Gathering with a bunch of people to make brick oven pizza was some of the most fun I have had in forever. Our host is a culinary arts instructor with a brick oven in his back yard. For me, this kicked off a month-long obsession with bread baking & exploring no-knead recipes. That’s right….patience(needed for bread) is not my virtue AND I also don’t follow recipes well instead cooking to taste. Doesn’t work in the world of baking, where chemistry is the by-word. So, back to DIY pizza in another’s oven.
We brought the toppings and the host provided the oven & the pizza dough. Above is my pesto, chicken, grape, bleu cheese pizza….bursting with flavor. But at 900F degrees everything takes notice. It was soooo good I was immediately obsessed with dough and my chosen apprenticeship was Bread in 5 minutes A Day. What fun I had (and the neighbors enjoyed it too) making a different bread each day. I turned anything I could find into pizza: roasted brussel sprouts, fig & camembert, spicy chicken & salsa, roasted artichokes, hummus and then margherite. From there it was foccacia, bread sticks, baquettes, ciabatta, whole wheat loaf, rolls & even more. Then it got hot….so no more heating up the kitchen for a bit….at least until 100 isn’t the daily norm. My neighbors look at me with a “Well, where is my food gift today?” and my friends can’t understand why we don’t have regular picnics anymore. I shrug and say….it was a phase. Not True !! The no-knead recipes make enough for 3-5 loaves and last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. It is easy, fun and tastes marvelous. Even Jacque Pepin has a non-knead which is mixed, stored, raised & baked in the same pan…..a dutch oven. On top of that, I got to buy some new kitchen tools…..so there will be more bread posts in the near future. I feel like Toto & I are back in Kansas in the wheat fields, where Moms bake fresh bread everyday. OK, so that was 50 years ago.
No more grocery store pizza dough !!!