Archive for the ‘Dough Recipes’ Category

Insane in the Membrane: Caul fat Batard

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Hey, if you are looking for a power punch of porcine paradise look no further than a freshly par-baked batard wrapped in fresh herbs, bacon or Prosciutto di Parma and caul fat! then baked again for an extra nudge off that porky cliff of deliciousness.

Now, this may sound kinda shocking but caul fat is the reason why a lot of foods that would otherwise fall apart, stay in shape and have a hint of wondrous fatty goodness in them. Caul fat is the thin layer of net that surrounds the stomach. It can be from cows, sheep or pigs and over the centuries has been used in many foods such as the French Crepinette and veal sausage, British Faggots, Italian Fegatelli as well as being widely used in Russian cuisine and the Chinese make a great crab and pork dumpling in caul fat.

So why not a batard wrapped in caul fat? Well, I’ve been tinkering with foods that hold flavors close to baked wheat and infuse that wrapped goodness into the loaf. Here it is.


First proof the loaves.

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Then bake them in a 550 degree oven with or without steam the way you would usually bake a batard or baguette. When par cooked, pull from the oven and immediately place a layer of caul fat topped with bacon or Prosciutto di Parma and chopped basil, cilantro and Italian flat leaf parsley.. Roll up the log and place back in the oven on a tray. The fat will leak a lot.

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These batards I baked were for sale so I had to keep the ingredients together for my customers to reheat at home. What is really cool with caul fat wrapped batards is when the caul fat disappears, it creates a misshapen or bent batard or “Bentard”, like the one above.


Remember to always wash caul fat, which usually comes in very large frozen blocks.

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I know your moms probably said never to play with your food but she probably never said about playing with and internal pig lining, bacon and herbs. I hope you can try this.

Bresaola Pizza

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Hello there!

I just got back from the International Pizza Expo where I did two cooking demonstrations; Vegan and Vegetarian Pizzas and Beyond Bread sticks which included all sorts of breads that I sell here at Avalanche, in Athens, Ohio. The Expo is held in Las Vegas and is the most interesting venue for all things pizza…and more.

Today, lets do the Bresaola Pizza. In the last blog entry, I showed you the easy and fast way to make bresaola which we will top this pie with.

This fabulous pizza will start with what should be a dead dough. In fact this dough has sat in cold fermentation an incredible 13 days!

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If my awesome baker Torrey had used commercial yeast, this dough would have died two days ago. So now I’ve pulled it an look for activity from a companion dough on the same tray. The alveoli, or cells (above right) that have formed from the gasses give my nose that sour-sweet wheat that hasn’t turned to an acidic nightmare yet. As it heats up in my proofing cabinet, it acts like an old racehorse that is gonna give it his ‘all’ to win one last race! This is what I live for, to push the limits of dough making and conventional wisdom to see what new flavor, textures and crust an old dough can enlighten me with. Enough with the sappy, egotistical B.S., lets roll baby!

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Because I am using an aggressive dough, I need a great strong cheese to compliment the chew and sourness of the disc. I was lucky enough to cop some great cheese named Everton from Jacobs and Birchford in Indiana. It’s one of those iconic cheesed that you never forget with a melt like an aged Gruyere. I loved the competing grass and incredible tangy depth of flavor this cheese has and wish I had a Jackie O’s beer to go along with it. Along with the Everton, I have some fresh mozzarella, wild mushrooms, lemon cream and watercress.

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I decided to cook the pizza at 630 degrees in my Matador oven. This would quick cook the mushrooms melting in the Everton and mozzarella for an old school pizza.


Check out this time lapse and see what a naturally fermented dough that is one third all purpose and two thirds high gluten can do. (Holy smokes, was that a sentence?)

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Here is the pizza right out of the oven. Now is time to dress this pie up.

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First I mixed up the lemon with local Snowville Creme Fraiche to give the pizza a bright note to go with the watercress. I let the salty bresaola just melt on the cheese and mushrooms then topped the pizza with more Everton, watercress and then the creme.

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Wow, this baby is the bomb! Salty sour crunch with acidic and smooth cheesy notes followed by the umami of the mushrooms…paradise!