Celebrating the summer harvest
The Ephraim Pottery family celebrating the summer harvest with a kiln shelf fired pizza party
“There is work that is work and there is play that is play; there is play that is work and work that is play. And in only one of these lies happiness.” – Gelett Burgess (art critic & poet, 1866-1951)
The wonderful thing about making a living as an artist is that there is no clear divide between work and play. At Ephraim we are not only conspiring artists, but a tight knit group of friends. Last summer we pioneered (or at least we think we did) wood-fired pizzas cooked on a kiln shelf from our studio over a big backyard fire pit. This summer we invite you to see how we refined the kiln-shelf-wood-fired pizzas with high summer produce from our gardens, locally foraged chanterelle mushrooms, wine, and of course, lots of Wisconsin cheese!
Tony’s Pizza Dough Recipe
2 cups warm water
4 tsp yeast
4 tsp kosher salt
4 tsp sugar
4 cups unbleached AP flour
I like to sub in 1/4 cups whole wheat flour and with 3 3/4 cups AP flour but any more than that usually ends up tasting like good-for-you instead of just good.
Mix water, yeast, sugar and salt and let the yeast bloom a bit. Add in the flour and mix on low speed for a couple minutes until incorporated. Should be a big ol’ ball hanging on the dough hook.
Let rise in a covered bowl somewhere warm like a sunny window, then refrigerate until it’s cooking time. Bring it out to warm up to room temperature while your oven is heating up—the hotter the better, we shoot for 500+ degrees.
Recipe makes four 12”-14” pizzas so divide dough accordingly for larger/smaller sizes. Hand stretch the dough on a well-floured countertop—no rolling pins here—and place on a cornmeal-dusted peel for baking on a pizza stone. Otherwise a lightly oiled baking sheet works in a pinch.
We like a simple sauce made from blended whole peeled tomatoes with a pinch of salt and sugar and some fresh garden herbs.
Whole milk mozzarella and a three-topping limit to round things out – if you can resist!
7-8 minute baking time at 525 degrees usually does the trick. Enjoy!
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