Sunday, June 16, 2013

Homemade Thin Crust Pizza

This is another great pizza recipe to put together especially if you are planning a pizza party.  It's quick and easy and any left over dough can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Just imagine a pizza party where your guest can put together their own designer pizza ...

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Homemade Thin Crust Pizza
Makes Two 10" Pizzas

For the dough:

3/4 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon active-dry or instant yeast
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt


1)  Preheat the oven to 450°F or as hot as it will go and let it heat for about 20 mins before making the pizza. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the lower-middle part of the oven now.  If you don't use use a baking sheet pan, turned upside down and place into the oven.

2)  Combine the water and yeast in a mixing bowl, and stir to dissolve the yeast. The mixture should look like thin miso soup. Add the flour and salt to the bowl and mix until you've formed a sticky.

3) Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface along with any loose flour still in the bowl.  until all the flour is incorporated, and the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough should still feel moist and slightly tacky. If it's sticking to your hands and counter-top like bubble gum, work in more flour one tablespoon at a time until it is smooth.

4)  Leave the dough to rise until doubled in bulk (about an hour or so). After rising, you can use the dough or refrigerate it for up to three days.

5) Cover the dough with the upside-down mixing bowl or a clean kitchen towel while you prepare the pizza toppings.

6) When ready to make the pizza, tear off two pieces of parchment paper roughly 12-inches wide. Divide the dough in two with a bench scraper. Working with one piece of the dough at a time, form it into a large disk with your hands and lay it on the parchment paper.

7) Work from the middle of the dough outwards, using the heel of your hand to gently press and stretch the dough until it's about 1/4 of an inch thick or less. For an extra-thin crust, roll it with a rolling pin. If the dough starts to shrink back, let it rest for five minutes and then continue rolling.

8) The dough will stick to the parchment paper, making it easier for you to roll out, and the pizza is baked while still on the parchment. As it cooks, the dough will release from the parchment, and you can slide the paper out midway through cooking.

9)  Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce into the center of the pizza and use the back of a spoon to spread it out to the edges. Pile on all of your toppings.

10) Using a bread peel or the bottom of a large removable cake tin, slide your pizza (still on the parchment) onto the baking stone in the oven or onto the pre-heated baking sheet pan.

11) Bake for about 5 minutes and then rotate the pizza, removing the parchment from under the pizza as you do so. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese looks toasty.

12) Remove the pizza from oven and let it cool on a wire rack. Repeat with shaping, topping, and baking second pizza.

13) Let both pizzas cool for about five minutes before slicing and serving.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

I came across this recipe and have to share it around! They do say that good things must be shared around ... right?

These biscuits are absolutely, absolutely delicious especially if you have some spare cheddar cheese lying around in your refrigerator.  I would not say that the texture is that of a biscuit ... more like a muffin scone.  They whip up in no time at all so you can even make these on a lazy Sunday morning and have it with your breakfast.

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Recipe Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Makes about 10 - 12 biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tsp grated fresh garlic (can be omitted or replaced with 1/2 tsp garlic powder (or 1/2 tsp onion powder)
 ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup shredded mix cheddar cheese
3 Tablespoon grated parmesan
1 cup buttermilk, cold
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled for 5 minutes

For the Topping:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1)  Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat and set aside.

2)  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, grated garlic and cayenne. Stir in the cheese and set aside.

3)  In a medium bowl, stir together the buttermilk and melted butter until the butter forms small clumps.

4)   Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix gently with a rubber spatula just until a dough forms and no dry ingredients remain. Use a greased ¼-cup measuring cup to scoop out portions of dough. Place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little more than an inch between biscuits.

5) Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 12 minutes. While the biscuits are in the oven, stir together the 2 tablespoons melted butter and thyme.

6) Remove the biscuits from the oven and immediately brush with the topping mixture. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

7) Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top back at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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