|firing my oven|
Finally, I wanted to mention that I will be starting a new blog on the pizzas and breads that I will be making over the next few months. I'll provide a link on this post in the future and will keep people in the loop on Facebook too.
|my Mom and I in Sedona, my backyard|
Okay, now back to my return home. I'll start my discussion with wine. My Mom (Laura) and her friend, Gary, were here this week for Thanksgiving and we decided to head to Sedona and Page Springs Cellars (PSC) for some the sights and some wine. Gary had never been to Northern Arizona and the red rocks of Sedona is a must for any visitor. Since we were in the area we decided to have a tasting at PSC (this also gave me the opportunity to pick up my quarterly wine release). PSC is a small vineyard in Northern Arizona that focuses its production on Rhone-style wines. Their wines reflect many you can find in the southern Rhone of France.
From wine, I'll proceed to bread. With the construction of my oven a few years ago, I've really enjoyed making hearth breads in addition to pizza. I think this is an internal craving I have from my time at Lorenzo's. Unfortunately, there are no good bakeries in Flagstaff baking traditional hearth breads, so I crave it and will purchase it whenever I have the chance. With my oven, however, I can bake my own. I've started a tradition on Thanksgiving of baking and delivering hearth breads to friends. Essentially, I spend half of Thanksgiving day preparing the dough, firing the oven, and baking. Then, I make some deliveries and return home for dinner. I really enjoy providing something unique to friends in town and they too really appreciate it. This year, I made three different types of bread: Rustic Bread, Potato Bread, and a 100% Whole Wheat Bread. They all turned out pretty good and everyone was thrilled to receive a loaf. The Rustic Bread was a new one and it was my favorite. It had a nice hearty flavor from an addition of rye and whole wheat flour.
|a loaf of my Thanksgiving Day Potato Bread|
For those who know me in Arizona, I've kind-of become the local pizzaiolo so it just seems like a must to make pizza for any guests I have. Of course, my time in Italy was incredibly inspirational with respect to pizza, so it didn't take much convincing for me to make some pies. I've been ithcing to try some new dough prep techniques, topping combinations, and serving styles.
I made a few margherita's and my version of the mister, the pizza I had at Il Portatico in Venosa. The pies were good but, as usual, I found something I would have liked to improve. Specifically, these pies did not have the char and leopard-pattern on the crust that I strive for. The flavor and topping combinations were great, nonetheless.
|my version of the Mister... tomato, mozzarella, prosciutto,|
arugula, cherry tomato, and grana padano
|a loaf of Rustic Bread... the crust of this bread was exceptional.|