Sunday, 27 November 2011

MY FIRST ATTEMPT AT PIZZA


Last weekend, while I was catching up on Bones Season 5 in my study when the TV suddenly spit "POOF!", gave off a little smoke and blacked out. Since the set was 15 years old its sudden demise didn't come as a shock. Frankly I had looked forward to buying one of those flat screen babies which would allow me to do more than just watch dvd.

While waiting for the new LED thingy to be delivered today I made pizza using the Italian Tipo 00 Flour For Pizza which Tammy got for me from il Bel Paese in Hong Kong.

What is Tipo 00 flour? Italian flours are classified by how finely they are milled, from the roughest ground "tipo"1, to 0, and the finest 00. There is a tipo 00 flour to suit every baking need – tipo 00 farina per dolci (type 00 flour for cake), per piadina (for Italian flatbread) and per pasta. Then, of course, there’s tipo 00 farina per pizza.

It is interesting to read that with Italian flour the baking strength of the dough is indicated by the letter "W". A higher "W" value, the stronger the flour. It is also important to know the "P/L" (the relationship between the tenacity and extensibility) of the dough. Flours with a high "P" value tend to have a high gluten content and absorb a relatively large quantity of water.

"L" represents the extensibility of the dough or its ability to rise. Gran Mugniao Farina “00” Per Pizza has the following specifications: W = 200-240; P/L 0.40-0.65




I managed to use up to 65% hydration. The dough was quite a challenge as it was sticky, sloppy and elastic. I pressed the dough out thin, almost transparent. Even so, it did puff up quite a lot during baking.  Not enough proofing, you think?


Sunday, 13 November 2011

DOMESTICATED



During weekends, I waste an incredible amount of time online researching nerdy stuff like poetry, books, photography and recipes.

My friend, C, is a little concerned when she found out that I spend my weekends blogging and baking. Recently liberated from an unhappy marriage, C is in the process of rediscovering herself. When I met her last week she declared proudly that she attended a concert on her own, something she has never done in her entire life! This year she spent her birthday weekend with friends in a beach resort, enjoying whole-heartedly for the first time in ages. “I fell asleep while listening to the sound of the ocean,” she said beaming, eager to express her new-found freedom.

C thinks that I need to go out more.

What C doesn’t realise is that I’m at the opposite end of her life stage. During the 16+ years that she was busy maintaining a marriage and family, I had been hanging out plenty. Now I feel happy to come away and be touch with my domestic side.

Today I realised that I've forgotten the correct way to form a wonton!


Friday, 11 November 2011

SLIGHTED



One night in the middle of October, a drama took place in my household involving: my mother, severe nose bleeds, and an ambulance. Afterwards Mom earned herself two appointments at TTS Hospital: one with an ENT specialist for endoscopy to ensure she doesn’t have a tumor; one for blood test to rule out hemophilia and other disorders. I’m happy to report that she passed on both counts. After conducting a brief memory test the doctor was quick to rule out dementia. Too quick, in my opinion, especially after she answered an affirmative “No” when asked if she has any children. Considering I was sitting next to her at the time, I think I have the right to feel slighted.