relentlessly average
relentlessly average

Process, Progress

Following the success of the Saturday white loaf the following weekend I started on the the pizza recipes. In the book I’m working from all the bread recipes start with 1,000g of flour. That’s double what I had previously worked with and, as I mentioned last time, enough for two loaves or two loaves and half a batch of rolls/bagels. The pizza recipes are the same. A whole kilo of flour which is apparently enough dough for five 12″ pizzas. Even with my obsessive habit that’s too much to get through while it’s still fresh enough. My first thought was to reduce the volume by half but having worked with the bread dough I learned that it is much easier to handle larger quantities and it seems to rise better (although perhaps that’s because I’m currently using yeast). The solution I ended up with and have used for the past few weeks is to make 80% of the recommended recipe, so 800g flour and so on, half of which makes two 12″ pizzas and half to use for focaccia. Even that still feels extravagant but it is easier to share the focaccia and once it’s baked it keeps for a few days.

The first pizza dough recipe in the book was based on a same day prep and proof but for the past couple of weeks I’ve used the overnight recipe. Prepare the dough in the evening, let it sit for 12 hours overnight, divide and shape it first thing in the morning, rest it in the fridge until needed. It must take the same amount of time altogether but feels like less and happily fits neatly with my standard weekend routine. Get home from work around 19:30 on Friday and start the mixing straight away. Wake up early(ish) for my Saturday run and do the shaping while coffee is brewing. Have no further work to do in the kitchen until it’s time to heat the ovens and top the pizza. A brilliant thing about this schedule is that it makes breakfast pizza not only possible but the obvious and easy choice for Saturday morning (using half of one of the 12″ doughs and saving the other half for Sunday evening). I’ve been topping them with mushrooms cooked in oat cream with spinach and an egg on top. The smaller size also suggested the possibility of cooking it in a skillet rather than on a tray or pizza stone which happily resulted in a beautifully crispy crust. Indulgent, yes. Worth it, absolutely.

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