Saturday Pizzas and Kouign Amann

Johnny's picture

I seem to keep accumulating sourdough starter in my fridge (I hate to throw anything out) and every now and then I mix all my left over bits from the various tubs I have cluttering up the shelves and look for ways to get rid of it so I loved Karen's sweet and buttery treat called "Kouign Amann" so this weekend I thought I would have another go at making another one. 

The Kouign Amann turned out great and smelt so good I spoilt it by not waiting for it to cool enough and so it was a bit doughy in the middle. Still it was just so delicious I can't help my self.

Suger, butter, apple and cinnamon ....yummmmmm

I ended up baking in a glass pie dish.

So I turned it out and just could not resist cutting into it.

I bet nobody else could resist this baby...

As I said I probably needed to cook it a little longer and wait a bit before cutting next time...It's just such comfort,butter, cinnamon and sugar wrapped around with crusty sourdough. What else could you ask for?

Last weekend I used up some left over starter perfecting my sourdough pizza base and trying out a new gas pizza oven. Of course all my sourdough pizza experiments have been inspired by Ross and his quest for the perfect pizza base. Last weekend I think I got pretty close to it. The crust was thick, crunchy bottom with light airy inside.. yum!

So next time you have left over starter consider making something delicious ...




rossnroller 2010 November 20

Here I am, trying to lose weight coming into the bare-all season, and you revisit Karen's Kouign Amann and post pics like that! Sigh...oh well, if I'm gonna give into temptation, might as well be on a buttery slide of sugary apple and cinnamon deliciousness...destination Wobblesville. Toot toot!

Go sourdough pizzas! Looking good! A question, please. How do you find the gas pizza oven (it is a gas portable, isn't it)? I've eyed those off on the occasions on which I have not been able to avoid going to Bunnings, but concluded that the temp didn't max out high enough to justify the outlay. Not badly priced though, as I recall.  So, do you find they produce pizzas closer to those charred slightly smokey beauties a WFO yields? Probably a more pertinent way of asking the question - how would you compare your results with those attainable from a maxed out domestic oven and pizza stone?



Johnny's picture
Johnny 2010 November 21

 You're right Ross I got this oven at Bunnings but actually I was trying to get it on sale from Gasworld but they had sold them all. Luckily I was able to show the sale Ad to the people at Bunnings and they had to sell it to me at 10% less than the sale price! So I ended up getting a great deal at $360.

Now at that price I thought it was worth trying out. As to the max temperature, it's not great -  I can only get it cranked up to around 320˚C. The problem is there is really no insulation or mass around the oven to retain any heat and while the gas jets pump a lot of heat into the bottom, the oven is not very efficient and is not well sealed. I have read that you can undo the back and stuff insulation into the gap between the outer skin and the oven and this helps to boost the temperature, but I have not tried that yet.

The other problem is the door is so big (it opens the whole front of the oven) that you have to get pizzas in and out very quickly otherwise you lose a lot of heat . I have added some more pizza stones to the other shelves as the bottom one gets too hot as it sits right on the flame and tends to burn the bottom before the rest of the pizza is cooked.

Ok so it's not sounding great is it? However I can say I am happy with the pizzas I am getting now that I have worked out how best to use it. It does get better temperatures then my domestic oven which has a max of 250˚C and I can cook three pizzas at a time out the back which is a bonus when you don't want a hot kitchen.

I had thought I could bake bread in it in the summer - but after one attempt I was not happy with the results. The bread would not brown properly and I could not keep any steam in the oven for any length of time so the bread just didn't bake well. Anyway I still find it works well for pizzas but probably not that much better than my kitchen oven to justify the cost.




rossnroller 2010 November 21

Excellent feedback, Johnny. Appreciated.

Yeah, the baking outside bit was one of the factors I was weighing up - summer baking indoors does get bloody uncomfortable over this way if you don't have airconditioning (we don't). I guess an outside kitchen is probably the way to go if you can afford it (we can't).  Miserable, the contents of those parentheses, aren't they (yes)...

Will be interested in your findings if you do go ahead with the extra insulation strategy. Not as radical as Jeff Varasano's domestic oven mods, and the capital risk is a lot lower!


Millciti's picture
Millciti 2010 November 22

 Pizza works great on the grill in the Summer.  Also you can put a stone on the grill and bake bread in a pinch.  I was forced to try it - the results were interesting.  By the way your bread as always looks delish!


Karniecoops's picture
Karniecoops 2010 November 22

I feel like i put on about 5kg just looking at those pictures!  But by heck they look DELICIOUS!  I haven't made the Kouign Amann since I posted  the delights of the recipe, and I have spare starter in the fridge as well that I couldn't bare to throw away.  Excellent!  Might just go and perk it up right now! They look truely spectacular!

I have also eyed up the gas pizza ovens and often wondered how they went, but since I don't eat that much pizza, and was only thinking of them for bread making, your feedback has ensured I leave them in the shop.

Thanks Johnny all round for a great post!

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