No, this post is not about pissaladière.
I have been looking at blogging projects that would prompt me to learn new baking skills and to bake on a regular basis – I’m conditioned by uni and work to meet external deadlines, however arbitrary. Tuesdays with Dorie, which is working through the book Baking with Julia, seemed a fun project to join. Et me voila.
This Tuesday’s recipe is pizza with onion confit. It seemed the perfect way to start with the TWD group. I have been fascinated by Julia Child even before the movie, Julie and Julia. For almost as long, I have been fascinated by the magic of yeast.
I loved the dough, as did Mr Gander and his mother, and it worked well as both thick and thin pizza bases. The onion confit was a tasty though different take on pizza topping. Next time I would use a different (softer) style of red wine, or tweak the recipe a little. My notes on the recipes and tweaks are below, for full recipe please go to The Boy Can Bake or see page 159 of Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan.
No, this is not about a self-help book. Unless we are talking about the River Cottage bread handbook. The book gives detailed, easy to follow instructions on hand-kneading dough instead of the usual “place ingredients in a Kitchenaid…” Thanks to River Cottage, yeast and I are finally friends.
These days, yeast makes the dough bubble up playfully, and deflate with a faint hiss as I punch it down playfully. During these exchanges, flour and water stretch and meld together, turning from a lumpy mess to a silky, smooth ball.
The pizza dough, based on River Cottage and Leites Culinaria recipes, may have made us BFF (baking-wise).
Even on its first outing, the pizza dough was a no-fuss kinda lass. On one afternoon, while most of Sydney lay in parks or on beaches, basking in the first properly hot, sunny day in Spring, the dough also grew sleek and full of air bubbles. The dough was a little crumbly at first (probably due to the handful of semolina I tossed into the mix), and benefitted from 5 minutes of resting at a couple of points. When the time came to punch down the dough, it had become smooth and pliable, and was ready to be divided into two white satiny lumps.