Pizza, then Bread
You may not have flour – we heard there has been a run on it and toilet paper during Governor Polis’ Stay at Home order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Early in the quarentine, we knew we’d need plenty of flour and so called the wholesaler who supplied us with chocolate at Christmastime. Steuart estimates that he uses a 5 lb bag every two weeks, so we have a ten-week supply.
Waiting in the parking lot, I social distanced and received 50 pounds of all purpose, organic wheat flour – Bay State owns the former Rocky Mountain Milling company located in Plattesville, Colorado. The company was started more than 100 years ago in Boston by an Irish immigrant.
Here’s the routine. before noon Steuart mixes a dough with the ratio 100/64 or 1000 g flour to 640 g (or mL) of water, and salt. Before dinner, he cut out a third of the dough for a pizza. The remaining two thirds are left in the bowl to mature overnight in a cool location. He’ll form it into loaves in the morning and bake an hour later.
Steuart uses a thin spatula (without bristles) to oil the surface of the pizza after he rolled in out with our marble rolling pin (my birthday present from him in 1985).
This pizza will be topped with cherry tomatoes,mushrooms, red pepper, fresh mozzarella made in house at Marczaks , and parmesan. By the time the oven is hot, 400°F; and the toppings added, the dough has rested enough to be baked but can wait for up to 1/2 hour and be equally happy.
Pizza is great with red wine – a nice rustic one from Italy – but during the Sheltering at Home times buying wine in person has been fun – no tastings. We’ve been ordering from a nearby shop – Divino – that has all our buying history on file. They know what we’ve bought and select a case of similar stuff, call to pay for it, we drive up and they load it in the car. We hear that people in other states just go to the grocery store. I’m getting used to the service.
Baking the Bread
In the morning, Steuart will bring the dough into the warm kitchen and let it come to room temperature. He forms the loaves, let’s them double in size. After which he bakes them in a very hot oven 450°F – for 30 – 45 minutes.
Or they can be sectioned (by weight) into rolls. These freeze well – better than a loaf of bread – and can be defrosted in the quantity needed. Slightly less baking time is needed for rolls and ganging them, as shown in the image, keeps the crust from drying too much. Some can be dusted with seeds or herbs, or left plain. All should be brushed with an egg white wash in order to be shiny when served.