temperatures for a shorter amount of time. Preheat the oven to 500. Place the loafs on the baking stone and pour 1 cup of water into the cast iron skillet on the bottom of the oven. 30, 60 & 90 seconds into baking open the oven and spray the walls with water. Lower the oven temperature to 450 and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate loaves 180 degrees and bake approx 10-15 minutes or until internal temperature is at least 205 degrees.
I was very pleased with how these loaves came out! They had a good crumb, good texture and the mixed grain added excellent flavor. I will be submitting this to YeastSpotting, wish me luck!