Posts Tagged ‘pizza dough recipe’

Long Tall Sally; Spanish Coca Style Pizza

march 2014 426ii

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.

march 2014 181iimarch 2014 267iimarch 2014 254ii











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.

march 2014 150ii

march 2014 395iimarch 2014 397ii









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.

march 2014 399iimarch 2014 404ii
















(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



march 2014 415ii

march 2014 407ii march 2014 416ii  march 2014 406ii

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.

march 2014 418ii

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).

march 2014 421ii

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



Natural Yeast Pizza Bianca

     This Pizza Bianca is different from the 6-foot monsters made in Rome, Italy but tasty nonetheless. My staff and I ate the rest.

I promised to do a blog post about how to make pizza bianca and, I guess, this should be considered a “blomise.” After an earlier blog post on natural yeast, I’ve had alot of comments about the time it takes to obtain a strong enough levening agent to use in bread or pizza dough so… I’ve decided to combine the two.

 I have found that to raise a hearty strain of wild yeast as fast as possible from the environmnet without other contaminants takes about four to five days. Just use fruit and filtered water and wash your hands before handling either.

Maturation of a natural starter is a wait-and-see effort. But the starter is only the beginning. It can take up to 20 days of feeding for a strong, fragrant and relevant mother to take hold. (why 20 you idiot?? I can do it in…) When you take your time and don’t push things, your  starter will respond better.

 I bake hundreds of breads each week and, like kids at differing stages of development, these large plastic bins with goo made from my starters start to talk to me. Some scream for attention early,(i.e. they need a nice bake in the oven.) Others are more mellow and coast for a long period before displaying the fruity, aggressive gas and enzematic activity associated with a great pre-ferment. I’ve even screamed at my staff, “Who put the fruit juice in with this starter?” and, after finding out that it had naturally evolved into this wonderful floral goo, felt like a dad who watching his kid kick some ass at a wrestling match.

 I use a cold-maturation for my pre-ferments. This enables the yeasts to activate slower and I think, because I am using old grains like spelt, coaxes more flavor out of the whole grains. Thus, when I plan to bake, (which is every day.) I start a by feeding spelt and high protein flours to my pre-ferment that was made with the natural mother (10 pecent starter to 90 percent high gluten flour spelt and water. Then I feed twice a day for a week with the dough near the pizza ovens, (60-75 degrees.) I throw out or recycle 80 percent of the preferment and add another 80 percent flour and water, mixing with my hands. At this temp, the yeast is in it’s perfect environment to eat, eat, eat, then turn to an almost lifeless soup. After the week, I mix one more time and retard the pre ferment in my walk-in for a much needed rest for a few days.

For bake day, I take my pre ferment out for about five hours. My initial mix starts with the “Autolyse” method of mixing just the flour and water in a Stephan VCM (vertical-cutter-mixer… and yes, this is appalling to most “serious” bakers but…the hell with them- you gotta work with what you got!) I wait about 25 minutes to mix the yeast and salt in. This process greatly enhances the gluten net.

 I sometimes use a small amount of diastatic malt from Ohio’s Berry Farms and salt with a hydration of either 40 to 60 pecent depending upon what I am baking.  I also use a Pate’ Fermentee, or old dough to the mix. The little bit of malt helps with the overall taste and resulting crust as my dough retards in a cold environment for 12 to sometimes over 48 hours before baking. After this fast mix for up to three whole minutes, I bench the mix for a rest using the windowpane test

I hope you can learn some stuff from this but, just remember, I am just a pizza guy and baker who has pretty much learned by the seat of my pants, but if you want some books that are great, try Peter Reinharts “The Bread Bakers Apprentice” or “My Bread” by Jim Lahey, or “Tartine Bread.”

Just remember, you learn better from mistakes than from perfection and if you really mess things up, just lie and tell your guests its a “rustic” bread recipe from a lost Celtic tribe off the coast of Idaho. Just don’t blame me, I’m just a goon. Here’s a video of this pizza bianca with a killer topping.


Here is the recipe for the cilantro topping:

These were the Na’an that I attempted. The cilantro topping was great but the dough suc…errrr… didn’t quite meet my expectations.

2 Jalepeno’s

1 red ancho chili

5 cloves garlic

One bunch cilantro

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

Place all in a blender, food processor or bowl with an immersion blender and blend together. Hold under refrigeration to let flavors meld for four hours or longer. Place on Pizza Bianca as shown in video