Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sourdough Pizza Crust

adapted from King Arthur Flour's recipe

  • 8.5 oz unfed starter
  • 1/2 c hot tap water
  • 2 c flour
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
Knead 5 minutes
Rise til doubled, 2-4 hours
Divide dough in half, shape roughly into 6 inch discs
Let rest at least 15 minutes
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Shape to final pizza size, poke interior with fork to prevent bubbling
Bake crust 5 minutes
Add sauce and toppings
Bake an additional 10 minutes (if you may need to rotate the pizzas if they are on different racks halfway through this.)

It is really, really good. It still gets pretty thin, and it is nice and crispy and holds up to the sauce well. The crust is chewy. It doesn't brown prettily like you'd expect - sourdough is weird about browning.

The real joy is that it uses unfed starter - that's the stuff you can't use in most recipes because it's not very active. Instead of throwing it out when I feed the starter from the fridge I can make this - I expect that will happen a lot. May also try making the dough and freezing it - either for future pizzas or for a big batch of breadsticks.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Sourdough bakeoff! KAF recipe using Stinky. Stinky bread is on the left, Arthur is on the right.
They both had huge ovenspring.
But Stinky's bread only rose right in the center. Flavor is fine, maybe even a bit better because Stinky eats only whole wheat flour. But for bread rising purposes, Arthur is the better starter. I haven't quite brought myself to throw out Stinky yet. Theoretically, I could grow a new wild starter anytime I have a week to spare. But Stinky is my first! Still since I can barely use enough starter to keep one going, I'd just be throwing out a lot of it to keep two alive.

(The invalid and his brother, Mister Shoveybutt.)
Vlad is off steroids! Hopefully that will go well and we can stay off of them. Now he should: be less thirsty, be less hungry, and grow his fur back better. The first two will hopefully mean he will start letting us sleep through the whole night. I can't wait.

I just happened to catch this bird enjoying our hanging planter while I was taking the other pictures.

Other news:
N has his darling car back.
I learned how to start the patent process at work, which involved commuting for a workday and talking to people.
New recipe: Frenchified Beef Stew - great with fresh sourdough, awesome the next day. We used stew meat instead of short ribs, parsley instead of chevril, and discovered our shared love for pearl onions.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Sourdough bakeoff!

The starter from King Arthur Flour arrived, and I made my first batch of bread from it. (To henceforth be known as Arthur.) I made the accompanying recipe, which makes annoyingly small loaves. (I think they mean for them to be freeform, but we like making sandwiches out of everything, so use loaf pans.) It never rose all that much, but I gave in and stuck it in the oven 2 hours past the suggested rise time. HUGE oven spring that made it almost a respectable size loaf. Fantastic texture: seems almost professional. Stinky's bread comes out like english muffins, but Arthur's was much more like bakery bread. Much, much softer.

Experiments to still be done:
  1. Try the KAF recipe with Stinky
  2. Modify the KAF recipe to include whole wheat flour
  3. Modify the KAF recipe to produce larger loaves.
Other things:

The insurance company is going to fix N's car (they scared us and threatened to total it: would have been a huge pain in the neck mostly because we have never dealt with such a thing before.) He's got a rental Accord in the meantime, which is ginormous compared to our cars.

Today is my 9th anniversary with IBM. All as a co-op. I wish I knew who to ask to find out if that's a record!

I got a new computer for the first time in almost 5 years, a Mac Mini. As soon as I get the proper video adapter for my antique monitor (hey, at least it's LCD) I will get to be properly excited.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Last weekend we finally went to a thrift store near a nice part of town (it's not IN a nice part of town, but it is right next to a bunch of antique shops) Our theory paid off - the store itself was small and dingy, but the selection had a lot of great quality stuff. We'll have to go back sometime before I need an interview suit.
Sadly, someone rearended our parked car almost as soon as we got there. We saw it happen (from half a block away) and got the guy's insurance info. The insurance company will take care of it next week - the poor little miata needs a new rear light assembly and maybe some love to get the trunk lid to sit just right again. :(

I tried letting sourdough rise until I would normally put it in the oven. Then I re-kneaded one of the loaves and let it have a second rise. It took FOREVER, and came out super sour. I'm not sure I can coax a well-rounded loaf out of Stinky, so I gave in and ordered a starter from King Arthur Flour.

Judo started back again this week. It was great fun but I hope that next week it does not make me quite so sore.

Today I went to school and signed up for thesis hours for the semester. 7 this semester leaves 3 more before I graduate. Wow.

Vlad continues to improve, and is taking another step down on his steroid intake.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

2009 had a lot of downs. But even with all the craziness, except for Vlad, we're all in a better place than when we started it. Glad to move on to the next chapter. 2010 will have its share of big plans, but I hope tempered with more stability!

Also, I know everyone else has already said this, but: 2010! TWENTY-TEN. That's the freaking future.