Sicilian Pizza

I don’t really know what to call this pizza, but I know it is delicious. It was based on a focaccia formula.

The dough is made over two days, using an overnight poolish. It uses a lot of oil so it is not a low calorie food. But it feeds a lot of people and it tastes great.

I can write it up if you like. Just let me know.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/1b1/58609242/files/2015/01/img_2584.jpgThe crumb is quite tender.


Kale and Onion Omelet

One of our favorite breakfasts is the kale and onion omelet. I usually keep a 1/2 pint wide-mouth mason jar filled with chopped onions. They stay fresh all week and the jar keeps the odor contained.

I place a cast iron skillet on medium heat and add a teaspoon or so of coconut oil. When it gets hot, I add in the diced onions and chopped kale (I strip the leafy part from the stem first).

Next, I put the bread in the toaster oven, stir up the onion and kale, and then pour the scrambled egg on top of everything and let it cover the kale and onion.

Once the egg sets, I use a pointed metal spatula to run around the edge of the omelet, and then fold over half. Sometimes it breaks, especially when making a five egg omelet. This three egger folded nicely.


IMG_2139.JPGTime to butter the toast and plate the dish.


I recommend a lot of onions and to heat them up for a few minutes before adding the egg. The taste reminds me of egg foo young but without all of the oil. You can also use more kale than I did here, and it will taste great.

Sourdough Pizza

I have been making incredible pizza blogged about here, here and here.  But those pizzas were delicious, tender and super easy to make, mixing the ingredients at night before bed, 6 minutes of kneading and sticking the dough balls in the fridge for up to four or five nights later.

So, of course, I can’t blog about the same pizza a fourth time, even though I could eat it forever, and it was time to try my hand at a new crust using sourdough instead of yeast.  Obviously, myy hope was to produce a better tasting pizza even though it was a bit more difficult to plan.

The formula and process is based on that described in Ken Forkish’s book, Flour Water Salt Yeast, which is a book I highly recommend for anybody who wants to bake a great loaf of bread same day, overnight with a pre-ferment or over several days using a sourdough levain.   I’ve written generally about sourdough in my post, Basics of Baking Sourdough Bread (Part 1).

For this dough, I proceeded as follows:

Night Day 1 (Feed the Starter)

Monday night I took my starter out of the fridge, fed it and left it out on the counter until the following night.

Note: Forkish recommends an 80% hydration starter. A quick way to calculate how much flour and water is needed for 80% hydration is as follows:  The weight of the Flour in any quantity of starter = the starter weight divided by 1.8.

For example, if you have 18 grams of 80% hydration starter, that means the weight of the flour in that starter = 18/1.8 or 10 grams. The remaining 8 grams is water.  So if you have 18 grams of starter and want double the starter weight with a feeding, you just add 10 grams of flour and 8 grams of water.  I like to add the water first, stir, then stir in the flour.

Night Day 2 (Make the Levain (a/k/a feed the starter more)

I mixed my starter (fed 24 hours previously) with enough flour and water to equal 180 grams.  I left this out on the counter overnight.

You should actually make a bit more, say 189 grams, because you are going to need all 180 grams to mix later, and some will stick to the container.  So, if you had 54 grams of fed starter, you would and wanted to wind up with 189 grams of the levain, you would need to add 135 grams of combined flour and water, in the following ratio: Flour = 135/1.8 = 75 grams.  Water = 60 grams (135 grams combined weight of flour less 75 grams (the weight of the flour just calculate).  A quick check: 60 grams water / 75 grams flour = .8 or 80%. And 60 +75 + 54 grams of the fed starter = 189 grams of which you will eventually use 180 grams to mix with the dough.

Knowing that I will want to mix the dough as quickly as possible when the levain is ready the following evening, I premeasured 900 grams of All Purpose Flour (King Arthur Organic), put it in my 6 quart Cambro container and added 620 grams of water to a one quart mason jar.

Morning Day 3

I put the levain in the fridge because it had been out all night and I would not be be mixing the dough until that night.  I had Colleen remove the levain from the fridge at 1:30 just to give it time to warm up and become a bit more gassy.

Evening Day 3

  1. Heat up the water 620 grams of water to 95 degrees (I just put the  mason jar in the microwave for 25 seconds), and pour it into the container holding the 900 grams of all purpose flour, and mix until the flour is incorporated.  It ought to look like a shaggy mass, although I wet my hands enough so that the dough was smooth.  Let this mixture sit, covered, for 30 minutes or so.
  2. Next, add 10 grams of salt to the dough and 180 grams of the levain, and mix by hand until evenly incorporated, using the pinch and fold method described in my post, Amazing Bread.
  3. After 30 minutes, do a series of stretch and folds (also described in the above link), and then a second series of stretch and folds once the dough relaxes again.
  4. Lightly oil the dough surface and the bottom of the container. I used a misto to spray olive oil on the dough and the container.  Cover, and let sit on the counter overnight.

Here is the dough, mixed with the levain, from the top.

8:45 pm Here is the mixed dough from the side.

Here is the dough at 10:10 pm (1 hour 25 minutes later)

The top view at 10:10 pm, before I cover it and go to sleep.

Morning, Day 4

Dough at 6:30 a.m.

Top shot at 6:30 a.m.

Here is the dough from the bottom. You can see it has fermented some. I think I would like to see more activity next time.

Remove the dough onto a floured work surface, divide it into 3 equal pieces. If the dough comes out more or less round you can cut it into a “peace” symbol which looks like a pizza with a Y cut through the center.  Shape each third of the dough into a medium tight ball.  I stupidly cut my dough into 3 strips and this made it difficult to shape (I had to fold it in half and then create a boule out of it, but if you do the Y cut, you can take each third of the cut dough and fold it to center, making it easier to shape into boule.

Lightly flour the dough balls, put them on a lightly floured plate or cookie sheet, and cover with a towel, or with a plastic bread bag, twisted so there is some air between the dough and the bag.  Stick in the fridge.

Divided dough on plate

This is the Cambro lid on top of my scale. I can read the scale through the lid, which means I can weigh the dough on the lid to keep my scale clean.

6:40 a.m. I used a produce bag from the grocery store to keep the dough from drying out in the fridge. Just twist closed and tuck it under the plate.

 Evening Day 4

This is normally when I planned to bake the pizza. But, I did not do so.

Evening Day 5

I preheated the oven to 550, with my cast iron pizza pan on the top shelf. Meanwhile, I shaped the pizza and topped it.

Fire-roasted tomatoes (Drained in a colander and then blended in to a sauce), mozzarella, provolone, reggio parmigiano and sliced tomato)

This came out of the oven twice before it finally looked done.  It took a lot longer to bake than my usual pizzas which were done in 6 minutes. I think it may have been because this dough was a bit heavier and also because I did not preheat the oven until it got to 550, instead putting it in at 525.

The crust was pretty good, not as light or flaky as my prior pies which were made with a combination of Caputo 00 flour and whole wheat. Next time I may make this with 50% Caputo 00 flour and see how much airier the crumb gets.

The slices had some heft to them, and were easy to fold.

Amazing Bread

This non-sourdough bread is made with 1/2 white whole wheat flour (milled at home) and 1/2 King Arthur AP flour. It is a two day bread, first mixing a “poolish” of flour, water and a tiny bit of yeast the evening before, then mixing the poolish with flour, water salt and yeast the following morning. It is well worth the time to make this bread, in my opinion.  The formula and process is derived from Forkish’s book, Flour Water Salt Yeast.

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