Posts Tagged ‘calabrian chili bread’

Winter Wonderland of Baking


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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.

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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.

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!





Long Tall Sally; Spanish Coca Style Pizza

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When you work with food day after day, there comes a time when its just all about taste. The freedom to throw traditions dating back thousands of years into the culinary shitcan is not only liberating, but its exhilarating! In pizza, there are many people who’s (boring) mantra is to keep the traditions alive no matter what. I like to change things up, wipe the tradition away with some soft Charmin and just…flush it. Case in point; Long Tall Sally.

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This spring I’ve been “Going Long” with my breads and pizzas. An abnormal obsession best reflected by my Garlic Pudding Stuffed Fougasse, (left) a nice wild arugula, blueberry, bacon and Calabrian Chili Fougasse and some crispy “Coca de Boquerones” with Manchego and Idiazebel, carlmelized onion, caper, cheddar curd, Peruvian anchovy and Spanish boquerones with tomato.

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Now I want to pair some Red Wattle, (heritage breed pork) guanciale, (pork jowl or cheek- above left) that I cured with a long crisp Spanish syle Coca crust, Teleggio, an Italian Alpine cheese, some great roasted celery root, fresh basil and killer Bosc pears grown by Neal Cherry in Crooksville, Ohio that I have citrus-pickled last fall, (above middle and right). Enough talk, lets rock this pie.

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(The day before) Using the Easy Dough Recipe on this blog, mix the dough with half the yeast called for. After mixing, weigh out a dough ball of 15 ounces. Let is sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, then oil a bowl and place in your refrigerator for 15 to 24 hours to cold-ferment. When ready to make the coca, pull the dough ball out and let it sit in a warm place, (74-80 degrees) to proof.

Preheat your oven to 475 or higher, (if you can get it to 550 without burning your house down, go for it!)


One medium sized celery root

One tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Twelve leaves of basil

Five to seven ounces of Teleggio cheese

Four ounces thin sliced guanciale (or bacon)

One pickled Bosc pear



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Peel and slice the celery root into very thin coins with a mandolin. Toss with the olive oil and roast in a 475 degree oven for eight minutes just until wilted. you may toss the root coins once to make sure of consistent doneness. Take the dough ball and form into a football shape using the tips of your fingers. Continue to press vertically. (you must have patience here, Holmes!). Stretch the gluten strands well without tearing then let the dough rest. This process can take up to 20 minutes. Place the dough on some parchment or a floured pizza peel then place the cheese and basil on the coca.

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Top with the wilted celery root, the thin sliced guanciale and the pickled pear and place into the hot oven for seven to twelve minutes depending upon the temperature. (475= 12 minutes) (550= 7 minutes).

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Slice and enjoy a spectacular tasting pizza with melting Teleggio, porcine fattiness and the perfect marriage of celery root, basil and pickled pear!