Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gabriele Bonci's Broccolini And Mortadella Pizza

The long awaited English translation of Gabriele Bonci's book on pizza finally arrived last Tuesday. So I spent the rest of the week browsing through the recipes trying to decide on which to try. Broccolini And Mortadella won out.

The first step (and by far the most time consuming) is making the dough. That process is documented in detail in the book and on many other blogs, so I'll skip it here. I made a full batch of the white dough recipe: 

White Pizza Dough

Recipe by Gabriele Bonci

  • 1 Kg. Bread Flour
  • 700-800 gm. Water
  • 7 gm. Instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 20 gm. Sea salt
  • 40 gm. Olive Oil
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine the flour and yeast, mixing well.
  2. Add the water and mix until a shaggy mass forms.
  3. And the remaining ingredients and mix for a few minutes until well combined. The dough will be rather wet.
  4. Let the dough rise, covered for 1 hour.
  5. Dump the dough onto a very well floured surface and gently shape it into a rough rectangle with a short side nearest you.
  6. Fold the top 1/3 of the rectangle down to the center and press it down gently.
  7. Fold the bottom third up over the center and press it down.
  8. Turn the dough 90 degrees, re-shape the rectangle and repeat the folding.
  9. And do it again.
  10. And again.
  11. Put the dough back in it's bowl and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  12. Repeat the folding and resting 3 more times.
  13. After a final resting divide the dough into 3 or 4 equal balls and place them in the refrigerator in lightly oiled bowls and covered tightly in plastic wrap, overnight.
  14. The dough balls may also be frozen or simply allowed to rise in a cool place until you're ready to bake.

Two 600 gm. dough balls

I'm already pretty familiar with Bonci style dough and knew that it would take about 600 grams to fill my small jellyroll pan. So I divided the full batch into three balls: 2 for the pizza and 1 went into the freezer for next week. Those two went into a couple large bowls for the final fermentation. Since I would be using them in just a few hours I put them out on our rather chilly porch instead of overnighting them in the refrigerator.

Broccolini And Mortadella Pizza Filling

Recipe by Adapted from Gabriele Bonci

  • 250 gm. Broccolini or Broccoli raab, Chopped
  • 125 gm. Mortadella
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Juice
Once the dough is made the process is simple.

Stretch one ball so it fills the pan. That's an aluminum 1/4 sheet pan about 10.5 x 15.15 inches.

That's Broccoli Raab
Spread on the chopped broccolini, lightly dressed with olive oil and a little salt. I used broccoli raab, which is a lot more leafy than broccolini.

Stretch the other dough ball and place it on top. Bake at 500 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Carefully lift off the top crust and give the broccolini  spritz of lemon juice, then layer on the Mortadella.

Put the top back on and let it cool a few minutes, then slice and eat.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Tomato Focaccia

A couple weeks ago I dried some of the last San Marzano Tomatoes from our garden and canned them in olive oil. (And it looks like we'll have enough to make another batch this week or next.) "Sun" dried tomatoes can go in a lot of different dishes, but it's been a while since I made focaccia so here's how it goes...

The night before you plan to bake, start a batch of Bonci Pizza Dough and pop it in the 'fridge for it's first fermentation.

The next day pull the dough out of the 'fridge and let it stand at room temperature for a couple hours. Turn the dough out on a floured counter top, perform the first "fold over", and return the dough to it's container for an hour to rise again.

Arrange the Tomato bits

After forming the rectangle for the second "fold over" gently press about half a cup of chopped "sun dried" tomatoes into the surface.


And fold...
Complete the "fold over" and return the dough to it's container for an hour to rise again.

An hour later complete the third fold over.

Stretch to fit

Another hour later, lightly oil a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan and your hands. Carefully lift the dough onto the pan. Gently stretch the dough so it fills the pan as evenly as possible. This batch was made with only 400 grams of flour so it's a little small. A full batch will fill a 10x15 inch pan.

Cover the pan and preheat your over to 500 degrees.

Oil, Salt & Oregano
After an hour has passed (yes that's 4 hours of rising) brush the dough carefully with a little olive oil and sprinkle on a little sea salt (or Kosher salt as I used here). A sprinkle of crushed oregano and into the oven it goes for 12-15 minutes.

Let it Cool
That all there is to it - it's not really that much effort even - just a few minutes scattered through a rainy afternoon.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Mushroom Ragout with Polenta

Mushroom Ragout with Polenta

Recipe by William Colsher
Yield: 2 servings

    For the Mushroom Ragout

  • 1 lb. Assorted Mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup Diced Onion
  • 4 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs Chopped Parsley
  • 1 Tbs Chopped Thyme
  • 1/4 cup Dry Marsala
  • 1 cup Beef or Vegetable Stock
  • 1/2 cup Cream
  • 1 Tbs Julienne Basil

  • For the Polenta

  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1/2 Cup Corn Meal
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Cooking Directions
    Make the Mushroom Ragout

  1. Clean the mushrooms carefully. Feel free to rinse them in running water. (Alton Brown dispelled the myth of the "mushroom sponge" years ago.)

  2. Halve or quarter large button or Cremini mushrooms, de-stem and slice Shiitakes, roughly chop oyster mushrooms. The pieces should be fairly uniform and about twice as big as you want then to be in the final ragout.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan large enough to hold the mushrooms in one batch.
  4. Saute the onions until they become translucent.

  5. Reduce! Reduce! Reduce!

  6. Add the mushrooms to the onion mixture, salt lightly and saute over medium heat until the mushroom liquid has reduced to a syrup.
  7. Lower the heat and add the garlic. Saute about a minute, until the garlic is fragrant.
  8. Add the parsley and thyme and saute another minute, mixing well.
  9. Add the Marsala, deglaze, and reduce to a syrup again.
  10. Raise the heat and add the stock. Simmer until reduced by half.

  11. Add the cream and continue to simmer until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  12. Set the mushroom ragout aside off heat, covered.

  13. Make the Polenta

  14. In a medium saucepan whisk the corn meal into the water or stock and bring it to a boil over high heat, whisking continuously, until it begins to thicken.
  15. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 10-15 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the corn meal is fully cooked and creamy.
  16. Stir in the Parmigiano.
  17. Taste the mushroom ragout and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  18. Divide the polenta between two bowls, top with the mushroom ragout, sprinkle on the basil and serve immediately.

I tend to prefer using beef stock to accentuate the meaty flavor of the mushrooms. Nevertheless, this recipe can easily be a very filling Meatless Monday main course by using vegetable stock. In that case I'd suggest heating the stock and adding half an ounce of dried Porcini mushrooms to it 15 minutes before starting. Then lift out the Porcinis, strain the stock, and add both in step 9.


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