Fresh bread and terrific pizza

OK.  Yes, I should be writing more, especially since I’m taking time off after Network Clarity.  But in addition to a really irritating case of writer’s block about my usual topics, I’ve been getting outdoors asDsc00733 much as possible and also cooking a lot more.  The latter is due to a combination of wanting to make healthier meals more "from scratch," at least while I’m less busy, and from watching too much Alton Brown.

Last week’s fun item was pizza dough.  I resurrected my pizza stone and peel from the basement, and made a couple of batches of dough, fairly successfully.  Last Friday my brother, and our friends Ian and Beth, came over and we made pizzas, with homemade sauce, a couple of batches of my dough, some fresh herbs, olives, and good pepperoni.  The crust was light but chewy, but not quite thin enough for my tastes, although the thickness did help it stand up to reheating the next day.

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Today I made bread, mostly because I’d read some of "Brother Junipers Bread Book: Slow Rise As Method and Metaphor" while it was raining so hard yesterday, and partially because I still had the stone in the oven and the kitchen hadn’t been cleaned yet.  Oh, and I’d been given a baguette tray for a housewarming gift long ago…

I’m not sure how good the bread is yet, but the house sure smells amazing.  I need to let the loaves cool for a half hour to allow the gluten network to set up, so the bread structure doesn’t collapse when it’s sliced.  But they look pretty decent, if a bit lumpy, and I’m hoping they taste good too…

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