pizza

sourdough whole wheat pizza

Occasionally we do a great job of planning our meals in advance and it results in tasty things like homemade pizza. You'd think that would be incentive for us to get organized more often. We're getting there.  IMG_1252 IMG_1256 IMG_1263

Overnight Sourdough Whole Wheat Pizza Dough adapted somewhat wildly from Peter Reinhart's Crust and Crumb

1 c white bread flour (I used Roger's Organic) 2 1/2 cups whole wheat bread flour (I used Schmidt Organic) 1 cup sourdough starter (hopefully you have some on hand, if not, find a friend or a bakery who is willing to share, or start some yourself but realize it takes time to develop) 1/4 cup sugar (I used Sucanat, a deliciously unrefined cane sugar) 1/4 tsp salt (I used Le Paludier French grey sea salt) 4 tbsp butter (I used salted because that is what I had) 1 egg (from a happy free -ranging chicken) 1 cup milk (I used Avalon organic whole milk) 1/2 cup water Olive oil for oiling bowl (I used organic extra virgin)

Mixing: Combine all ingredients (except olive oil) in the bowl of a Kitchenaid stand mixer. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 10-12 minutes, sparingly adjusting for moisture if necessary with water or flour. The dough should be slightly soft and tacky and should pass the windowpane test when done (gently tug a corner and try to stretch it so you can see through it- if it rips mix it more and if it stretches it's ready). If mixing by hand, stir ingredients together in a bowl and then knead for 12-15 minutes on a lightly floured surface.

Rise: Lightly oil a clean bowl with the olive oil and place dough in bowl. Cover with plastic and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour, until it noticeably swells.

Divide: Turn dough onto a lightly floured counter and cut in half. Round each piece.

Rest: Lightly oil either the dough rounds or the insides of two plastic bags. Place dough in bags leaving room for it to expand (it will grow more than you think in the fridge), and then place in fridge for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight (dough can be refrigerated for up to 48 hours).

Preheat oven to 550° F or as hot as possible. If you have a pizza stone, put that it before preheating. If you don't have a pizza stone but do have a spare large sheet pan, invert that and place it in the oven before preheating.

Roll: On a floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to desired shape and thickness. Put on pans or a cornmeal-dusted peel (or makeshift peel - I use either a wooden cutting board or an inverted sheet pan as a peel. Also it doesn't need to be cornmeal but be sure to dust the peel with something so the pizza slides off okay). Make a fancy crust if you like. Sauce and top according to personal preference (we used organic pizza sauce, roasted garlic, veggies from our garden and shredded mozzarella).

Bake: Slide into the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the dough is crisp and golden and the cheese is bubbly and golden.

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list

If I look back on this post a year from now, here is what I want to remember: a fire rainbow in the windswept mare's tails clouds above the city at lunchtime; excellent coffee on many a morning boosting morale; picking and eating small precious handfuls of the summer's first blackberries; swimming, arms reaching, body skimming through the liquid landscape of the lake; homemade pizza; finally giving myself a much-needed footrub; evening walks to the tune of peaceful and yolky sunsets. IMG_8184 IMG_8186 IMG_8188

Golden

I'm learning the tides on my walks to work, and also the short seasons of the flowering plants that inhabit the dry, rocky margins of the shore. Already the long grass has cured to deep gold and I haven't seen the otters frolicking in it for over a week; they drift lazy in the kelp beds instead. The camas and California poppies are almost done, giving way to stonecrop and Nootka rose.  We drove up island to Nanaimo for an evening road trip adventure this week, through shady maples, lush farmland and tall Douglas firs. Now, I know that Nanaimo has some ugly strip malls going on, but the winding streets of the old city centre are pretty charming, and a road trip (with some good pizza at Torta Luna along the way) was just what we needed. 

This has also been a good week for visits. My beautiful, talented friend LA came to the island for a brief visit from the mountains, and we walked and walked, and ate very well indeed. My dad came by my work this morning, and on Sunday we went over to Salt Spring Island to visit my family there. The day was hot and sunny, perfect for drinking coffee, walks down to the beach, and my stepdad M's homemade cider. The salmonberries and honeysuckle were ripe, so I snacked as we walked, leaving a trail of orange trumpet flowers along the roadside. 

I brought some of my watercolour paintings into our local print shop this afternoon. It's part of working towards my dream of having an etsy shop up and running, and selling art prints and mobiles and jewellery, and whatever else I'm drawn to create. Yay!

I hope everyone out there is having a rich and vibrant May. 

PS I'm changing the title of this post because whenever I look at it (just what we needed) I get that old song in my head, even though the words are a little different, and that is perhaps not what we needed.