Monday, August 10, 2015
Over the past year, I have been on a search for a thin crunchy pizza crust similar to the pizzas that we had in Italy or that you get at restaurants with a wood fired oven. Everything I tried turned out too thick, yeasty, or doughy. Earlier this summer, my friend Sally posted photos of the pizza that she made with her daughters that looked amazing. She kindly shared her recipe with me and I made it last night. BINGO! Perfectly thin and crunchy, exactly what I was looking for. My search is over.
Here is her recipe, along with the adaptations I made to do the kneading and rising of the dough in my bread maker. (I never knead dough by hand if I can do it in my bread machine!)
Sally's Pizza Crust
1 package of yeast (I used pizza yeast, not sure if that is necessary)
1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup cold water (Use warm if using a bread machine.)
3 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water with a little white sugar. Let proof 10 minutes until frothy.
Meanwhile, combine the salt, honey, olive oil, and cool water in a small bowl. (I used warm water which I think works better for the bread machine.) Mix well.
If mixing by hand: Place flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the honey-water mixture and yeast into the well. Slowly incorporate flour/salt into the wet ingredients, working outward from the center. When dough is formed, transfer to a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth. Place in a buttered bowl and let rest, covered, for 30 mins.
If using a bread machine: Measure the flour and salt into your bread machine. Add the liquid and the yeast mixtures and knead using the dough cycle, following directions for your machine. After 15 minutes, check the dough. If it seems dry, add a bit warm water a teaspoon at a time until the dough comes together. I left the dough to rise in my machine for the 1.5 hour cycle.
Divide dough into 4 parts. Roll into tight balls. Place on a flat dish and cover with dish towel. Put in fridge at least 2 hours. Take out 1 hour before baking.
Lightly flour work suface, and roll out each pizza dough ball into a thin crust.
Place on a wooden pizza paddle that has been dusted with cornmeal. Add the toppings that you desire.
Bake them in the oven at 500 degrees on a pizza stone for 10 -12 minutes. (Watch carefully, it took less time in my oven.) You also could put your pizza stone on the grill and cook the pizzas outside (Sally's suggestion).
Makes 4 pizzas, about 12 inches wide.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
I've been using the monogram feature on the Apple Watch to create a "watch word" for each week. It has been fun to try and come up with a word of 4 characters or less that gives me a phrase to inspire me or to pray about for the week! My first watch word was "calm" - reminder for a busy week of testing in the lab.
Last week was "heal" after a tumble left me with very bruised ribs. I think I was more concerned that my watch was ok after the fall!
This week's watch word is grow - looking forward to working in my garden over the weekend. Still dealing with some pain on my side where I fell, but hopefully will be able to plant if I take it easy.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Nutella Snowflake Coffee Cake
Spread the first circle with Nutella (I used Trader Joe's Cocoa Almond Spread) up to about a half inch of the edge of the dough.
Let it totally cool. Doesn't it look cute??
I drizzled it with a glaze made of powdered sugar, milk, and a little melted butter before wrapping it up for delivery to my neighbors.
This recipe is definitely a keeper. Next time (after I get a new oven), I may try it with butter, nuts, and cinnamon sugar. Not sure if the snowflake design will be as obvious as with the Nutella, but worth a try.
Before the season is over, just wanted to share a few ways that I used vintage items in my Christmas decorating. After the epic flooding in my basement this summer, I lost a lot of my Christmas decorations. It forces me to take a fresh look at some the the things that I still had and see what I could do with them!
A friend gave me this old coffee pot when cleaning out her parents' home. A perfect spot to "plant" a little Christmas tree. Next year I will try a real mini one and see if the cats will leave it alone.
A bare spot on the wall where I hung my childhood plaid lunch box.
So obsessed with bottle brush trees. I picked up a package of them at Joann's last year post Christmas and scattered them everywhere. I like the look of this one perched on an upside down tea cup.
More trees and a snowman caught in a mason jar. (Made the snowman years ago, one of the few of my snowman collection that survived the flood.)
I had to toss all the Christmas wreaths that were stored in the basement. Here is a new one I put together using some thrift store sweaters I had stashed away and and some vintage buttons.
I sadly lost most of my vintage ornaments from my grandmother - the water melted the paint right of the them. Wish I hadn't tossed them and kept them as a plain silver color, but was so overwhelmed at the time with trying to save things. A few were left, and I went out this December to antique stories to try to replace a some of them with some similar ornaments. Put them in a bowl under a tinsel tree.
I added a few red dishes from the dollar store to my stack of blue dishes. The mason jar has a solar light top that I discovered at Michaels - I'm definitely getting more of them!
I also bought a bunch of these cute little frames at Michaels at their dollar spot. My brother recently scanned all of our family slides, so I added a few photos from when we kids. Will do more of these for next year.
A few years ago I made some faux mercury class candle holders out of thrift store dished. Mixed them with a pretty door knob. Put a few bottle brush trees in bleach to turn them white. One of my cats loves playing with these trees and I keep finding them on the floor, thus the wonky shape.
More vintage postcards. Twisted wire as holders in a salt shaker and in a door knob.
And speaking of cats, they did much better this year at staying out of the Christmas tree (at least while I was watching) but they still both had to check it out when I first put it up.
I hope your Christmas was wonderful! God's blessings to all!
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Here's another recipe that I have been drooling over on Pinterest. I actually bought a bag of the Heath Bar pieces over the summer to make them, but I confess that I ended up nibbling straight out of the bag and never made the bars. I finally bought another bag and made them on Thursday night. If you happened to be hanging around the teacher's lounge yesterday, you might have gotten a sample of these yummy bars because I brought a few extras to share. Seems they were a hit, so I promised to post the recipe!
These were very easy to make, although you have to bake 3 individual layers, so you can't simply mix them and pop them in the oven. The only issue I had was that my milk chocolate chips did not spread smoothly after they were melted. I think the bag had been sitting around in the pantry for a while. I simply sprinkled the toffee pieces on top and stuck the pan back in the oven for a couple minutes, then pressed the pieces into the chocolate with a spoon.
Shortbread Toffee BarsShortbread Crust Layer
3/4 cup softened butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend together shortbread ingredients with a mixer until combined into crumbly pieces. Press the crumbs into a 9 x 13 inch pan lined with foil and sprayed lightly with non-stick spray. (I actually skipped the foil and buttered the pan with the butter wrappers.) Bake for 15 minutes, until lightly brown. Cool slightly (about 10 minutes).
1 can sweetened condensed milk (I used the low fat version)
2 tablespoons butter
While the shortbread is baking, prepare the filling. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Combine with the sweetened condensed milk and heat slightly, whisk together until smooth. Pour over the cooled shortbread base and smooth. Bake for 12 -15 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Do not over bake.
One package milk chocolate chips
One package Heath milk chocolate bits (You could also use crunched up Heath bars.)
Immediately sprinkle the milk chocolate chips over the hot filling. Return to the oven for 2 minutes, until the chips are softened. Use a knife or spatula to spread the chocolate over the bars, then sprinkle with the Heath bits. Press the pieces into the chocolate. (If needed, return the bars to the oven for a minute to melt the chocolate enough to press the pieces in.)
Cool completely before cutting. Store and serve at room temperature.
Original Recipe at Cookies and Cups