Archive for the ‘Pizza Goon Videos’ Category

Bones and Balls Batard

 

Sometimes my frenzied life leaves some documentation of my culinary absurdity in the dust. This happened last May when I filmed the making of a fabulously unconventional batard. I made over fifty loaves and sold them all in under an hour. The resounding question from customer-guys like me was…”Ahhhhh yea man, ARE THOSE RIBS?” As I say, “Of course bro, and local ones at that!”

Obviously, because this is A PIZZA BLOG,  these videos probably need an introduction from John Cleese saying – “And now, for something completely different!” (but I figure, if you are a real pizza professional, you’re a better baker than most bakers so why not get crazy!)

Well, here it is, a batard made with an eighty-five percent hydrated dough with a flour that was fourteen-percent protein  to which I added a thirty percent of a sticky pre-ferment gotten from organic wild Ohio grapes. I added about five percent old dough, (pate fermentee), some malt syrup for a deeper crust, salt and retarded it under refrigeration for forty-nine hours.

The interlopers in this dough are onions that I roasted with chipotle peppers in adobo) at 475 degrees. When they were hot, limp and roasted, I added dried blueberries and they re-hydrated just enough to infuse a balzy taste of spicy-sweet! The other stuff in the dough is chorizo meatballs, (King Family Farms natural pork, smoked Spanish paprika, cinnamon, garlic, onion, cilantro, basil, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and egg as binder). And finally, I added some whole roasted garlic cloves and fresh basil and cilantro to the dough.

I then took half the chipotle-blueberry mix and ground it up with a little cinnamon, extra virgin olive oil and coated the ribs and roasted them.

Then I took the ribs and Frenched them halfway down the bone for insertion. (see vid).

 

So, do you see? The hydrated dough not only let me impregnate some killer ingredients into the gluten net during the initial mix of the original dough and then it sat in suspended, cold-fermented animation with slow yeast consumption of sugars providing time for the gluten and gasses to build around the items. In the end,  I was able to fold the new item, (Mr. Rib) into the batard by just snipping with scissors and folding over the more-than-willing dough. The final proof was enough to encapsulate the bones into the balls.

Then I baked the shit out of these culinary killers at 3:50 a.m!

Man, I love my job! Thanks always to Joel Fair, Jacob Seidel and my staff at Avalanche for putting up with my madness in the early a.m.!

Bumble Bee Stuffed Ciabatta

To be an interesting baker these days takes a little thought, some digging for ingredients, a little technical knowledge and a lot of denial! That last part comes in handy at three a.m. when you shout loudly, channeling the Talking Heads, “This is not my beautiful bread, what have I done here?”

 

The natural progression of my wee-hours-baking-thoughts start like this; “Damn this was stupid!”,  to “It’s not as bad as I thought!”‘,  to “Wow, that baked up well!”, to “I meant to do that!”, as I gloat at the finished product and get bolted out of bakers ego-stroke by a burning fougasse or baguette I have forgotten about.

Luckily, this wasn’t the case last week when I made some killer Bumble-Bee ciabatta.

 

I got this idea from the pasta class that I had just finished at the Athens Farmers Market. It’s a great class called “Junior Chefs School” and Jacob Seidel, Joel Fair and myself made some squid ink pasta.

 

 

These kids were the best chefs I’ve worked with…quiet…no attitude…lacking in guttural vocabulary… and they said “Eeeeewwwwwww” with the perfect amount of authentic distain when I brought out the mushroom stuffing for ravioli and tortellini.

 

First, I took some squid ink that I found whilst visiting Boston and kneaded it into some 80-something hydrated dough. Then cut it into alternating strips with some equally wet dough that I had kneaded white onions roasted with aromatic saffron.

I thought an interesting stuffing for this would be a roasted garlic pudding with ricotta and parmesan and a hint of mascarpone paired with some great local cheddar. My plans were almost waylaid by a broken rib, (or ribs-it’s hard to tell…) brought on by holding a metal sheet-pan, rib high and walking really fast into the corner of my Lincoln triple-stack conveyor pizza ovens….crack goes the weasel.

Well, here are some videos of this grand event. I pounded the initial oven rise with steam under 530 degrees then took it down to 420 to cook the guts, then down for a dry finish with doors and vents open at 320 degrees.

Okay guys here are four small videos of making this great bread.

1. The mix…Very down and dirty. Yes, I am used to having highly hydrated dough on my hands but this blackened color drove me nuts!

 Then into the wee hours just after breaking my riblet…

Now stuffing the proofed dough strips with garlic pudding.

The final cut. Showing off the crumb of this wonderful squid ink and saffron ciabatta stuffed with wonderful garlic pudding and cheddar!