New Course: Earth Oven Building Weekend

Just a brief post to notify you of a brand new course that we’re offering this summer which we’ve just advertised on our cookery school pages. Our Earth Oven Building Weekend will take place on the 16th and 17th July, and is a unique opportunity for you to come and learn how to make an earth oven for outdoor cooking and bread making in your own back garden. We’ll be making an oven together over the weekend in the very same style of the oven that we use to run our bread courses and community bakery from. You can see all the details of the course over on this page, and if there is enough demand for the first course we may run a second course this year before the weather turns.

Psuedo-Sourdough Pizza – Recipe

I received an interesting email the other day from a fellow foodie tweeter, Sarah from Brock Hall Farm (lovely goats cheese – check it out if you’re lucky enough to live anywhere near an outlet), based in Shropshire. Sarah was abroad, within easy access of a wood-fired oven, and indebted to some friends to whom she had promised sourdough pizza from the wood-fired oven. So in popped the email, asking me for a magic recipe to make psuedo-sourdough pizza in one day. Now for any bread-heads out there you’ll know you need at least five days to start a sourdough starter from scratch, but a psuedo-sourdough, that’s definitely a possibility if you’ve got 24 hours. Below are my instructions to Sarah to make the dough for her psuedo-sourdough pizza, and below that Sarah has kindly shared her recipe for the tomato sauce reduction – enjoy!

Psuedo-sourdough pizza dough (makes 6)

Day before baking

150g strong white flour, or ’00’ if you can get it
3g fast action dried yeast
130g tepid water
2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt

Combine the ingredients in a bowl, stir thoroughly. Cover with a plastic bag and leave overnight, or for at least 8 hours (the longer the better for a nice sour flavour from the yoghurt). This called a ‘sponge’.

Day of baking

300g sponge from above
460g strong white flour or ’00’
240g tepid water
10g salt
15g Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Optional, I prefer to add olive oil on top of the dough when rolled out, but you could add it now as Sarah did)

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and than knead on a clean work surface for around 10 minutes. Don’t add any extra flour, that’s cheating. Place the kneaded dough back into an oiled bowl, cover it with a plastic bag, and leave to ferment for up to 2 hours, depending on the ambient temperature. It will roughly double in volume. Divide the dough into 6 150g pieces, and roll each one out to a round a few millimetres thin. Add your tomato sauce, toppings and some nice cheese and bake in a hot hot (250C, gas mark 10) oven for 10 minutes (directly on a pizza stone if you have one), or in a wood-fired oven for about 2 minutes.

Sarah’s tomato reduction

1.5kg vine ripened tomatoes, (the more aromatic the better), skinned, deseeded and roughly chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
Freshly chopped oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large saucepan, without colouring the garlic. When translucent, add the chopped tomatoes and simmer quite vigorously for about 10 minutes until they have reduced into a firm and fragrant sauce. Add salt, pepper and fresh oregano and continue simmering and tasting until you are satisfied with flavour and consistency. It should be more of a thick paste than a thick pasta ‘dressing’. You may need an extra glug of olive oil to emsulify it nicely. Click on the thumbnail images below to see how Sarah’s pizza’s turned out.

@loafonline 'sponge'/semi-sourdough made the most sublime, ta... on Twitpic Absolutely delish home made pizzas using @loafonline blinding... on Twitpic