Pizza Tartine: Or How I Saved My Freezer-Burned Bread.

 

 

I owe an apology to Shewolf Bakery: I’m sorry.

A loaf of your beautiful miche bread, purchased at the Brooklyn Market, landed in my freezer about 8 months ago. And it stayed there.

In my family, all of the good stuff ends up in the freezer. The birthday cakes, the pastries, the spanakopita. Even the grated parmesan cheese. There’s a running joke about coming back from the bakery and looking for the still warm loaf of bread. It’s nowhere to be found.

So you ask, “mom, where’s the bread?”

“Oh, I put it in the freezer,” she will undoubtedly reply.

In any case, I moved last weekend and suddenly there it was: the bread. I felt guilty. I had to use such a high quality ingredient. Waste is not ok. But the bread was icy and dry looking. I had an idea: frico!

Now, frico is a technique for cooking semi-firm cheese onto the outside of bread. Not only is it delicious but the oil renders from the cheese as it crisps, rehydrating the neglected gluten. It’s like the crispy bits from the tops of the mac and cheese.

The only upgrade would clearly be soft scrambled organic eggs. And dollops of San Marzano tomatoes. And more basil than you think you need. You always need more basil.

If you’re trying to recreate, make sure to use a hot dry pan, place the cheese (I used aged Tillamook cheddar) into the pan and put the bread directly on top. When the cheese softens press the bread into the melting cheese until the nooks fill up. Drop the heat and let a nice crust develop and then flip to absorb the rendered fat on the other side.

Top how ever you like with one caveat. Once you frico, you never come back.

Shout out to my bestie who grew the basil in her backyard in Williamsburg xx

empty plate

 

 

 

 

 

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