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November 10, 2006


Finnegans Wake

My latest obsession is also related to solid beer. Long story short, I have never excelled in the science of breadmaking, but am Quixotically taking it up after reading Tony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential," the chpater about his breadmaker. The idea of having a starter -- kindly referred to in Bourdain's tome as "the bitch" -- festering and bubbling away ad infinitum appealed to the science geek in me.

I Googled up Ed Wood (not the Plan 9 guy!) and his sourdoughs, and now have two Italian and one French culture in jars that, when opened, send my wife running out of the room. So far, I've had one very successful loaf, one where I tinkered with the recipe that, ermmmm, was not so successful, and some very good pizza doughs.

When you get right down to it, I think I'm trying to recreate a decent neo-Neopolitan crust, since here in the heart of Amish country I can order the prototypical Hut-slop or local pizzeria glop. Heck with that, I want the real stuff. My first stabs at pizza where at least as good as what you'd order. I had one doughball left over and stretched it out, carmelized a bunch of onions and leeks, put it on the dough with some anchovies and parm, and voila! It wasn't exactly a pizza, but it was darned tasty. Crust is key.

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