Busy piper's pizza and bread

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Over the Memorial Day weekend I had a lot of piping events and forgot to keep track of my bread situation. Monday afternoon my wife asks me if I am baking bread since we are almost out and I realize that the sourdough starter is still sitting in the back of the refrigerator. So I say, "No, I will just swing by the store and pick up a loaf of Grand Central sourdough and we will get by with that for the week." I can tell that she is not too happy about it - but she is spoiled the rest of the time so it will not hurt her too much.

On the way home from work the next day I figure I will swing by Hot Lips Pizza and get a couple of calzones for dinner and just put together some nice salads. I see all of the bags of dough sitting on the counter and I remember seeing on some cooking show a while back that one of the cooks purchased dough from a local pizza shop so I checked into it. Yes! They sell the dough. $2 for a large pizza dough and $3 for a giant. So I get a large bag of dough instead of the calzones and head for home.

5:00 - Pull a sauce out of the freezer and start it thawing on the stove. Turned oven to 425F. Split the dough in half and start shaping a pizza.
5:05 - Put the other half of dough and 2 c. of buttermilk in a bowl and mix it into a thick batter.
5:10 - Stir in 3 c. whole wheat flour, 1 c. rye flour, 1 T. kosher salt. Turned off stove.
5:15 - Turn dough onto floured work surface and kneed. (Added about 1/2 c. more WW flour.)
5:35 - Set dough aside to rest. Stretched the pizza a bit more so it fit my peel. Spread on the sauce and grated on some cheese.
5:40 - Added onions, garlic, salami, artichoke hearts, and olives. Pizza into the oven.
5:45 - Shaped two loaves from the dough. Cover with cling film and leave near oven to rise.
5:50 - Put together salads.
6:00 - Pizza out of the oven. Turn off oven. Enjoy dinner with wife.
7:00 - First student.
8:00 - Second student.
9:00 - Turned oven to 425F.
9:30 - Loaves go into oven with pie tin of hot water.
10:00 - Loaves come out of the oven and placed onto cooling racks. Turn off oven.
10:30 - Cover loaves with a towel and head off to bed.

Yummy bread in the morning and the rest of the week. Not as good as bread done with a sourdough starter. A lot better than bread done with packaged yeast.

You do not have to play with sourdough or yeast to make your own fresh bread. Find a good pizza shop and buy a bag of dough to play with. You can start by just making really simple pizzas - olive oil, salt, and a light grating of cheese - until you get used to the feel of the dough.

Then try shaping a loaf out of the dough and baking it. (You can bake directly on a hot stone or put it into just about any baking pan. Remember to add a bit of oil to the pan or use a piece of parchment to make cleanup easier.)

Once you are used to the feel of the dough and the baking times, try kneeding in some of liquid and other flours to make your own bread using some of the pizza dough as a starter. You may need to add a bit of salt if you add a lot of flour compared to the amount of pizza dough you started with.

Enjoy!