Tag Archives: pizza

Quick Bites: Pizza Provençale

We’ve been back from France for nearly two weeks — another post for another time — and have been craving Provençale dishes. This had led to some delicious experiments with tapenade.

Tapenade — like pesto — is one of those basic ingredients worth keeping on hand because you can whip up dinner in no time. The complex flavor adds richness to pasta, fish or chicken (spread a layer on top before baking), or dab it on sliced rounds of crusty toasted bread. Here’s my favorite recipe:

In a food processor, blend: 1 cup pitted brined kalamata olives; 2 anchovy fillets; 1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped; 1 tablespoon capers; 2 tablespoons lemon juice (genius time saver: Minute Maid frozen lemon juice); 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil; 1/4 tsp herbes de Provence; 1/4 teaspoon cayenne; freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Last night I tried it on pizza. Whenever I make this dough (a half-recipe is enough for two large pies) I keep one portion in the freezer for the next time we need a quick meal. The result was somewhere between a traditional pizza and a more labor-intensive pissaladière. Note: You can use nearly any type of crust or even puff pastry if you’re feeling decadent and go more traditional with a rectangular baking sheet.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees F, or your hottest setting.
  • Slice 1 1/2 large yellow onion into thin slices.
  • Prepare pizza pan by oiling it and sprinkling with corn meal. I used a 14″ round.
  • Shape pizza dough (this recipe’s a stand-out).
  • Prebake the dough until it starts to turn light brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool. Lower oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
  • Spread dough with a generous layer of tapenade.
  • Cover evenly with the sliced onions.
  • Top with a few sliced kalamata olives.
  • Sprinkle with additional olive oil and herbes de Provence.
  • Bake until onions soften, about 15 minutes.
  • Cool slightly, slice, eat. Extra delicious with a glass of chilled Rosé.
Bon appetit!

For the Love of Carbs #3

Last week we experimented with bread porn.  This week, class entered horror movie territory as we were introduced to… The Slasher!!

The slasher, otherwise known as a bread lame (“lahm”, “lahm-uh”, or as our instructor endearingly pronounced it, “lamb-y”), is a tool used to score dough so that it can expand during baking.  For this session, we improvised with a razor on a stick, which worked pretty well.

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Our final class was perhaps overly ambitious.  We made baguettes, another sourdough, pumpernickel (which we baked at home) and pizza (which we ate during our break).

Baguettes are nearly impossible to bake properly at home since it’s difficult to generate enough steam but we all wanted to try. Abby had made the dough in advance, which looked like Jabba the Hutt as it shimmied its way from its giant pan to the workspace.

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Our baguettes ended up a bit under-baked due to time constraints, and mine got squashed on the ride home. They were tasty, though, and worth another try in the future.

The pizza was fun to make and we’d all worked up an appetite, but I’ll probably stick with Bobby Flay’s recipe. 

Pumpernickel was the most successful, perhaps because it wasn’t rushed.

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The sourdough was good, too.

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Someone asked Abby why she decided to make baking her career, not just a hobby. Her advice: If you lose track of time while you’re doing something, it means you really love it.

We certainly did!

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(Abby’s the tall one in the middle, back row. Yours truly is front row left in a scarf.)