Sunday, October 26, 2008


Yes, it is true. Sometimes, I use the dried stuff. There she is, my starter all hungry and cold, needing attention and a bite to eat. My familiar hand reaches past for the small balls in the jar on the next shelf up. Cold I tell you. I can't help but feel as though I am cheating.

Fidelity toward the sourdough aside, sometimes I want to taste a flour without even a hint of sour. Sure, you can do quick, warm fermentations and other things to lessen the development of the tang. This was not enough. I wanted fluffy, unhealthy tasting sandwich bread. We've had some nice flour coming our way in our grain CSA and it was time to play with some barley flour. I got to thinking along the lines of a barley wonderbread loaf. Turns out buttermilk barley bread satisfies the craving. It was so good, we did a repeat of this bread the following week, noshed through another and managed to stash a loaf in the freezer.

We have grains to go though, with part of the focus being learning new things about more stuff. (Nice technical ring to that one.) Along came kamut. Do you know it? Have you met? Well, if not, let me tell you it is deliciously nutty. I'd made a few Kamut baguettes the week before and they turned out nice and crunchy. I contemplated doing more. I thought maybe having a guest help me out would be nice, but then remembered how a few years ago the last guest swiped the bread and took His sweet time to leave me with a pathetic note to explain. Screw the guest thing. I figured if I pair kamut with cornmeal it would be all the more sweet and earthy. This screamed pizza dough. Or maybe, the monkeys were rowdy, I screamed and made pizza dough. Once again, I cheated and used the dried stuff.

It was time to work on the toppings and caramelizing onions are a great place to start. Being the Fall, and apple pears are on the counter next to the really, I did do this on purpose. Not to say it didn't help that the size and shape was correct. I've had pizza with pear on it before and just figured that caramelizing it before tossing it on the pie would be nice. Being an apple pear, not all squishy, I hoped it would hold up. These doing a slow, simmery, release the juices thingy, I went and pulled out more ingredients.

Next it was pesto time. Tonight, I could give a rat's ass about how local it was. Dammit I was having pine nuts and parmesan. Okay, so it's not entirely true as the basil, lemon and oil are from the market, but whatever. The pine nuts came from either Korea, Russia or Vietnam and the cheese was from, uh, let's see here.......Parma! Not even close to close on those last two but sometimes you just have to say f*%$ it.

Ahhhh, all the ingredients assembled. My favorite time in the pizza making process. I can pretend I didn't just spend three hours prepping everything while tending to the monkeys. I close my eyes and imagine I just came in and feel like making some pizza. Hey, sheeit look, fixings for a pizza pie! Crank on that oven and make sure to get the pizza tile nice and hot.....wait, what was that, you did already? Sheesh, how thoughtful! Well, since you have everything else taken care of, maybe I'll go pour us some beer.

Version 1.0 had a pesto foundation, caramelized onion/pear and fresh mozzarella, with sweet Italian sausage on half and sliced black olives on the other. Both monkeys were digging this one. Sweet, with meat. Go figure. There were no leftovers of this version. Luckily we prepped version 2.0 while this was in the oven or we probably would have just made the same thing. Next time.

Nope. Turns out our creativity was compromised by the last ingredients and we managed to make the same pizza, only with a tomato sauce as the base. Even with this simple difference, the taste was hugely different. I'd have to say I prefer the pesto combo considering the sweet onions and sausage involved. Maybe it was the nutty crust, but the flavors just seemed to work better together.

So, yes, loyal readers. It is sad but true, sometimes I cheat and use the dried stuff to lift my loaf. Please don't hate me.


K and S said...

still looks delish :) sometimes that is the only thing that matters!

cookiecrumb said...

Well, you know what they say:
"Whatever lifts your loaf."

Mimi said...

It's like the anti-wrangler came in to write this post! Where is the man who swore a fidelity to wild yeast. Bring him back! Aaaah!!!!

Monkey Wrangler said...

Sheesh, sorry this took me forever, but.....

Kat: Thanks! That is sooooo true. Well, then again maybe the fake sushi in the window would taste good if only we were allowed to try.....

Cookie: I was hoping somebody would appreciate that one, because like damn, it's fucking funny! I mean, I'm still laughing!

Mimi: Oh shit! DId I swear a fidelity? Really? Well, I haven't used it since, I swear. Okay, once. But doing the math, I've used the sourdough at least six times in between, and have a few more times since my last relapse.......