Tag Archives: dough

Stations of the Crust

A walk through the making of a pie.

Pastry Station

The beginning  and the end of pie…the crust, the dough, the very pie-ness of pie. Contrary to all sorts of nonsense, pie dough is easy. Easy as Pie.

Three ingredients – flour, fat, liquid. Infinite variations.Change the flour, change the liquid, change the fat…The basic of basic: a 3:2:1: ration of  flour:butter :water. In Ratio (Michael Ruhlman precise by weight measurements; or in more eyeballing, not quite so scientific throw together school (mine) :  2  1/2 cups flour, 2 sticks butter, 1/4-1/2 cups water. You might also want a teaspoon of salt (not quite so necessary if you’re using salted butter) and perhaps a spoonful of sugar, but if  you don’t know if you need sugar, DON’T PANIC, don’t fret – leave it out and after you eat this pie, know more, know better for the next pie.

Add the butter to the flour, rubbing it in, letting some of the pieces remain the size of pease.Sprinkle the 1/4  water on top, stir it together until it comes together in a ball. Add a little more water if it’s still too crumbly. Don’t over-mix – you don’t want to wake up and excite the gluten. When it holds together, divide in half and make into 2 disks. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/2 an hour, or even a full day. This waiting time lets the water molecules mix with the flour molecule and all be evenly hydrated. These 2 disks are enough for a top and bottom crust.

This is the outer gold of the pie.

pie_crust

Apple Station

5-10 apples, depending on their size, how high a pie you want to make and how patient you are with peeling and coring and slicing.If you don’t like slices,you can chop the apples….but in the end you want them to fit on a fork with some crust and then fit into your mouth. Or roses….you can make roses from apples instead of slices or chunks….

MA101146_WHOLETART01

Martha Stewart Living Feb 2005 – there are YouTube videos galore about this, too.

Any apple can make an apple pie – what are you looking for in a pie? Old Farmer’s Almanac has an Apple GuideApple Guide if you don’t want to trust your own taste.You can also mix apples…really, it’s your pie.You can mix otehr fruit in, too, but then it isn’t an apple pie, it’s and apple and____pie. Apple make good company. Cranberries. Squash slices. Pears. Onions (caramelize them first). Sweet Potatoes. Regular Potatoes. Bacon. Cheddar Cheese. Etc.

Spice Station

Sugar and spice  and everything nice…

Sugar – white or brown? A little to enhance the other flavors or is it a flavor in an of itself? Maple sugar? Maple syrup will make it drippy….

Cinnamon – a little or a lot? Ginger? Nutmeg? Let your nose lead you…

Lemon juice is often added to keep the slices from browning – News alert : Cooking the apple is ALSO going to brown them, so add the sugar, add the spice and add the lemon juice if you like the taste.Or add a little of another juice. Apple juice/cider is good. Lemon juice is  very 20th century flavor in apple pie; a spoonful of lemon liquor would work, too. Grated orange peel is another option.  Caraway, dill seed or fennel seed add nice flavor. A spoonful of rosewater or orange flower water. Cinnamon and rum…lead with your nose!

barbieri_paolo_antonio_-_the_spice_shop_-_1637

Paolo Antonio Barbieri. The Spice Shop – 1637

Rolling Station

Now the component pieces start to come together as a whole. Before you gather together the pie pan, the rolling pin, the dough and the filling, there’s another decision – Is this pie to be bakes now, or is it to be assembled and frozen to be baked later? If you want to bake the pie now – turn on the oven to 425°F. If later – get rolling!

Sprinkle a little flour on a clean flat surface. Unwrap one disk of dough. With a rolling pin

rollingpin_japanese

One kind of rolling pin

 

roll one disk into a circle about 2 inches wider around then your pie pan. There are lots of rolling out videos and magazine hints. In the last few months both Christopher Kimball in his new magazine Milk Street has a new no-shrink dough

and – just about everyone else has a pie rolling video out. Apple Pie alone could entertain you on the internet for weeks on end…..

