All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

pizza with minced ginger and sourdough starter

Pizza with Minced Ginger

This is a rather ordinary pizza that I threw together for lunch, but it is important to me personally because it sort of marks a turning point.

I recently caved in and bought the book "Tartine Bread", which contains a lot of pizza recipes.  Now, I want to quickly point out that this pizza recipe is not from that book.  The dough isn't yet a Tartine dough, because my starter isn't ready.  So my pizza doesn't look anything like Tartine's (yet), and in fact my pizza is quite pedestrian looking.  Utilitarian even.  However, it marks a change for me in the way I deal with my sourdough.

I have been trying to get the Tartine starter up and running, and in the first few days, you have to throw away a substantial amount of starter, because you are refreshing it at room temperature daily (or more frequently).  At first, I was just giving my discards to my chickens, but by the fifth day, they appeared to be rebelling, and they didn't eat all of it.  Now, the starter is still not quite ready for the Tartine loaf, I think.  I am seeing some fermentation, but it isn't performing as well as my older starters yet, and I think another couple of days ought to do it.
The newly refreshed Tartine starter on the left, my whole wheat starter on the right,
and behind it is the discards from today's refreshing.
Anyway, more about the Tartine Bread book in later posts.

For now, I want to just show that I can eat this daily starter discard now, even if the chickens won't: I can bake pizza with it, for example.

This morning, I refreshed the Tartine starter as usual, and set the discard aside.  Before I went off to a yoga class, I mixed this discarded starter with some flour, kneaded it into a ball, and then let it sit.  Even if it wouldn't rise a bread in a timely manner yet, it would be good enough to make pizza which doesn't really require a lot of puffiness.
How much flour?  Who knows?
We don't need no stinkin' measuring cup.

When I returned from yoga, I simply spread this dough apart with my fingers and some olive oil.  I looked through the fridge for some ingredients and noticed I had a little bit of spelt sourdough in there that I had forgotten.  I took it out, mixed it with some flour too, and made a long rope of dough with it.  It wasn't long enough to go completely around the diameter, but I simply used what I had.  Same with the other ingredients:

I tossed on these ingredients (yes, I realize I'm still overdoing this)...

  • tomato sauce
  • green olives
  • red peppers coated with a bit of oil
  • canned mushrooms (disappointed I didn't buy those fresh mushies yesterday when I had the chance!)
  • minced ginger - just fling some on here and there
  • grated Canadian cheddar cheese
  • grated peccorino cheese
... and I baked it in the oven at 525 degrees for about 14 minutes.  Now, the last 3-4 minutes of the bake, I walked to the garden and pulled some herbs, and tossed those on while it was still in the oven.  I think I've got some chives, green onions, and something else, maybe it's mint.

The best part was the minced ginger, it went surprisingly well with the tomato sauce.

But the point is, I can use up my discard in meals, I don't have to consign it to the compost.  Nothing from now on will be wasted.  Even if the chickens do turn their noses up at it.

Notes to Myself
  • As much as you like pizza, you probably should look for some other recipes too, for using up the discards.  Even once you are able to make bread with the starter, you will want to refresh the starter at least daily.  So what can you do with this stuff?  Pancakes and Pizza, sure: but what else?  Start looking around and use your imagination.
  • The bottom crust was a trifle gooey: try putting it closer to the bottom element in the oven, instead of on the middle rack.

No comments:

Post a Comment