My Grandpa used to comment that he felt like he was visiting the League of Nations when we used to pick him up at a main terminal in California. A day doesn't go by in my own San Francisco suburban neighborhood where I don't hear a little Hindi, German, Arabic, Mandarin, Hebrew, or French as an example of his point regarding people's diversification in this area. But it's the transitional roots that make California relatively unique, which applies equally to its roots from within the US. Inevitably, the mentality as led by the Silicon Valley is always to seek something new, something different, with a culture that strives to be open-minded.
Needless to say, itís difficult to find an allegiance to a single aspect within California, except maybe change. So we end up with places like Chez Panise and people like Alice Waters, who introduce a whole new way of looking at fresh food. And this of course also results in the crazy delights of CA pizza, which at any point in time represents a mix and match of cultures that either collide into a single pizza, or segregate into a host of non-conforming pizzas.
So in my usual infinite interest to try something different, I put a Sour Dough starter together with a myriad of fresh ingredients from the Farmer's market to make my sauce, cheese and toppings:
1) Can you tell by color which one is the sourdough starter? The starter began with local grapes, a white whole wheat flour and spring water. After a few days, it was doubling in size and smelling sour through natural progression with additional unbleached flour. So while the starter was still ripening, I took some of the throw-away dough and created a dough with KA bread flour, 25% throw-away starter, a squeeze of honey (for browning), a little olive oil (for softening), about 2% sea salt, a pinch of active yeast (since the starter was still developing), and 60% filtered water. I left close to 14 oz of the dough sit for 8 hours at room temp, at which time it was rising. http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/starter-2.JPG
2) Next, I took some fresh green and orange Heirloom tomatoes, mixed them with fresh spinach, sea salt, and pepper and put them on the dough: http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/u-pizza-1.JPG
3) Then I finished it off with 3 different cheeses (a local slightly aged creamy cheese, a Trader Joe's mozzarella cheese, and a little aged cheddar cheese from the wine country), along with some grilled chicken and local sausage that I braised with a Thai sauce (Thai peppers, garlic, and a Thai variant of soy sauce).
Hereís the result after cooking it on a 12Ē screen for 6 minutes at 550F. Let's just say that the change was welcome; but never permanent:http://home.comcast.net/~keck-foundation1/u-pizza-2.JPG