Roll out one disk, put it on the pie plate.

Roll out the other disk.

Put the Apple in the bottom crust. Dot with butter. Maybe sprinkle with sugar.

Put the top crust on.

Almost pie.

julia6

The other kind of rolling pin

Crimping Station

In pie, crimping is good. It holds everything together.It can be pretty, too. Remember that that oven is heating up, and the longer the filling sits in unbaked crust, the soggier your bottom will be. And a little venting in the top. Even a pie has to let off some steam.

 

Baking Station

Now is the time to pass this pan, with apples and butter and flour  through heat, where it will be transformed. It’s not really pie until it comes out of the hot oven.

Start at 425°. After 10 or 15 minutes take a peak – is it browning up? Is it smelling good. A good pie crust is golden brown, not pasty palely white. Let it cook! Turn it down to 375° when you see color on the pastry, and let it continue baking until juices are bubbling.Let the fruit cook, too. 30-45 minutes – don’t rush it.

Cooling Station

If you REALLY want to eat pie hot – even though pie is not at all it’s best then – use spoons and dish it up like like a baked pudding. Forget all pretense of slices.

As it cools, contemplate – whipped cream, ice cream, cheddar cheese?

pie-science2

 

Henry Ward Beecher on Apple Pie

[B]lessed be the unknown person who invented the apple-pie! Did I know where the grave of that person was, methinks I would make a devout pilgrimage thither, and rear a monument over it that should mark the spot to the latest generations. Of all pies, of every name, the apple-pie is easily the first and chief.

Apple-Pie should be eaten while it is yet florescent, white or creamy yellow, with the merest drip of candied juice along the edges (as if the flavor were so good to itself that its own lips watered!), of a mild and modest warmth; the sugar suggesting jelly, yet not jellied; the morsels of apple neither dissolved, nor yet in original substance, but hanging, as it were, in a trance between the spirit and the flesh of applehood.

Not that apple is no longer apple! It, too, is transformed; and the final pie, though born of apple, sugar, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon, is unlike none of these, but the ideal of them all, refined, purified, and by fire fixed in blissful perfection.

Enjoy!

 

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Filed under Autumn, Pie

Piece of Pie

Pizza Pie, that is.

Is there a point where pizza and pie are redundant?

Maybe the point would be at the point of the wedge…..

pizza slice

Piece of pizza – New York style slices

But then there is Pie Pie….

Pumpkin_Pie

Pumpkin Pie

SOOOOOOO,

When you have cooked squash/pumpkin and pizza dough both in your freezer at the same time and it’s also time to think of what’s for supper…….Time for Pumpkin Pizza Pie

Two Great Tastes that Taste Great Together!

 

PUMPKIN PIZZA PIE

2 rounds of pizza dough, rolled out to 10″

1/2  pound cooked squash

1 can Ro-Tell – drain it and drink the juice or save it for soup…

rotel

They were on sale last week – I was thinking of adding them into chili or soup

olive oil

grated  mozzarella or cheddar

grated Romano or Parmesan

  1. Put some oil in a pan. Add the drained Rotel, the squash and a clove or 2 (or 4) of garlic. Any finely diced veg or 2 would do well here now – pepper, onion, celery even a carrot. I had a roasted beet I didn’t think of til it was out of the oven…what a color THAT would have been!

  2. Cook to color, soften. Mash it down,nothing too big, too hard, too lumpy.

  3. Let the mixture cool a bit.

  4. Turn up the oven to 450-500°. Let it be hot.

  5. If you have a lump of cheese, shred it now. Shredded cheese was also on sale, and a name brand, not the store brand stuff. I bought it in spite of the chatter lately about wood pulp et al.in assorted cheese product. This one had potato starch, visible, all over the place potato starch, and plenty of it.  Next time I shred my own.  

  6. Sprinkle some grated Romano or Parmesan in a little circle in the middle. This is a trick I learned from Ian C. at a wood-fired oven workshop years ago.  It makes your first bite extra savory.This doesn’t work on pizzas that aren’t circles to be cut in wedges, although a little extra flavorful cheese underneath almost always works.  

  7. Divide the vegetable sauce between the 2 pizzas and spread across the dough.

  8. Sprinkle any fresh seasoning herbs may want now : fresh basil or fresh thyme. Sage, in very small amounts works with the squash. I had some fresh rosemary, and it only took a couple of pinches, minced fine.

  9. Top  with the shredded cheese. The cheese should not out weigh the rest of the topping….

  10. Put in a hot oven for 10 minutes and then check. It should be golden brown on top and bottom. If not, put it back in for a couple of more minutes – your oven will not be the same as mine! My oven took about 6 minutes more. If I wanted well-done pizza (don’t laugh, I know people who like things COOKED) keep  in in even a few minutes more. Don’t keep it in so long the Fire Department comes over to see what’s in the oven.

  11. Take out of the oven, cool for a minute or two (It helps the cheese set and keeps you from burning yourself). Cut in slices and serve. I froze my leftovers for another day (which was more then one other day, the last one of which was today).

  12. Glorious colors, tomato and pumpkin, two New World vine fruits together!

 

 

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Filed under Eating, Italian, Pantry, Pizza, Recipe, squash

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

And sometimes, especially with 4 brothers, you just need quick and easy cheap eats from what you have on hand. Hence, the traditional inclusion of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  I’m pretty sure that this recipe came from the box…if not the oatmeal box, then the raisin box.

By the way, why are oatmeal boxes ROUND???Quaker oats boxalthough the round box is good for crafts….

an organizer....if I used this for my loose recipes...first, eat lots of oatmeal

an organizer….if I used this for my loose recipes…first, eat lots of oatmeal

oatmeal box drum

The ever popular drum – for a little drummer boy, no doubt

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

3 C flour

1 C gran sugar

2 C brown sugar

2 C butter

2 tsp vanilla

6 C old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick, not instant, not steel cut or Irish)

2 tsp baking soda

2 C raisins

4 eggs

Have been using this since sometime in the ‘80’s – that’s the whole thing. I’m pretty sure that this is a double batch, at least. It make a TON of cookies. You know what to do from here. 350 or 375 for 7-12 minutes. Less time for a softer cookies, a little longer for a crisper cookie.

Did they put recipes on the back of the oatmeal box? We didn’t search for it, was out there.

oatmeal raisin' cookies Scott Metzger

 

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National Home Bread Baking Day

is today.

 

keep-calm-and-bake-bread-62

It’s easy. Really.

Four Ingredients.

Flour. Water. Salt. Leaven.

No machines.

And you can do it on whatever your schedule is.

Really

REALLY.

REALLY.

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. and Zoë François . If you don’t know them, let me introduce you. They have a blog on their website. They have a book for Gluten Free. They have another for pizza. And one for whole grains.

AB5first

This book came out in 2007, and for a change, I got it while it was new. It meant we ate fresh home-baked unless I choose to try bread from someone else. No longer stuck with grocery store bread because, because, because….

You mix up the dough once, toss it in the fridge, and take out a lump to bake when you need it.

Genius.

Further back in time, back in the dim, dark ages of the 20th century, Laurie ColwinLaurie Colwin had written  of a similar approach, but in essay form, and I had tried it and then forgot. AB5 has step by step instructions and photographs and is perhaps the most basic of basic bread dough making that I have ever read. And I read a whole lot about bread and dough.

good bread when you want and need bread

good bread when you want and need bread

So, stop reading already – go make some dough!

Jeff and Zoe - you'll be on a first name basis with pretty quick

Jeff and Zoe – you’ll be on a first name basis with pretty quick

The Master recipe is on the website… I’ve got loaves to form, see ya soon!

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Filed under Books, Bread, Influencers

Beer Pizza, Honey

 

More hunny, Rabbit?

More hunny, Rabbit?

Another beer pizza, one that also has honey it. I’ve only recently started putting sugar 0r in this case, honey, in my pizza doughs. Not enough to alter the flavor so much, but to encourage better browning, which also makes it a little crisper.

Beer Pizza Dough with Honey

1 (¼-oz.) package active dry yeast
¾ cup warm beer with 1/4 cup water (the liquid should equal a cup – depending on your beer it could be 1/2 and 1/2 or even all beer)

1 tsp. honey

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil plus more for the bowl

1 tsp.  salt

3 cups bread flour, plus more as needed

12 minutes at 500

  1. Mix the yeast with the beer in a small bowl. Let get all good and frothy – 5-15 minutes.
  2. Add the honey, the olive oil and the salt.
  3. Put the flour in a large bowl. Add the liquid mixture. Mix it all together until it’s dough.
  4. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until it’s tight and as as smooth as a baby’s bottom.
  5. Wash out and oil the bowl, put the dough back in and turn so all sides are slick and less likely to get crusty (crusty – good in pizza, bad in dough).
  6. Let rise 1-2 hours  OR
  7. Put in the fridge overnight and up to 2 days. Bring to room temp (1 -2 hours depending on your room) before continuing. Whatever works for your schedule.
  8. Preheat the oven to 500° F.
  9. Divide the dough into 4 parts for 4 12″ pizzas ( or more or fewer, depending on your final product. I’ve been making fewer, smaller pizzas and keeping the ‘leftover’ dough in the freezer for the next pizza meal.)
  10. Roll the dough or stretch or pat it – you should be developing a technique all your own by now….
  11. Top and bake Here’s the link to the Six Onion Pizza from Saveur that the dough came from.

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Filed under Influencers, Pizza, Recipe

Muffings (English implied)

Wicked Way-Back Wednesday

English muffings from the 18th century.

For version for a 21st century cook, see Paula Marcoux’s Cooking with Fire

Cooking with Fire by Paula Marcoux

Cooking with Fire by Paula Marcoux

To make Muffings and Oat-Cakes.

To a buſhel of Hertfordſhire white flour, take a Pint and a half of good Ale-yeaſt, from pale Malt, if you can get it, becauſe it is whiteſt ; let the Yeaſt lie in Water all Night, the next Day pour off the Water clear, make two Gallons of Water juſt Milk warm, not to ſcald your Yeaſt, and two Ounces of Salt ; mix your Water, Yeaſt, and Salt well together for about a quarter of an Hour, then ſtrain it and mix up your Dough as light as poſſible, and let it lie in your Trough an Hour to riſe, then with your Hand roll it and pull it into little Pieces about as big as a large Walnut, roll them with your Hand like a Ball, lay them on your Table, and as faſt as you do them lay a Piece of Flannel over them, and be ſure to keep your Dough cover’d with Flannel ; when you have rolled out all your Dough begin to bake the firſt, and by that Time they will be ſpread out in the right Form ; lay them on your Iron ; as one Side begins to change Colour turn the other, and take great Care they don’t burn, or be too much diſcolour’d, but that you will be a Judge off in two or three Makings. Take care the middle of the iron is not too hot, as it will be, but then you may put a Brick-bat or two in the middle of the Fire to ſlacken the Heat. The Thing you bake on muſt be made thus:
Build a Place juſt as if you was going to ſet a Copper, and in the ſtead of a Copper, a Piece of Iron all over the Top fix’d in Form juſt the ſame as the Bottom of an Iron Pot, and make your fire underneath with Coal as in a Copper: obſerve, Muffings are made the ſame Way ; only this, when you pull them to Pieces roll them in a good deal of Flour, and with a Rolling-pin roll them thin, cover them with a Piece of Flannel, and they will riſe a proper Thickneſs ; and if you find them too big or too little, you muſt roll Dough accordingly. Theſe muſt not be the leaſt diſcoloured.
And when you eat them, toaſt them with a Fork criſp on both Sides, then with your Hand pull them open, and they will be like a Honey-Comb ; lay in as much butter as you intend to uſe, then clap them together again, and ſet it by the Fire. When you think the Butter is melted turn them, that both Sides may be butter’d alike, but don’t touch them with a Knife, either to spread or cut them open, if you do they will be as heavy as Lead, only when they are quite buttered and done, you may cut them acroſs with a knife.
Note, Some Flour will ſoak up a Quart or three Pints more water than other Flour ; then you muſt add more Water, or ſhake in more Flour in making up, for the Dough muſt be as light as poſſible.

(The intial transcript came from Celtnet – then I added the random caps and italics from the Prospect Books edition.

Read more at Celtnet: http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/glasse-wine-brewing-bread-17.php
Copyright © celtnet)

“First Catch Your Hare…” The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. A Lady (Hannah Glasse). Facsimile of the first edition, 1747. Prospect Books, 1995. p. 151.

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Filed under Books, Bread, Recipe

Muffin Woman

Do you know the Muffin Man?

thomas_muffins_lgThe Muffin Man?

Muffin Man from 1759

Muffin Man from 1759

The Muffin Man?

Muffin Man 18

Muffin Man 18

Do you know the Muffin Man who lives in Drury Lane?

I can’t remember when I didn’t love English muffins. They were my absolute favorite breakfast for years.

English muffin pizza? Been there, done that.Thomas_recipe_PizzaMuffinEM

But making English muffins, the actual bread stuff, proved more problematical.

First, there was the ring or not to ring conundrum.

You can buy these, OR save tuna cans, which was easier before their shaped changed ever so slightly OR you can improvise with canning jar lids or tin foil....

You can buy these, OR save tuna cans, which was easier before their shaped changed ever so slightly OR you can improvise with canning jar lids or tin foil….

After a few attempts, I decided to go ringless….right around the same time I discovered Laurel’s Kitchen.

Laurel does not use rings.

This is the 1976 edition. For reasons I can no longer even imagine, I tossed it out when I got the NEW edition, along with my margin notes and inserts....

This is the 1976 edition. For reasons I can no longer even imagine, I tossed it out when I got the NEW edition, along with my margin notes and inserts….I probably got this at Paperback Booksmith at the Hanover Mall.

This is the NEW Laurel's Kitchen, from 1989, a copy of which now lives in my kitchen and has since  1991. Ummmm - I had a baby in 1991....suddenly the stupid has a  context

This is the NEW Laurel’s Kitchen, from 1989, a copy of which now lives in my kitchen and has since 1991. Ummmm – I had a baby in 1991….suddenly the stupid has a context

Laurel’s English Muffins

1 packet yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup buttermilk
5 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp salt

  1. This is also her basic buttermilk bread recipe. Hers also call for honey, which makes the muffins too easily overbrowned in the cooking, so I save it to put ON the muffins, not in them.
  2. Mix. Knead. Rise.
  3. Divide in half. At this point you can make 2 loaves of bread OR bread and muffins or LOTS of muffins.
  4. FOR MUFFINS: Take 1/2 the total dough and add 1 cup warm water. You are now making a slack, somewhat overworked dough. This is  were the nooks and crannies come from.
  5. Let it rise again.
  6. Sprinkle a surface with cornmeal (you can use plain flour if you don’t have cornmeal…)
  7. Divide the dough into 8 pieces and shape into droopy rounds and plop them on the corn meal.
  8. Heat a griddle or skillet as hot as for pancakes.
  9. Use a spatulas to transfer the dough blobs to the pan  . I can fit 4 at a time on my skillet. Cook until the bottom browns, flip and then brown some more. It will probably take about 10 minutes a side. The side of the muffins  should loose their dough look and just seem pale. Flip over again if it all seems too squishy,if you want to split one open to see how it’s doing, just remember to fork split so you can toast it and serve it later.
  10. Repeat until they are all brown on the outside and cooked on the inside.
  11. Split with a fork and toast and serve with butter and honey or whatever….

from The New Laurel’s Kitchen. Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders,and Brian Rupperthal. Ten Speed Press, 1986 pp. 74-5, 65.

Laurel, Carol and Brown

Laurel, Carol and Bronwen

 

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Filed under Books, Influencers, Recipe

Beer Pizza Pronto

Pizza and Beer are a pretty good combination.

Grolsch Beer  - Dutch beer from a brewery founded in 1615 - a little history in a little bottle

Grolsch Beer – Dutch beer from a brewery founded in 1615 – a little bottle of history.

Pizza without sauce...sometimes known as white pizza or pizza bianca

Pizza without sauce…sometimes known as white pizza or pizza bianc0

So beer IN the pizza….pure genius!

This is a dough that can be made in a hurry, mostly with pantry/fridge ingredients, so also easy to do on the spur of the moment.

BEER PIZZA PRONTO

3 cups AP flour, plus more for the board
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 12 oz beer, bottle or can, light or dark, whatever your purse and palate allow in the house
Olive oil
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese (not the fresh; the supermarket kind. Even the pre-grated packaged stuff would work here; depending on your topping, the pre-grated ‘cheddar’ stuff could also be good – let your taste buds decide)
Assorted toppings – you know what you like – or what you have…
1. Pre heat oven to 450°
2. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets with olive oil; put aside.
3. Spread flour on your work surface – give yourself enough swing room if you’re using a rolling pin.
4. Open the beer (If it’s been a rough day, open 2 – one for the pizza and one for the cook. Put the Cook beer out of swing range of the pizza dough prep – if you spill it, angels will weep. They just don’t like messy kitchens)
5. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder. I use a whisk.
6. Pour in the beer, mix well. This will form a sticky lump.
7. Dump it out on the floured work surface. Roll it in the flour until it’s not so sticky and knead it a time or two to form a ball. A Bench knife is your friend. Divide to make 2 balls.
8. Place one ball on each greased baking sheet and pat, pull and otherwise coax with your impeccably clean hands the dough into a 11-12” circle (oil your hands if the dough gets sticky ) OR
9. Roll each ball to an 11-12” circle and place on the greased baking sheet.
10. Sprinkle 1 ½ cups of the grated cheese on top of each, and top with topping – remember, this is quick and easy, so don’t over load. Make a salad or an antipasto to serve WITH the pizza with all the cool stuff you’ve found kicking around your fridge and pantry instead of piling it all on this pizza. This is a quick dough, not a sturdy one. Cheese, one topping. IF you need some tomato sauce, very little, merest, tiniest  smidge – or use the sauce to dip……you are eating outside the box, after all!
11. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown top and bottom.

Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin. Simple Vegetarian Pleasures. Quill. 1998. p. 137.

Simple Veg Pleasures

Jeanne Lemlin

Jeanne Lemlin

 

 

 

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Filed under Pizza, Recipe, Uncategorized

Pizza measures up

I decide a few weeks ago to write more on pizza, because there’s more then one good pizza, and pizza just needs more attention.  Because it’s so common and easy to come by, I think that pizza gets overlooked.

Unless it’s being made far too much of by certain foodie sorts, who want it to ‘authentic in every detail.’ Usually meaning tricky, difficult, expensive, exclusive. All the things that pizza is not.

Plymouth has several places that offer really good – and really varied pizzas. There is Italian pizza and southern Italian pizza  and  Greek pizza and even Brazilian pizza as well as not one, but 2, chain  pizza places all in the general downtown area.

And there’s still more pizza to make at home.

Last week the New York Times jumped my pizza story by 2 days because the food pages come out on Wednesdays, with Sam Sifton’s  story “A Little Homework” which is about – you guessed it – making pizza at home.

Here’s the link: A Little pizza Homework   on the website they added pizza to the article title.The video about making the dough is very good. Notice that Falco uses only his hands to mix the flour and water to make up the dough – no spoons to wash up!

Sifton’s right – making pizza dough is easy peasy. And it can keep in the fridge for days, so you can find the time. It’s the special flour that I have a problem with. If you don’t have any 00 Italian flour on hand – make the dough anyhow. If you’re hot to try it, you can order it on line. King Arthur Flour has an Italian Pizza blend that’s like 00 flour, if Italian Pizza blend flour isn’t on your grocery store shelves.kaf Italina flourThere’s another video on pizza at How2heroes which calls for bread flour instead of 00…

What I like about all this is that the sauce is simplicity itself – canned tomatoes, olive oil and a little salt, blenderized.

waring blender

Time to pull out the blender…sometimes I just use crushed tomatoes on pizza.

The other thing I like is that he weighs out the ingredients, which with flour ESPECIALLY makes a world of difference, although with this small amount and for this particular items, eyeballing it will work. But if you don’t have a kitchen scale…here’s the one I’m lusting after now, and if I remember – someday will be the replacement for the perfectly fine but takes up too much room scale that I have now.

foldingscale

The Tri fold Folding Scale

Another version - the scale folds up

Another version – the scale folds up

 

This is the scale I have now - it has plenty of measuring left in it

This is the scale I have now – it has plenty of measuring left in it

The other, other thing I like in the paper was a sidebar on what to drink with pizza. The answer is – Drumroll, please –

Just about everything!

To quote Eric Asimov:

One thing never worth fretting about is what to drink with pizza. What could be bad? Nothing. (Please pause and reflect here. Talk among yourselves) The Italians seem to prefer beer or cola (Note: in my family, orange soda) I think anything with bubbles is delicious. Dry Lambrusco is great. So is Champagne, believe it or not, especially with the Green and White Pies. …..and there are more and more recommendations and the last line is 

What to drink with pizza? Whatever you like.

 

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Homemade Pizza

In order to create order, there was a time when different days of the week had a different food…like Chili Wednesdays or Meatless Mondays, there were also Pizza Fridays.

Pizza also was a food I associated with being easy to make (and fun) because when we went to my Aunt’s there was almost always pizza, in a big baking sheet, on standby, should somehow we prove too famished to be able to wait for the incredible and enormous meal that was waiting for us. It was, after all, as much as an hour from our house to hers.

If you don’t happen to have dough on hand, pizza could take a while to have ready. Yeast takes a certain amount of time to grow and prosper; if you make it a head and freeze it, a frozen lump of dough needs to thaw before you can make a pizza from it, and if you forget to take it out of the freezer in the morning before you go to work, all you’ve got is a frozen lump of dough and not an actual pizza. And a hungry boy.

Don’t ask me how I know this.

Nika Hazelton to the rescue. I started reading Italian cookbooks in the ’70’s so I could learn to spell the names of the foods that I had been eating all my life.

I discovered that Italy had many of dialects, not just of accents, but also words and foods. Nika was one of the first authors I found. She also wrote VOLUMES. This will not be the last visit to Nika.

Nika Hazelton

Nika Hazelton

BAKING POWDER PIZZA
(Pizza Fatto in Casa)

Dough:
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup water
Olive oil
Toppings of your choice – you know what you want – don’t nibble it all before you make up the dough.
1. Preheat the oven at 450°.
2. Whisk or sift the flour, salt and baking powder together.
3. Combine the 3 tablespoons olive oil with the water and stir into the dry mixture until well mixed – this should take about a minute.
4. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead for another minute, until it is a ball.
5. Place the ball of dough in the middle of a greased baking sheet (or use a silpat) Pat the dough flat into a circle, starting in the center and working out. It should end up between about 1/8 inch thick in the middle and closer to ½ inch at the outer edges.
6. If the dough tears, just push more dough over it to close them up.
7. Brush olive oil at the edges of the circle.
8. Top with toppings
9. Put in the HOT oven for 10 – 15 minutes until the dough is browned and the toppings are melted and bubbly.
Makes 1 11-inch pizza.
Adapted from Nika Hazelton. The Regional Italian Kitchen. M. Evans and Company, Inc. New York: 1978. p. 162.

Regional Italian Kitchen

Regional Italian Kitchen

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