Monday, April 15, 2013

yes, but is it kinfolk?

part one.

so, i went to a funky little store in echo park last week called cookbook, a tiny greengrocer in the very hipster echo park neighborhood of l.a.

the store was cute enough, tiny as a broom closet with a conservative collection of pricey goods that today, everyone must have in their larders - slender fingers of pink, french radishes, sacks of heirloom grains. a couple of very serious-looking and borderline dour young folks stood rigid at the register, the girl of the two regarded me unsmilingly as though i had interrupted her backyard cow-milking with purchase of my measly bag of farine.

folks. yes, they were that sort of kinfolk eclectic which is hardly eclectic anymore. you know the bunch, you can spot them by their tragic loafers, perfectly down-at-heel and usually lacking laces. the girls, standing slightly pigeon-toed, always, wear impoverished smocks and hair-styles tacked together by a superfluity of mismatched bobby pins, the bangs of which land high on their foreheads. the boys, observe, must wear too-small cardigans with threadbare elbows, under this is a shirt of plaid, smaller still and buttoned tight at the throat. their battered old fedoras, the final infinitesimal accoutrement to the ensemble, perch high over their cowlicks, a wilted feather struggling at the band. and beards are back, did you know? the more scraggly the better, it would seem. rustic. he's been chopping wood (again), this beard says.

don't misunderstand. i LOVE gorgeous kinfolk. and i'm guilty too, not of these sartorial abuses, but we are all indeed photographing our masterpieces on weatherbeaten pieces of wood and pretending that the configuration was adventitious. oh, but a puff of silver hydrangea just there in the background, how clever, how accidental! and those leaves that tumbled down like that, capture them there, just how they've fallen, oh look how perfectly natural they lay. it's all fine and good. we say.

yes, but is it kinfolk?

well, is it? we beg ourselves, in appraisal of our arrangements.

but i digress, and nevertheless, cookbook confirmed that they had a few bags of central milling ØØ flour, which is tricky to find. and lo, a bucket of hydrangeas in the window, plum-colored, i think. and this brings us to our post today.

was it worth it? meh. the pizza was great, but it's great when i use bread flour, or even A/P. compare that at $5 per 5 lb. bag to $11 for a sack of ØØ at the same weight. alas, one must try new things lest one's life becomes too stale.

the long and short of this blather is that you can save yourself a trip across town and at least $6 and use either bread or A/P for this formula which we can get at whole foods, very well we know. but you may ask yourself, in view of your economy and when standing at that great wall of supermarket flours between les confitures and the sea of salts: but is it kinfolk?

the answer: indeed, it is not.

kinfolk is not just a magazine, darling reader, but an adjective to describe the mileu of our lives, the very organization of our minds. one must make an important decision, then, whether to be stylishly arranged, or in full embrace of one's frugality in matters of dress and wealth.

stay tuned, for part 2 in our ØØ series. for now, busy yourself with this.

decidedly not kinfolk pizza


40g starter
100g ØØ flour, i used central milling
100g h2o

1. in a large vintage, kinfolk-inspired bowl, add the starter, ØØ and h2o 2. mix it up until you reach a smooth paste 3. cover 4. ferment your levain. mine fermented for 9 hours.






all of the levain
500g ØØ flour i used central milling
350g h2o
14g salt
24g olive oil

mix up the levain with the ØØ and h2o until you reach a shaggy mass. autolyse for one hour.

after autolyse, squish the salt and olive oil in and knead the dough for 3 minutes by hand.

now is time for the 4-hour bulk fermentation. one hour after you kneaded the dough, fold/turn the dough as you normally would when making a boule, then in another half hour, perform another series, then one more in another half hour for a total of 3 series of turns.

it will be a smooth mass. pop in the fridge for the remaining 2 hours and ferment, unmolested.


1 14.5 oz. can italian plum tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
a glug of olive oil
4 basil leaves

pour the tomatoes into a small saucepan, break up with your fingers. using a submersible blender, blend it up a bit just to break up the larger chunks. add the garlic, about 4 leaves of basil, and olive oil, oh, and a pinch of salt; bring to a simmer, cooking the tomatoes gently, just till they reduce a bit. refrigerate when done.

after the 4 hour bulk fermentation, scrape the dough out onto a workspace that has been oiled with olive oil, divide into two, and rest for ten minutes. after the dough has rested, oil two small bowls, large enough to hold the dough which will rise to double. cover the dough with a plate, and refrigerate. your final ferment will be 12.5 hours (or more, you can ferment the dough for 20 hours safely).


one FULL hour before you plan to bake preheat the oven to 550 degrees, with a pizza stone installed.

GATHER: your sauce, a fistful of basil leaves, a ball of fresh mozz, a dish with a little olive oil and a brush for brushing the dough. arrange on a kinfolkish table (photograph it and start a blog) like this:

tear a piece of parchment large enough to hold the pizza, and lay it over your pizza peel. have it waiting on your work space.

15 minutes before you plan to bake the pizza, pull the dough out and give it a poke (for fun), it should have gotten all puffy.

turn out the dough right into your hand, and stretch into a rough round, this will take 5 minutes. place the dough over the parchmented peel, stretching so that it's uniform in thickness. let it rest for 10 minutes.

brush the edges of the pizza with olive oil, and scatter with basil (i like my leaves to be submerged in the sauce. i find that when you sprinkle it over the pizza, it gets leathery).

ladle the sauce over the dough.

slice the ball of mozz and lay it about.

slide the pizza into the oven, parchment and all, and bake till the cheese bubbles and the edges grow golden.

to the staff of life!

i sent this over to wild yeast blog for the world to see.


  1. You may of convinced me to give naturally leavened pizza a go! I've been using instant yeast for my pizza bases for speed and speed alone but when they look like yours, it must be worth the wait. Seeing as a pizza is over half dough, why not use the best?

    1. do it! it was soooooo GOOD! (my part two is going to be a dough that i popped in the freezer, to see how it fares so that we will know if half of the dough can be frozen then later used with good results...)

  2. Yeah good thinking. We always freeze half (unless we make dough balls!) so id be interested to see how that goes.



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