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Posts Tagged ‘sourdough starter’

When you’ve got a head cold to beat the band…

(whatever that means)

And you haven’t left the house in five days…

(so you greet The Boy at The Door like you’re an overly-excitable golden retriever)

And you don’t care if you obstruct half of the finished photo with the lurking shadow of your pasty, mouth-breathing self…

(Sexy.)

Focaccia is there to provide you with a project.

Now I’m not saying you should jump at the chance to bake for loved ones when you’re all sick-like.  But since my ILLLLNESSSSS came from The Boy to begin with so he’d already had and beaten and built up immunity to this OH MY GOD THINNNGG, I felt comfortable with passing the disease around all willy-nilly.

I’m scientific like that.

If you’re looking for uses for your sourdough starter, Your Bad Mama Genny can’t think of a better one.  Probably because I’m stuffed up and can’t think at all.  You might be able to think of better ones.

So what I’m saying is, focaccia is an excellent use for your sourdough starter.  Most excellent, indeed, my precious, precious mofo’s.

If you have access to some greenhouse cherry tomatoes (<raises hand>), even better.  If not, hang onto this recipe until tomato season, or do a variation.  I love red onion, sea salt, and rosemary on focaccia.

Focaccia.

FOCACCIA.

I’m woman enough to admit that I Googled to make sure I was spelling it right.  And now I’m flaunting it.

FOCACCIA!!

Oh, sweet mother, FOCACCIA!

Can you tell that I’m still sick?

Moreso than usual, I mean.

 

Sourdough Polka Dot Foccacia

Go Get:

1 cup PROOFED sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 to 3 cups white flour
1/2 cup olive oil, plus some for the cookie sheet
1/4 cup sliced garlic
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese, grated
several sprigs’ worth fresh rosemary leaves
coarse sea salt for sprinkling over the top (approx. 2 teaspoons)
Approx. 2 cups of cherry tomatoes–in varying colors if you can swing that (alternatively, try thin slices of red onion or even leeks)

Go Do:

Mix the sourdough starter with the water.  Gradually add in half the flour and mix until blended.  Toss the salt with the remaining flour and mix into the dough.  Sourdough starters vary in consistency, so be a doll and make sure this holds together in a tacky, but not sticky, dough ball before you go on with the recipe, mmmkaaaay?  Mmmmmkaaaay.

Mix the dough well before transferring to a lightly-floured surface.  Knead that sucker.  Knead it good.  Knead it ’til it’s a wee bit elastic.  Then stop kneading already, Jesus.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Oil a cookie sheet.  Spread the dough out onto the sheet until it’s a roughly half-inch thick rectangle.  Use your finger to make little polka-dot indentations all over the dough.

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and garlic over low heat until the garlic is cooked (approximately 5 minutes).  Your house will smell like a freaking dream.

Let the mixture cool slightly, then spoon it evenly over the focaccia dough.  Press the cherry tomatoes into the dough at random (or hell, in an organized pattern.  That’s okay, too.  I just have to wonder why you’re trying for organization when you have a the bubonic plague (OH WAIT YOU DON’T HAVE THE BUBONIC PLAGUE THAT’S JUST ME.)  Now sprinkle the salt and rosemary leaves and walk away, leaving your focaccia in the warm kitchen.

But don’t, like, walk off for good.  Come back and check every so often, ‘kay?

When the dough has doubled and mostly swallowed your cherry tomatoes (so cute!), stick the whole thing in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes (I started checking at 25–I suggest you do the same), or until deeply golden.

Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle immediately with Pecorino-Romano Cheese.  Let cool until  you can handle it (but it’s still warm), then cut into squares (only as many as you’ll eat that night.  The rest will stay moist longer if it’s in a solid slab).

Enjoy the admiration of your friends, lovers, and associations for which you have positive regard.

Sneeze a lot.

The end.

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Ah, the holidays.  I’m going to go out on a limb and conjecture that many of you misfits have abandoned personal culinary pursuits for the remainder of the year and the beginning of this one, hoping to recover your strength and your zest for life after an endless barrage of relatives, cookies, and stuff have robbed it from you.  It’s enough to make a misfit wanna fa la la la barf.  So let’s keep tonight low-key, shall we?

I think that every kitchen contains an endless number of microcosms, that you can probably tell what’s on a cook’s mind by just having a peek around.  I pondered this as I looked around my own little kitchen, amazed at all the cool things that were going on in my kitchen/mind…like this, for example.

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This is our humble fruit bowl setup.   To the naked eye, it looks pretty average.  But ho, what are those…things…lurking amidst the tomatoes and the grapefruit?  Let’s have a closer look, shall we?

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They’re Larabars!  See–nothing unwholesome in OUR fruit bowl!!  What’s that, you say?  Small glass bottles?  Pay no mind to those, my friends!  Merely shots of Captain Morgan!  Because sometimes eating fruit is hard.  Sometimes you need to put a lil’ Captain in you.  Don’t you judge me.

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And this is an adorable “Pear” container that I bought from a 99 cent store here in New York.  Cute, right?  At least cuter than the unrecognizable sludge inside of it.  Hey, Bad Mama Genny, what is that sludge, anyway?  Well, misfits, I’m glad you asked!

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It’s a large colony of wildyeast!  Or, in kinder, gentler terms, sourdough starter.  Why not make your own?  If our New York City air is capable of sustaining enough healthy life to make vibrant sourdough starter, then I wouldn’t worry about yours.  Try giving it a good old hearty sniff.  If it makes you feel a little dizzy and turns your stomach a bit, you just know it’s gonna be delicious!

Bonus points if you actually taste some, and gag a little!  …  !!!

But there’s something else about this starter that spells greatness.  Let’s have a closer look at the container…

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Kick ass!  It’s Japanese voodoo!!

For those of you who can’t read the photo so well, it says, “You will wisely refresh yourself with a pear/ When you are tired or in low spirits.”  How cool is that?!  Is it a command?  A prediction?  Gosh, it could even be a threat!  “Refresh yourself with a pear”…or else!   How exciting!  But wait–there’s more!

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This one reads, “Happy morning time with pear in the morning.”

Hey, in case you didn’t catch this, your happy morning time with pear should come in the morning.  But you know, this one makes me think a little more than the first one.  After all, what makes this pear time in the morning so…happy?  What happens with pear in the morning?  Do the implied audience and pear share special morning moments?  Gosh, I really want a pear for special morning moments right now!

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