Filled with confidence from my dried bean victory, I am wasting no time in taking on my other cooking fears. Today, it's pizza dough.
And, holy moly...I am so regretting all the times I didn't enjoy freshly made pizza crust. Guys, this is so seriously good I still can't believe I did it myself.
I found a recipe online that didn't require a stand mixer with dough hook (I don't have one and even if I did it wouldn't fit in my tiny house). The process was relatively simple and I ended up with 4 balls of dough - one I cooked up right away and the other 3 are frozen for future use. You will not believe how excited I was when I found the dough had actually doubled in size in accordance with the recipe! I may have screamed with joy and shouted my awesomeness to the ceiling.
After baking, the crust was the perfect balance of crispy and chewy. I was able to pick up a slice to eat without it falling apart. Plus the wheat flour gives it a rich, almost nutty flavor that paired perfectly with my choice of toppings.
Last weekend I brought a cheese and fruit assortment as an appetizer to an awesome dinner party thrown by my friend Ann. Lucky for me, the blue cheese was not the most popular item on the plate and I had a big hunk of it left. I knew I wanted to pair it with mushrooms on this pizza.
So, while my dough was TOTALLY rising (like it was supposed to!), I caramelized a yellow onion, sauteed mushrooms, and melted the blue cheese. After stretching out the dough and baking for a few minutes, I added the melted cheese, onions, mushrooms, and chopped spinach. The top got a fine dusting of parmesan cheese and was returned to the oven to finish baking.
I don't know where this blog can go from here. It's seriously all downhill. Here I've been going on about roasting broccoli and poaching eggs...whoop-de-do. Now that I've made a kickass wheat pizza crust from scratch I can't imagine what can follow this. I'm quite full of myself right now. I may need to have my doorways enlarged so my huge head can fit through.
Wheat Pizza Crust, adapted from Allrecipes.com
1.5 cups warm water
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
1 packet active dry yeast (1 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
Dissolve sugar in warm water. Add yeast and let sit for 10 minutes or until foamy. Add oil, salt, and flour. Stir to combine.
Pour onto floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary (I was only able to knead for 6 minutes until I got bored). Put dough in oiled bowl and cover with a towel, let sit in warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Cut into 4 equal parts and return to bowl for another 45 minutes to double in size again.
Now it's time to roll out with rolling pin (which I don't own, however I have LOTS of wine bottles which work just as well) and place on pizza stone (or upside down cookie sheet) dusted with cornmeal.
Bake at 500 degrees for 4 minutes. Add toppings and return to oven with lowered temperature of 425 degrees until done.
ONE YEAR AGO: Sun-dried Kale-abello Pasta