Food I Do

One of the things I really love to do is cook. My favorite section in the bookstore (RIP Borders) is the cookbook section and although I am selective about the ones I actually buy, I have a deep affection for all 14 of them. The one I am lovin’ on lately is Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberk and Zoe Francois.

I got this book for my dear friend, MPM, because he bakes bread multiple times a week. MPM is an amazing guy. He is one of those dudes that decides he wants to try something new, and then does it to the MAX! In college he became a killer bartender, but doesn’t drink a drip of alcohol himself. He became a ninja and a dad and is a truly great friend.

So, I gave this book to MPM and then forgot about it and when I was back in Chicago over the Thanksgiving holiday, my husby and I went to MPM’s house for dinner. I was experimenting with the Vegan diet at the time and MPM, being the aforementioned great friend, made a vegan bread from the book and it was DELISH!

I picked up a copy for myself recently and can’t stop making the following recipe:
Rustic Wild Mushroom and Potato Pizza Provencal

I make it on the Whole Wheat (Light) crust and it comes out awesome every time!

Whole Wheat Bread
3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 Tablespoon granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 cup Whole wheat flour
5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

If you have a stand mixer, mix the yeast, salt and water. Attach the dough hook. If you don’t have a stand mixer, just mix this all together in a glass or metal bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour. Once sifted, add flower to the wet ingredients. Again, stand mixer with dough hook is easiest (on speed 2), but a spoon works just fine too. Once combined, put a towel over the top of the bowl and place it in the oven, but don’t turn the oven on. It’s a great place to let dough rise because it isn’t bothered by the elements. Let dough rise for 2 hours. Once risen, sprinkle with flour and transfer to a storage dish. I like to use a Corningware dish I have because it has a glass lid to let the dough breathe, and because it’s the perfect size. Place in the fridge for up to 14 days. If you want to use it that day, leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes- it’s easier to use when the dough is cold.

A grapefruit size portion of dough
2 small red new potatoes, skin on and thinly sliced (or any small potato is fine)
6 large wild mushrooms such as chanterelles, shiitakes, porcini, portobellos, or oyster (I use baby bellas and lots of them- certainly more than six)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence (if you don’t have this, GO GET IT! It is totally worth it!)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
5 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (omit this if you are Vegan)
Cornmeal for covering pizza peel (I don’t actually have a pizza peel. I use a pizza stone and it works great!)

Pizza Stone

Preheat oven to 550 degrees, or 500 if that is as high as your oven goes (like mine). Prep the toppings while the oven preheats, and wait until you are done with the toppings to roll out your dough.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan and saute the potatoes first for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the mushrooms and season with the herbes de Provance, salt and pepper (making sure to say “herbes de Provance” in an exaggerated French accent). Grab the dough, dusting it and the surface you plan to roll it out on, with flour. Shape into a ball and using a rolling pin, start to roll it out. Mine always ends up some strange shape and I don’t get ruffled by it because it’s pizza and as long as it tastes good, I don’t care what shape it is! Make the crust as thin as you like. I recently made it a little thicker than normal, and it wasn’t as great. A thin 1/8″ thick crust is best.

Cover your pizza stone with a solid layer of cornmeal to prevent sticking. Now, transferring from the rolling surface to the pizza stone is fun…just do whatever you need to do to get it there without tearing it. Distribute the toppings. I like to put the sun-dried tomatoes down first because when they are on top, they tend to burn.
Bake the pizza for 8-10 minutes and check for doneness. If the crust is not golden brown, turn it a little and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting.

Here is what mine looked like pre-baking:

Delicious Mushroom Pizza!

Feel free to add what you like to the toppings.  I often add lots of garlic and red pepper flakes because I like it spicy!  I know this all sounded like a lot of work, but it really isn’t.  Make your bread early, or the day before you need it, and the rest is pretty speedy.


April 15, 2011. Tags: , , , . Baking, Food, Recipes. 2 comments.