Posts Tagged ‘Pizza Goon Videos’

Bresaola Pizza

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Hello there!

I just got back from the International Pizza Expo where I did two cooking demonstrations; Vegan and Vegetarian Pizzas and Beyond Bread sticks which included all sorts of breads that I sell here at Avalanche, in Athens, Ohio. The Expo is held in Las Vegas and is the most interesting venue for all things pizza…and more.

Today, lets do the Bresaola Pizza. In the last blog entry, I showed you the easy and fast way to make bresaola which we will top this pie with.

This fabulous pizza will start with what should be a dead dough. In fact this dough has sat in cold fermentation an incredible 13 days!

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If my awesome baker Torrey had used commercial yeast, this dough would have died two days ago. So now I’ve pulled it an look for activity from a companion dough on the same tray. The alveoli, or cells (above right) that have formed from the gasses give my nose that sour-sweet wheat that hasn’t turned to an acidic nightmare yet. As it heats up in my proofing cabinet, it acts like an old racehorse that is gonna give it his ‘all’ to win one last race! This is what I live for, to push the limits of dough making and conventional wisdom to see what new flavor, textures and crust an old dough can enlighten me with. Enough with the sappy, egotistical B.S., lets roll baby!

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Because I am using an aggressive dough, I need a great strong cheese to compliment the chew and sourness of the disc. I was lucky enough to cop some great cheese named Everton from Jacobs and Birchford in Indiana. It’s one of those iconic cheesed that you never forget with a melt like an aged Gruyere. I loved the competing grass and incredible tangy depth of flavor this cheese has and wish I had a Jackie O’s beer to go along with it. Along with the Everton, I have some fresh mozzarella, wild mushrooms, lemon cream and watercress.

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I decided to cook the pizza at 630 degrees in my Matador oven. This would quick cook the mushrooms melting in the Everton and mozzarella for an old school pizza.


Check out this time lapse and see what a naturally fermented dough that is one third all purpose and two thirds high gluten can do. (Holy smokes, was that a sentence?)

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Here is the pizza right out of the oven. Now is time to dress this pie up.

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First I mixed up the lemon with local Snowville Creme Fraiche to give the pizza a bright note to go with the watercress. I let the salty bresaola just melt on the cheese and mushrooms then topped the pizza with more Everton, watercress and then the creme.

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Wow, this baby is the bomb! Salty sour crunch with acidic and smooth cheesy notes followed by the umami of the mushrooms…paradise!



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!