Bread. I know there are lots of feelings about bread these days. People love to eat it. Others are not eating it. But let’s be honest…bread is DELICIOUS! It is a staple food that can stand alone, be eaten with oil or butter, turn simple ingredients into a terrific sandwich. Good bread is a thing of wonder for me. We have been dreaming about making bread. Reading about starters and leavening agents and how to make the perfect crusty bread we love to buy has been overwhelming. The focus of our time and effort has been on perfecting our pizza dough. Although the work is never done, we are very satisfied with what we have achieved with dough. Our pizza gets rave reviews from our families and friends.
Now you may notice that we do not go out to eat a lot. We tend to love to make food at home so we know what is in our food and can make it perfect for our tastebuds. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a meal out, but I find these days that as we are enjoying our meal, we are also analyzing the dishes to figure out how we can make them at home. We have been very successful in learning how to convert many restaurant meals into easy homemade recipes. Today’s bread is no different.
This bread is born from our dining experience at Roland’s Cafe Market in Phoenix. I love the open kitchen concept at Roland’s and immediately spotted their wood fired oven. We love to patronize restaurants that have wood fired ovens. Food made in a wood fired oven just has a special quality, rustic yet refined and often bursting with flavor. Mr. Fanatic quickly learned that they use the pizza dough from Pizzeria Bianco to make their sandwich bread! STOP RIGHT THERE! Pizza dough can be used to make BREAD??? This I had to see. So I ordered the ham and cheese breakfast sandwich per our server’s excellent suggestion. The bread was delicious. Who knew it was just pizza crust.
Last night we had pizza and I knew we would have the oven fired up this morning for Cast Iron Skillet Pancakes, so we reserved two dough balls to experiment with this morning. After breakfast we let the temperature drop and pulled some coals out of the oven so it was around 400-450 degrees. The dough balls were gently flattened out to make rounds. This was done much like you would for a pizza but not turning out and making it as large or thin. Just a few gentle pushes and we had a round of dough to place in the oven. They slid into the oven like a pizza would and baked for about 5 minutes.
The bread came out looking like a whoopie cushion. We sliced one round in half with excited anticipation. Once opened up it looked delicious, one smell gave the hint of sourdough, and it looked airy and light. A dab of butter and WOW! It was amazing. We were in shock. We made bread! The inside was light, airy and soft. The outside had a bit of crunch but was not at all tough. It is not traditional, rustic, crusty wood fired bread but it is delicious nonetheless. My mind was immediately spinning and dreaming up a sandwich party with fresh baked “bread” rounds and various ingredients to make cold or toasted sandwiches.
So the moral of the story is this…don’t throw away extra dough. We have talked about freezing dough in the past which is still an awesome option! However, now with one batch of dough you could have a pizza night and then use remaining balls for bread to make a meal on another day.