Monday, November 11, 2013

Warming Inspiration

Living in a house that is over hundred years is totally not like the apartment building I lived that was of a similar age. The radiators in that dwelling might have hissed and pissed as it heated my place to a balmy, tropical 80-degrees. And, the windows had been replaced at some point that allowed that enveloping warmth to stay within. Now, I am completely exposed – the original lead glass windows, which are beautiful are poorly insulting even with the storm windows that have been laid over them as a supposedly thermal barrier. Hah! Fortunately, I finally figured out how the wood burning stove works that actually does warm up the place.

I am now in love with the glowing nightly fire if not so much with the daily scooping of wasted embers. Though this fire unit has made me think – besides taking the chill out of the air what else can it do? It is a stove after all, and I am committed to cooking on it and in it. A crispy potato galette will brown on its top but it is the idea that I have the potential for bread making. The conventional stove in the kitchen maxes out at 500-degree and the one touched into the wall of the living room revs in excess of 1,000-degrees. The radiator in my old place could have stood in as a proofer but never could I have imaged much more.

Pizza Pie Roll – yields 10-inch pie

1-packet dry yeast
½-teaspoon sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
4-cups all-purpose flour
2-teaspoons olive oil
1-medium onion - diced
5-cup roughly chopped leaves – such as beet, spinach, kale
4-garlic cloves – chopped
¼-pound smoked sausage - diced
2-cups packed basil leaves
¼-pound grated Parmesan cheese
¼-pound grated Asiago cheese
Freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large work bowl mix together 1-cup of warm water, yeast, sugar and 2-tablespoons of flour. Let the mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes – there a bloom should occur indicating the yeast has activated. Then mix in the remaining flour and olive oil, and work into a dough mass. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes – alternatively, the dough can be made in a standing mixture fitted with a dough hook attachment.

Once the dough has been worked and feels smooth to the touch, lightly flour the dough and place in a bowl, and cover with a damp towel. Let the dough proof for an hour, and then gently knock down, and proof for a second hour.

While the dough is proofing heat a 10-inch pan over a high flame and add the onions and sausage. Cook for about 10-minutes then start adding the greens, in batches, to wilt. Once the greens are done mix the garlic. Transfer the greens mixture to a sieve, and allow it to cool completely. Once the greens has cooled mix in basil, Parmesan and Asiago cheeses.

Pre-heat the oven to 500-degrees.

Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough out to about 20x16 inches. Spread the greens out over the dough leaving about an inch at the bottom without any filling. Roll the dough up into a log and then spiral to create a 10-inch round.

Place the pizza into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, and place in the oven on a lower third rack. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes, Remove from the oven, and allow the pizza pie sit for about 15 minutes before serving.