Who Can Resist my Top Gun?
The following is an excerpt from Will Goldfarb’s new book, “Room For Dessert,” followed by one of his iconic recipes, just in time to cook your father something memorable for Father’s Day.
“You’re everyone’s problem.”
Millions apparently. Originally this dessert was inspired by the Cristina of Turin and the magical burrata pizza. In the interim, chaos ensued.
Pizzeria Cristina of Turin can be found on 101 Corso Palermo, across town from the estimable Bob Noto, may he rest in peace, having established himself as one of the great gourmands, and just an all-around nice guy. Here the aging Cristina herself can be seen spreading toppings on pizzas either before they go in the oven, or in my favorite incantation, after the cooked dough comes out, in raw form, so that the ultimate chaud froid is achieved: blistering dough and icy greens and in my first choice: burrata, the creamy naughty uncle of mozzarella.
At the time, and in fact still, the Top Gun award, or Capocannoniere, was given to the top scorer in Serie A (at the time, but not still, at the pinnacle of European Football). The year in question the battle was between Alex “Pinturrichio” Del Piero and David Treze-gol Trezeguet, though Del Piero’s Raffaele had been Baggio…
So naturally we made a Juventus-themed pizza box to house this dessert.
• 500 g rye flour
• 500 g flour
• 600 g water
• 250 g flour
• 2 g yeast or 100 g levain (see above)
• 175 ml water
• 5 g sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
• 10 g olive oil
White chocolate chantilly
• See below
• burrata, for example from Caseificio Caseus, 64 Dante
• Alighieri, Ponza, just behind Gennarino sul Mare
• wild arugula (rocket)
• roasted tamarillos
• some excellent olive oil
• citrus zest
For the levain
Mix the flours in a small container—this will be the flour mixture for feeding your starter. Add 60 g flour mixture to a jar with 60 g water. Using small rubber spatula, mix vigorously until all flour is incorporated, and let sit overnight in a shaded, slightly warm area in your kitchen.
Same time the next day, reserve 60 g old starter, and mix with another 60 g flour mixture and 60 g water. You should noticea tangy and vinegary smell on second day.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 until day 5. The starter should have more bubbles each day, and stronger vinegar and acid smell.
For day 6, feed starter twice a day, with a 9-hour window.
For day 7, feed starter three times a day, 6 hours window. The last feed should get your starter ready for baking the next day.
Before you mix your sourdough the next day (approximately 9-10 hours after the last feed), do a ‘float test’. Grab a pinch of your starter and put it in a glass filled with water. If it floats, means your starter is ready to use for mixing sourdough.
For the dough
This will need a 24-72-hour proof. Mix the water, flour, and yeast. Let sit for 1 hour. Mix salt and olive oil, knead by hand until salt dissolved.
Fold 3 times every 30 minutes, bulk fermentation for another 30 minutes. Cold fermentation for 24-72 hours. Divided dough into 3 pieces, shape into a round and let sit for 20 minutes (or until it loosened up).
Spread out the dough using your fist, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle a bit of sea salt. Bake in 300˚C/570˚F oven for 8–10 minutes (or until the top [bottom] is nice and browned and the top is golden).
White Chocolate Chantilly
“I don’t like you because you’re dangerous.” Ice Man
Makes 6 (50 g) servings
• ½ leaf of gelatin
• 60 g milk
• 90 g white chocolate, broken into pieces
• 30 g yogurt
• 60 g whipped crème fraîche
• 90 g whipped cream
Soak the gelatin in a small bowl of cold water until soft. Boil the milk in a pan and remove from the heat. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin and add to the milk, stirring to dissolve.
Place the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and mix with a spatula to create a kind of emulsion.
When the ganache is smooth and shiny, incorporate the yogurt. Here you can add a little of the whipped crème fraîche to “lighten” the mix before adding everything back to the whipped crème fraîche in its proper bowl.
Lastly follow the same steps as with the crème fraîche for the whipped cream and then chill to set.
Once you’ve baked your pizza base, top immediately with some olive oil, some roasted tamarillos, and some burrata, as well as the odd quenelle of white chocolate “chantilly” and arugula. Feel free to add a bit of citrus zest if you yourself are feeling zesty.
Adapted from ROOM FOR DESSERT by Will Goldfarb (Phaidon, $59.95 US/$77.95 CAN, April 2018)
Get Dad the ultimate Father’s Day gift by donating in his honor to support excellent independent Jewish journalism — or buy him a subscription with this special offer.
This story "Who Can Resist My Top Gun? A Father’s Day Recipe" was written by Will Goldfarb.