As readers of this blog will know, I have been a home-baked pizza fanatic for a while now. I’ve done lots of experimenting, tried lots of tweaks. Masochists can trace the evolution of my pizza sojourn from its beginnings via the links at the bottom of this post.
While I’m no fan of Masterchef (rave building…but that’s another post), Gary Mehigan and Georgieboy Calombaris are undoubtedly excellent chefs and I do make sure I catch the Friday night ‘Masterclass’ episodes (he lied, trying to suggest he exercised some degree of discrimination, when in fact he hasn’t missed an episode: blame a long-standing trash TV addiction). Last Friday’s class was particularly interesting for me because it featured Gaz and Georgieboy demonstrating home-baked pizza.
Earlier in the week, there had been an ‘Invention Test’ in which the contestants were given one hour to turn out “the best woodfired pizzas in the known universe” – or some such silly hyperbolic Georgism (can someone pleeease dunk his fucking scriptwriter in the deep fryer?).
For the past year, I’ve been on a sourdough tour of discovery. It’s been a fascinating ride, taking in many different dough formulae and techiques. Some I’ve sourced from bread gurus – Hamelman, Reinhart, Lepard, Glezer – but most have come courtesy of amateur home bakers generously sharing their recipes and expertise on artisan bread sites like The Fresh Loaf and Wild Yeast.
My sourdough adventures have not been confined to bread…
Try sourdough pizza and there’s no going back.
Even hot cross buns!
The sourdough breads I’ve baked have included pain de campagnes, pain au levains, walnut breads, barm breads, Italian batards, semolina sourdoughs, country boules, ciabattas, simple milk loaves, San Francisco style sourdoughs, and various adaptations of classics by acclaimed bakers such as Lionel Poilâne, Gérard Rubaud and Chad Robertson. If you’re not a breadhead these names won’t mean much to you. Don’t worry! For here we come to the core of this post, which is a return to basics: a no-fuss, everyday sourdough bread that tastes great and is simple to make. Continue reading My New Favourite Home-baked Sourdough Bread – Simple, But Special!→
Back in July 08, I wrote a post entitled Making Your Own GREAT Pizzas At Home. I had experimented with multiple pizza recipes before developing one I particularly liked, and with further tweaking over a period of months was consistently getting results that I was pretty pleased with. My pizzas were on a par with all but one of my favourite local pizzerias, and given the restrictions of a domestic oven, I was chuffed with that.
Naturally, I slipped into evangelical mode and posted my recipe on the web for anyone interested. The response was underwhelming, although a few folk emailed me privately to enthuse after trying the recipe. But there were hundreds of pizza recipes on the web, I reasoned – why should massive tribes of pizza pundits flock to my blog? I sulked vaguely for a short time, then got on with enjoying my home-baked lil’ luverlies.
That was not the end of the story – not by a long way. Driven by a restless and at times self-defeating perfectionism, I continued to experiment with my pizzas, but could not improve on the recipe I posted. Then I happened upon a remarkable site of obsession and instruction that set me back on my increasingly well-padded bum with a jolt: Continue reading Sourdough Pizzas – As Good As Home Oven Pizzas Get!→