Posts Tagged ‘pizza margherita’

Bakesgiving for United Appeal

Wow!  That’s all I have to say about this years bake-fest to benefit United Appeal of Athens County. I am so thankful for all the people who came out from 5:30 a.m. until noon to buy our bread products.  By our unofficial count, Avalanche Pizza raised over $2500 from the people of Athens on Thanksgiving day.

John Dillon, (left), United Appeal Board member and AFSCME Union President, came in at 3 a.m. and formed a monstrous amount of spelt rolls. Randy Davis (right) became adept at forming ciabatta, egg-washing croissants, proofing ciabatta and together, he and John even made some pizzas.

Aaron Thomas, United Appeal Board President, did the dirtiest job of washing hundreds of trays that had piled up over the night. He took time away from his business, Class A Sounds, to help in this great cause.

Even got the sheriff’s department came by to show their support. Is it me, or does Aaron (middle) look like he’s been cuffed?

Joel Fair, Patty Nally and Danny McVicker volunteered to work through the night to produce some great baked goods. Patty nailed her fabulous croissants and even the stuffed croissants filled with nutella, pecans and bananas. Joel and Patty did a great job making croissants, baguettes, ciabatta and baking over 500 loaves.

A special shout out goes to Chris and Angie Pyle, who donated coffee for us, and to Constantine Faller, who donated cheese to be sold. Robin Barnes of Power 105 F.M. was spectacular for getting the word out, along with all the fine folks at the Athens News. Starline Organics donated vegetables. We used Harmony Hollow ham in some of the fougasse.

If you see this man, hold him (please use bailing wire.) He is my dad, Tom Gutekanst. He played a major role in what he called “testing the product,” which entailed consuming at least 17 cheese-topped croissants while exclaiming “This better be imported Brie!”  Then he ran off through the darkness.

Here are a few sights of this year’s bake for United Appeal of Athens County. Here’s a video of a burnt out middle aged freak who, despite his goonish appearance and spacy presentation, can still handle baking all night (barely).

See you next year!

Baking in the “Great Unwashed Middle of America”

It’s early November and while the country is clamoring for (yet another) “change” in government, some of us keep on bakin’.

We’re here in Southeast Ohio, a place Katie Couric describes as the “Great unwashed middle of America.” We’re keeping ourselves busy fermenting, mixing, holding, filling, topping proofing and schlepping pizzas and breads to our loyal customers. The veggies  came from either the Athens Farmers Market or from the Amish in Chesterhill, Ohio.

Besides some big Fougasse and Northern-pike looking garlic-pudding stuffed Fougasse, Patty Nally, Joel Fair and I made big Turkish Spinach Pides (Pi-DAY) with ricotta, Parmesan and aged cheddar. Today’s Pizza al Metro are made with Stanislaus Alta Cucina tomatoes mixed with our organic Christina’s tomato puree from Escalon.

I use a stellar organic sauce on my Pizza Margherita.

We also made Schiacciata with arugula, Parmesan, purple carrots, pickled green tomatoes and turnip, French fingerlings and the last of the Starline Organics cherry tomatoes. All are coated with melting Gruyere.

Add to this mix the Sukkar bi Tahin, sweetened tahini rolled in dough and cooked, then stuffed with a poached pear.

We went through a tremendous amount of mushrooms for the Super Mushroom Bread and the mushroom pizzas. I used porcini, shiitake, portobello, button and oyster mushrooms, along with imported Fontina and Gruyere.

I topped the Scaletta, or ladder sticks, with heavily-smoked local pepper bacon or immature Cerignola and Castelveltrano olives from Italy that I usually mispronounce.

It was a great crowd and I felt so good, I decided to treat myself  to my monthly shower. Thanks for reminding me, Katie!