wet and wetter

Last month I read Sarah Black’s excellent One Dough, Ten Breads: Making Great Bread by Hand (2016). Seems to me that it would be an ideal book for beginners and I wish I had it years ago. It includes bread made with bakers’ yeast as well as sourdough.

For a while now I have been playing with making Roman pizza in teglia — we’d call them tray bakes.

I made the pissaladière from Black’s book which is really a focaccia with some salty toppings (and comes from Nice originally). The focaccia-based dough was surprisingly wet (83% hydration).

It was nice for sure but the balance of bread to topping wasn’t ideal for me.

I then had a go at Black’s pizza recipe which uses a ciabatta dough as the base. Now, ciabatta is the wettest of wet doughs, and this one is hydrated at 92%. With dough like that it often feels like you are wrangling the dough into the oven. It’s sticky and hilarious and not for the feint-hearted. I wish I’d taken some photos of the dough — it was a thing of beauty as it oozed out onto the tray.

very open crumb due to high hydration ciabatta doughvery open crumb due to high hydration ciabatta dough

This pizza was close to perfect for me. I ever so slightly underbaked it in the oven downstairs so that I could cut a slice and (re)heat it in my little kitchen. The crust has a delicate crunch to it (so typical of ciabatta) and the balance of thickness to toppings was on the money for my taste (and reminded me of my favourite slices in Rome).

The next step is to re-create a simple pizza in teglia but working with natural (sourdough) fermentation. If I get that right I might sell it by weight at COGS on Saturdays.

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