Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fermentation Facination

Sometime last week (last week was a blur), I made a yeast bread. It was a pizza dough so there wasn't a dramatic rise in the oven, but I did have to allow it to rise in a covered bowl a few times before it was ready. Oh yes, I put in my time. Mixing, kneading, allowing it to rise for 90 to 120 minutes, kneading again, and finally allowing it to rise for 45 minutes takes some planning! I loved the thought of working with something that is alive; I feed it, and eventually it will feed me. It's amazing how much the dough changes physically, becoming more elastic as I knead it, then softening up as it's left to rise. I made the dough one night while Jack cooked dinner and we used the dough for calzones the next night. They were quite yummy, I must say. I think it was the cheese and broccoli mixture - and the homemade bread. I'll post the pizza dough recipe first:

Pizza Dough

* Recipe by Johanne Killeen and George Germon from Food & Wine

* SERVINGS: Makes enough for six 8-inch pizzas


1. 1 envelope active dry yeast
2. 1 cup warm water
3. Pinch of sugar
4. 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
5. 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
6. Extra-virgin olive oil

7. 2 1/2 to 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour


1. In a large bowl, mix the yeast with the water and sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt, whole wheat flour and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Gradually add 2 cups of the all-purpose flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough is fairly stiff. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface and knead, gradually adding as much of the remaining all-purpose flour as necessary, until it is smooth, elastic and no longer tacky, 5 to 6 minutes.
2. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and brush the surface with olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
3. Punch down the dough and knead it lightly, then return it to the bowl. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise again until doubled in bulk, about 45 minute
s. Punch down the dough again and use or refrigerate.

Make Ahead

The Pizza Dough can be refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 1 month. Let the dough return to room temperature before using.

I really should have made more and thrown a portion in the freezer. I know for next time. So go make some pizza, or maybe a batch calzones.

Corn and Broccoli Calzones
From EatingWell Magazine July/August 2007

Makes 6 calzones

ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes


1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears; see Tip)
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
All-purpose flour for dusting
20 ounces prepared whole-wheat pizza dough (see Tip), thawed if frozen
2 teaspoons canola oil

1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 475°F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
2. Combine broccoli, corn, mozzarella, ricotta, scallions, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
3. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Place a generous 3/4 cup filling on one half of each circle, leaving a 1-inch border of dough. Brush the border with water and fold the top half over the filling. Fold the edges over and crimp with a fork to seal. Make several small slits in the top to vent steam; brush each calzone with oil. Transfer the calzones to the prepared baking sheets.

My friend Ben is currently reading Wild Fermentation and I am excited to see how he likes it. I would love to learn more about fermentation. I need to read up on beer too, but that is another post...

I didn't take a picture of my calzones, but no matter, I will simply share two of my favorite food related items on etsy: The colorful cards by TommyMamma featuring everyone's favorite kitchen tool can be found by clicking here.

Perhaps you prefer a smaller version of the mixer. CupCakeTree makes the cutest stamps, click here to see were you can buy this hand mixer stamp and if you roam around her shop, you'll find other wonderful kitchen item stamps too.

Now this is not related to food, but I found a fun give-a-way on another blog. All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a handmade clutch purse. The drawing will be on Friday, the 27th and there are only 3 entries so far. That's good odds! Click here to check it out. The author of the blog has an etsy shop with handmade bags.

Whew! That's all I've got for now - thanks for reading!


BeebaBottoms said...

oooh! yummy! i love bread recipes! I have bread dough in my fridge for baking tommorrow... yum!

Debi Vincent said...

Mmmmmm. Pizza. And the mixer stamp is super cute!

Lucy said...

I am definitely having corn and broccoli calzones in the near future!! Thanks for sharing!

myminimocs said...

i love those note cards & that rubber stamp - but the recipes i only have one word for - YUMMO!!!

Amy @ ozark scents said...

Yummy!! Your recipes sound GREAT!! Thanks for sharing! :)

Flamingo Junction said...

This looks SO good! And so not on my diet, but it'd sure make a nice treat on one of my off days!

Sarah said...

Those calzones look amazing, I'm practically drooling over here.

blueberryjunkie said...

You just made have some serious calzone cravings!!

Just wanted to thank you for stopping by my blog, and I am really happy to hear your friend liked the onesie.

(must go and find calzones!!)

yellowfish said...

oh! I'll have to try your pizza dough. I made some the other day that I wasn't that excited about, this looks better!

Kala Pohl Studio said...

Yummy to that pizza bread:)