Saturday, June 19, 2010

(or how not to cook on a Pizza Stone)

Last night on Master Chef they went to a artisan bread maker and they made a bread topped with grapes and sprinkled with sugar.  In the HBin5 there is a dried cherry and black pepper focacia  bread recipe.  We dont have dried cherries to my knowledge but at the moment we have some cherries from overseas and the MOTH had gently microwaved some to add to his breakfast and I thought "why not borrow some?" and combine a bit from both ideas.  

I was keen to try out my new pizza stone in an outdoor situation and after watching some bread Youtubes where a grill was used to cook bread and pizza decided the Volcano might be the way to go.  I agonised over whether to use the lid that came with the Volcano or a camp oven one with beads on.  

I had some wholemeal with olive oil dough in the fridge so I put on 30 beads to heat on the centre grill of the Volcano.  Once they were white I spread them out and put the pizza stone on the top grill, the lid on and left to heat up.  Meanwhile I gently pressed out half the dough I had left, stoned the cherries and pressed them into the dough and sprinkled on some ordinary sugar and popped it under a mixing bowl and left to rise.  After 15 minutes of cooking on the stone I could smell the corn meal burning and decided it was too hot and took the stone and lid off  the coals and left for another ten minutes.  The bottom was over done while the top was not quite cooked.  So a lesson learnt to next time use a camp oven lid with beads on and lessen the quantity of beads on the bottom.

There still seemed to be a bit of heat in the coals so I rolled out the remaining dough to make pitas.  I had been very pleased with the seeded pitas made in the house oven on the stone.  I then decided it was not hot enough and added some coals stacking them high.  I had read to not let the direct heat be too near the stone but I ignored that warning and put the stone on to heat up.  I should have spread the coals!!!! I put a pita (which was still slightly cold) on to cook and SNICK oh dear I knew instantly what had happened and of course the stone was cracked.  I continued on cooking till I had used up all the dough.

I am glad I bought more than one stone and will be more careful next time.  I do have fresh pita's for lunch and feel the day wasnt lost as I learnt experimenting is still a good idea but only when no one is depending on getting fed from the end results and fortunately the stone was not an expensive one.

I need a pizza peel if I am to do anything straight onto the stone that is of any size.

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