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Great Pizza at Home [split from Quebec]

doing the dough (or any bread for that matter) in advance and letting it ferment is the only way to get real flavour out of your flour. unbleached flour is also a must, due to the presence of beta-carotene. but the most important part really is letting your dough build flavour thru fermentation by doing it the night before (or early that morning) you need it, and letting it do its thing in the fridge. let it rest on the counter at least 2h before use.

Aug 29, 2012
simonSmokes in Home Cooking

Porc and fennel sausage

i was actually heading there today for some san marzano tomatoes, so i'll give them a try.

ty.

Aug 19, 2012
simonSmokes in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Porc and fennel sausage

yeah it might be what i have to do. but even a good italian sausage is hard to find...i just moved close to pie-ix/beaubien and i have yet to find a decent one. thats why i've been making my own for years now i guess ;)

thanks

Aug 18, 2012
simonSmokes in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Porc and fennel sausage

Italian style...i don't have time to make my own this weekend and my GF asked me for one of her favorite pizza at the small party she's throwing on sunday. anyone has any clue of a good sausage place that makes a great fennel sausage ?

thanks alot,

Simon

Aug 17, 2012
simonSmokes in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Great Pizza at Home [split from Quebec]

well, you can either put a "pizza stone" on the grill and let it get to high temp and cook the pizza on there, or do it straight over the charcoal.

basically, you make a dough that you let sit in a bit of olive oil, you shape it thin, lube the grate and then put the dough right on it. wait till it bubbles up, which means it's charring on the other side, and when its cooked you flip it. once that done, you need to go pretty fast about putting the toppings. first thing is the cheese, which will start to melt hitting the hot surface, then the rest of the toppings you want. let it cook through and voila. its amazing, although it does require some experimentation to get the right temp (ie : coal placement).

i strongly recommend hardwood charcoal for this, and not briquettes.

ps : you can also do it on a gas grill...about the same procedure, but not the same taste !

Aug 13, 2012
simonSmokes in Home Cooking

Great Pizza at Home [split from Quebec]

nice catch on the pizza quest, looks nice. i'll be reading that.

and those pizza oven "Forno Bravo" looks stellar. don't you wish you were just rich ;)

the grill pizza was pretty amazing. my girlfriend said it was the best pizza she ever had. i know i can do better, so i'll keep working on it, but it sure was a great start.

Aug 10, 2012
simonSmokes in Home Cooking

Great Pizza at Home [split from Quebec]

i'm making pizza on the grill tonight actually :)

made the dough last night, pretty excited to try it. its a recipe from Reinhart from American Pie actually.

Aug 09, 2012
simonSmokes in Home Cooking

Great Pizza at Home [split from Quebec]

yes, any unglazed tile will do, although i guess that a thicker version would be better. thats just a guess, obviously, as i'm no thermo-physic guy, but the goal is to have it hold as much heat as possible. i can't find the Reinhart book you mention atm cause i just moved, but i'm pretty sure he mentions how to improve your oven with this exact technique. there's also a few episodes of good eats that will talk about it.

the first thing i had years ago was the bottom part of a planting pot made of terra cotta, basically the saucer where the water drains. something like this :

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/4-in-...

as for pizza recipes...if you liked Baker's Apprentice book, i would recommend getting American Pie from the same author...its basically his search for the "perfect pizza" as he calls it. half of it is the story of his roaming the world (italy + US basically) in search of the greatest pizza, and the other half is a walkthrough of different doughs, toppings, sauces, techniques, tools, etc, with a list of classics making an apperance. I enjoyed it quite a bit and i would recommend it if you want to step up your pizza game. he even goes into focaccias, and there's a few pages on pita and other flat breads.

Aug 09, 2012
simonSmokes in Home Cooking

Great Pizza at Home [split from Quebec]

not a bad tip with the baking sheet. the peels can indeed be pretty annoying to store, which is why i still don't have one, but my new place has a good spot for it.

and yes, for those reading here with interest in pizza/baking at home, the first step is clearly to get an unglazed tile set in your oven.

Aug 07, 2012
simonSmokes in Home Cooking

Great Pizza at Home [split from Quebec]

Yes, i know almost anything you can come up at home will beat the vast majority of the delivery options, and even most of the restaurant out there. but i'm not looking for good pizza, i'm looking for great pizza ! i've already started making artisan bread for the last couple of years, so i felt mastering pizza was the next step. the last few disapointing pizzas we ate just accelarated the drive to home made pizza heaven.

not only does a pizza peel help me not burn myself getting it in and out of the oven/grill, but it makes the task faster and safer (i bake on a hearthen tile type of thing...a la pizza stones, but not an official/costly one) and looks pretty :)

Aug 07, 2012
simonSmokes in Home Cooking

Pizza equipment in Montreal

thanks. looks like they indeed have what i need, at least at mona's.

much obliged belle. Merci

Aug 07, 2012
simonSmokes in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Pizza equipment in Montreal

Hello community,

after several very disapointing pizzas in the last few months, i have decided to take matter into my own hands and start making them at home when i have a craving. I'm having some issues finding the gear i need tho, which includes a wood and metal peel (both), and good quality pizza cutter, etc.

also, if you happen to know where's the cheapest regular kitchen store for stuff like sheet pans and the like, i'd love to hear it.

thanks all,

SimonSmokes

Aug 07, 2012
simonSmokes in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Cold Smoking Salmon

I would recommend not going over 80 degrees when cold smoking. I try to keep mine running around 60-70 personally.

As for the process...there is obviously alot of different ways to do this, but here's what i personally do :

Make a dry rub from 1 cup salt and 1 cup sugar (i go with a mix of white and brown). This is your basic curing agent. To this you can add whatever flavor you would like to get into your product, either fennel, maple syrup, garlic powder, etc. I just add freshly ground black pepper myself, but you can experiment with alot of different things here.

In a non metal container (i use a pyrex lasagna baking ware type of thing), lay some of the curing rub as a bed for your fillets, place them on it, and put a good coat of the rub everywhere on the salmon. wrap tight with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge (or other cool places...look for info on the correct temperature range for curing) for about 24h, depending on the thickness of the fillets (thicker = more time). You want your fish to be firm (someone here said rubbery) by the end of this process.
(nb : personally i put my tray at a slight angle in the fridge so that all the water pulled out of the fish will go away from the fillets, but i'm sure its not critical. some ppl will rather leave the fish in that brine, but the dry rub cure really is enough to do the trick by itself)

Now is time to rinse off the excess salt. Rinse thoroughly, pat dry, and let dry either in the fridge without plastic wrap, or on the kitchen counter with a house fan blowing air on it. you want the fish to be allowed to fully dry so that a pellicule (coating) will form, which is very important for the smoke to properly and fully flavor the fish. Once you have that on, you are rdy to smoke.

I personally use apple wood, which i think is fantastic, or maple. Hickory is too strong for this for my taste, but i hear alder works well too.

There's alot of room for tweaking this for your personal taste.

Nov 12, 2010
simonSmokes in General Topics