Those are the two words I mutter when I finally load the car up to leave the Athens Farmers Market every Saturday. It only takes me a few hours to sell over 400 loaves of bread, pizza, fougasse, Turkish-style pide, na’an, baguette, boule, ciabatta and everything in between. I am a real lucky guy to have a community that embraces wild and wonderful foods including as many local products as my farmer friends can throw at me. I also couldn’t do this without my baking buddies Torrey Evans, Jeremy Sykes, Joel Fair and David Valentine. Here are some pics of the stuff we bake.
A fairly insane caul fat-wrapped batard with fresh herbs and bacon. A heart healthy log of pork goodness! Just heat and gorge.
Some wonderous sourdough that Torrey Baked.
Asparagus season is here with my crunchy and delicious asparagus stuffed fougasse with a chickpea pudding, ramps and a local Integration Acres aged goat cheddar cheese.
Add to that some long fougasse filled with basil, cumin and bacon and topped with Asiago cheese.
Add to that the Bumble Bee Batard stuffed with a cool potato pudding- coming up in another post…enough already, check out the videos below.
Here are a few videos of the last months baking. Please remember, I am usually addled by the previous 12 hours of baking frenzy…not the best time to turn on the personality but I make up for it with the male and female strippers at the end of the video…Booya!
Sometimes inspiration comes at the weirdest times. This last weekend, I decided to bake my ass off again just to ward off the winter doldrums. The weather was forecast to rise to a whopping forty degrees which in Ohio terms is beach weather. During the week, I foraged for all the fodder I would need to make some great pizzas and breads. Joel Fair and Torrey Evans got the ball rolling to make some killer dough for the Athens Farmers Market and at eleven on Friday night the baking began.
First order of business was to collect all the frozen chilies that were thrust upon me from various farmers this summer. This is a moment of the greatest questioning in my pizzeria; “Does this look like a Ghost or a Hab?” says I. “I don’t know?” says Torrey. “Fuck it, how’s about I toss six of dem in this mix?” says I. “Sounds good to me.” Torrey responds laughing and shaking his head, (He is my ‘hot-as-hell-sauce-taste-tester’.) This weeks ‘Beelzebub’ pizza had the following chilies in the sauce: Paper Lantern, Fatalli, Red Habenero, Pickled Jalepeno, Red Jalepeno, Green Ancho and those lovely little Ghosties swimming in our organic tomato sauce with roasted garlic and a little red onion. Then I blasted out some thin pizza crust and topped the pizza with some Asiago Cheese and a few pickled cayenne peppers.
This week I was also particularly proud not only of the fabulous local spelt dough that Torrey made but that I could use it to make some fabulous vegan Napoletana pizzas. Here I topped the spelt with filets of San Marzano tomatoes, (DOP), fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, Trapani sea salt and a vegan mozzarella cheese that I have been working on for a very, long time. I baked these babies at 650 degrees. (You know you’re a pizza psycho when you just stare at the melt from any given cheese…like I did all weekend!)
On the same spelt crust (Grown only 20 miles away and milled in our town by Shagbark Milling) I spread a bright San Marzano sauce then made a spoke with local polenta with pine nuts. This was finished off with another pickled pepper and local arugula from Green Edge Gardens. (Upper left). On the right I made a Cornetta with fresh spinach, curry-roasted cauliflower with macerated cashews and macadamia nuts and finished off with vegan mozzarella and roasted red peppers.
I also made my favorite. I call it a “Scaletta” with ciabatta dough in which I slice and impregnated with Calabrian Chilies, Castelvetrano olives and local King Family Bacon.
And last but not least, was a Turkish style Pide made with local spelt that was topped with a roasted garlic pudding, roasted leek and then local Yukon gold and rose potatoes.
So, along with some killer sourdough boule, mushroom schiacciata, baguette and several types of fougasse, we were off to the races. Below is a video of our repertoire. I may seem a little out of it because I had to set everything up in 20 degree weather grumbling the whole while about my lousy little baking life…which I love!