|Seven days of starter evolution and the resultant loaf|
- Use a decent organic flour with as much whole grain as possible
- Rye makes a welcome addition, it has more soluble sugars than wheat and typically higher amylase activity, all of this equates to more food for the starter
- Don’t bother with fancy glass Kilner jars, granted they look nice but with regular feedings and cleaning they smash far too easily. This grows tiresome. Cheap plastic containers like soup containers work much better
- And finally if all of this still sounds too daunting, give us some notice and we can bring some of our starter along to an event for you (assuming you pass our extensive starter adoption vetting process)
Last hurrah before we kiss our holidays goodbye
Moor of a good thing
Shameless self promotion
Weather to make us feel at home
Portland’s often compared to Bristol, it’s the cycling capital of the US and home to a thriving coffee and craft beer scene. It also rains. A lot. Luckily Sarah had offered to drive us around town and take us to some of her favourite spots. First up Roman Candle, Roman style pizza al taglio, or by the cut, with big communal tables, inventive salads and the most extravagant handmade Italian oven just to reheat slices. Next, Powell’s bookstore which we’d add to any visitors guide, the cookbook section alone being larger than most UK bookstores.After some due diligence on the local coffee and craft beer we circled back to Lovely’s and opted for their nettle special and a melted leek option. Both excellent but the leek pizza with a hit of chilli infused honey stands out as one of the highlights from the whole trip. Midway through the meal it became apparent that a ‘pizza each’ order was rare, most couples opting to share and still take a few slices home. We weren’t to be beaten by a 12” pizza but it wasn’t until chatting to Sarah later when she let slip her dough balls are scaled 60% heavier than ours that we appreciated how much we’d eaten. We weren’t prepared to skip on dessert though, and their walnut butter ice cream made it clear their reputation on desserts was well deserved. This was all washed down with some house made kombucha a curious self carbonated drink I’d been sceptical of on previous US visits but Lovely’s version was crisp, refreshing and had me sold.
From rain to heat
From the heat to the hills
To the coast and the home of sourdough
Sprouts get a lot of bad press and this pizza is a nightmare to sell. But I refuse to back down as it’s one of my all time favourites and I’ve yet to meet anyone who hasn’t enjoyed it having given it a try. There’s something about the way the sprout leaves char at the edges and the combination with pancetta or smoked bacon is an all time classic.
I first had this pizza at Motorino as part of our New York pizza tour but you can get it much closer to home from ourselves or the excellent Honest Crust who are also staunch advocates of sprouts on a pizza.
Smoked bacon or pancetta
Honest Crust in Altrincham
“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”
Probably the last thing you want to hear in January but trust me it’s preferable to my tax return so let’s catch up on a couple of toppings which went down well last month.
If you already subscribe to our newsletter you’ll know all this, if you’d like to subscribe, click here.
Back then I still had the day job and was about to take a leap out of my comfort zone to start our own business. Fast forward a year and I find myself at River Cottage with a badge labelled ‘chef’ consulting for an oven builder. Now I’m the last person to describe myself as a chef, cook is generous and baker more accurate but thankfully the owner of the best pizzeria in NYC once told me you don’t have to be a chef to make amazing pizza. In fact it helps if you’re not.
It’s been an incredible summerOur first season with the Berthamobile went better than we could have ever hoped. Thank you. I really mean that. It was a pleasure to continue our series meeting suppliers and finally make it over to the Isle of Wight to see where our tomatoes come from. We’ll be updating the website over the coming weeks with pictures from the summer and some very talented friends – take a bow Tim Griffiths.
Glutton for punishment
Currently we’re in a period of adjustment, which is why you won’t see us roaming the streets as often. We’re doing our best to juggle the mobile business alongside the restaurant plans and have several weekend dates in the diary, along with an exciting pop-up planned at Bristol’s sourdough mecca – Hart’s Bakery – on Friday 28th November. Full event schedule here.
Everyone should cure their own bacon.
“Just to confirm…”
Never the best start to an email.
It was 12:30 and we were mid way through a busy lunch service in the middle of summer. A beautiful day to be stood anywhere but the mouth of a 500º oven. I was wearing shorts.
“… no shorts will be permitted onsite”
A building site.
I’d been chasing for a viewing for months, our allotted slot fell between a lunch and dinner service but the dress code caught me by surprise. A building site with a dress code.
As the last lunch order hit the spike I headed to the viewing, charity shop on route and I was the proud owner of some M&S Blue Harbour trousers several sizes too big, £4.50 including the tissue in the pocket.
I made the viewing and we’ve placed an offer. If all goes to plan the trousers are going on the wall.
We’ll have no dress code.
Pizza’s simple. Good ingredients on good bread. We’re proud to source our tomatoes from the lovely people at The Tomato Stall on the Isle of Wight. Ripened on the vine, picked at their peak, with varieties selected for flavour not yield – what’s not to love.Here’s a short film on our trip to the sunniest part of the UK: