Sunday, July 12, 2009

One Local Summer Week 6

This week its all about the pizza, made with local flour and covered with local toppings, of course. After finally making the time to read Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day I mixed up a batch of dough for last weeks Caramelized Onion Rolls and it was so successful that the book stayed out and the remaining dough went into the fridge. Leaving books on my crowded kitchen counter usually results in one of three things: food gets spilled on them, they get buried under other things that get left on the counter or they get used again in a moment of "I have too much raw food and no meal in mind...oh, I think I'll look in here".

And that's how I randomly flipped to the page on pizza dough and realized that, yes, I could use the same whole wheat dough I had for the rolls to make a pizza crust. I mixed up the next batch using the lite whole wheat this afternoon and now, more than 5 pizza experiments later I will say while that having the proper equipment results in a little less chaos and better looking pizzas, you can make it work with what ever is on hand and though it may be irregularly shaped it will still taste great. From the time I got the idea to make pizza (dough already in fridge) to the time we were sitting down to eat was 40 minutes; 20 minutes to warm the oven and baking stone while I prepped the ingredients and taught K how to grate cheese, 5 minutes to roll out dough and cover with prepared toppings, 8-10 minutes to cook pizza, and another 5 to let it cool and do a little bit of cleanup prior to cutting the slices and sitting down to a very satisfying meal.

The wheat flours for the crust all came from Wade's Mill, stored in the big containers in the fridge shot above. I don't have any local yeast sources yet so I buy it in bulk. I had a great big jar of Bigg Riggs pasta sauce that I needed only half of for a pasta dish I'm planning for tomorrow so I used the other half of it as the basis for all but this one, where I splurged on a container of their fresh pesto at yesterday's market and if you look closely you can just see the hint of green underneath all the toppings.
Speaking of the toppings, because I'm lactose intolerant you won't find the beautifully melted local mozzarella (it's really good but I just can't) orbs or specialty cheeses that are readily available at the farmers markets. But, for my daughters sake, who probably ate more cheese while grating it than was left to go on all the pizzas combined, I did use some of the Colby that I ordered with my milk delivery from South Mountain Creamery (more on that soon) and a little bit of imported Parmesan, because it bothers me less and I really like the flavor. On the first pizza I made (not pictured due to severe deformity) I used the leftover caramelized onions from the rolls and it was so good that made some more with onions from Potomac Vegetable Farms and added it on every subsequent pie. Other toppings included diced cherry tomato's from I forget where, fresh basil leaves from my porch, home-canned raw-packed sweet corn from last years farm share, shredded leftover chicken that came from a whole bird I roasted with a home devised spice rub and had picked up frozen from a local vendor at the Percelville farmers market a while back.

The best part was that when we sat down to eat my normally picky daughter,who only eats cheese on her slices as I've been informed numerous times, asked for a big slice and ate it right up, onions and all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, pizza. Its amazing how veg/fruit/etc. that one doesn't normally like is so much tastier on pizza. I am also a particular fan of caramelized onion. Making pizza dough at the same time as the other breads works for me too, and then the dough can just hang out in the fridge even for a few days or in the freezer for a couple weeks until you are ready for it.

I'm lactose intolerant too, so pizza can be interesting when eating with friends and family. But with delicious herbs and veg, I don't even feel like I'm missing a thing! Great meal.