Ever since the inauguration of Friday and Saturday pizza nights, way back in our Pleistocene period (October of last year), we’ve had to untangle the weekly riddle of how many doughs to prepare. Weekends in Bloomville are unpredictable; forecasting who’ll bounce through the door seeking pizza is weird science. Multiple factors come into play. There’s the notorious weather of course. Then there are holidays, events going on in New York City, events going on around Delaware County, Facebook posts, word-of-mouth, who already popped in for lunch, sinkholes, bath salts, Acts of God, traffic, deer migration patterns, the phases of the moon, voices from beyond the grave and the life-cycle of the monarch butterfly.
Too few doughs and we’re those men with ping-pong bats on airport runways, turning away carloads of distressed customers who have driven across the county only to find the cupboard bare. Too many, and we’re on an all-dough diet until it’s gone. Because disappointed customers are by far the greater sin, we default to making more than enough and consequently being left with a few. But what to do with retired pizza dough? There’s little call for dough pot-holders and dough macrame is unwieldy and so 2010.
Then it struck us. What about … baking it? I mean, call us crazy, but it’s completely amazing live sourdough, the blue-blooded end of an ancestral thread that stretches back through Brian and Kelli and beyond.
Sunday morning: we gathered at the kitchen table, emptied out the remainders and moulded them into different shapes and sizes. A light misting with water, dusting with flour and in they went. And out they came. Beautiful Table-made sourdough loaves. Just enough bite to give them presence, not so much as to claim your dentures or leave your cheeks bruised.
We are keenly aware that bread-making is an arcane art, with its own folklore, orthodoxies and mythological men in bronze helmets prancing about in front of ships. And we’re not claiming to have reinvented any wheels here. But what we have done is repurposed stuff that would otherwise have gone into the compost and come up with something natural, completely local and really tasty. We toasted up some slices and spread them with butter and meyer lemon marmalade. Delicious. And then we cut it thick, toasted it, and made it the base for Marmite Guacamole toast, a vegetarian staple of the lunch menu. The recipe is below. Come by and give it a spin on its new homespun platform. Marmite is for sale in the microshop too …
thick slice of hearty bread
most of a ripe avocado
heavy smear of chipotle pepper
teaspoon of lime or lemon juice
few basil leaves, ripped
Frankies olive oil
fresh, cracked black pepper
Maldon salt flakes
Lightly toast the bread, spread it with butter and a thin smear of Marmite. Put the avocado, chipotle, lime juice and basil in a bowl and mash it well with the back of a fork. Spread it thickly on the toast. Drizzle with the Frankies oil, sprinkle with black pepper, feta and Maldon salt to taste. Deluxe Version: before sprinkling on the pepper and feta, make a deep dent in the guacamole with the back of a spoon. Poach an egg. Lower it into the dent, flare the edges of the guacamole so it looks nested. Sprinkle the pepper, feta, salt. Immediately before eating, break the yolk and let it run into the guacamole.