Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pizza alla Roma

I love to make pizza. I eat pizza probably over four times a week. So, it is essential that I'm able to make some delicious pizza at home on the cheap. Once you master the crust the toppings are truly endless. I usually go for meat free offerings, but the sky is the limit when creating your own.

The success of homemade pizzas, I believe, lays with the instrument you bake the crust on. I prefer to preheat the oven with a stone inside.

Pizza Crust, courtsey Dave Lieberman

This dough recipe works great for thick crust pizzas and calzones.

1 package active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water, about 110 degrees F
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1 teaspoon salt

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together yeast, warm water, sugar and olive oil. Let sit for about 3 minutes to fully dissolve and activate the yeast.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt.

With a rubber spatula, gradually mix the yeast mixture into the flour until just combined and dough barely holds together. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter surface dusted with flour.

Knead the dough with flour-dusted hands until the dough has become smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. The surface should be tight and silky and bounce back slightly when pressed. Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough in it.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.

Once doubled, punch the dough down and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Knead each 1 slightly to form a uniform ball. Set aside and cover them with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap to rest for 30 minutes.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Root Beer Float Cupcakes

I saw these posted on another website, so I won't put up the recipe since that would be cheating or something. J loves root beer so I tested these out a few weeks ago to make sure he approved. I'm planning on making them for his 22nd birthday party. I just added freshly made whipped cream to the top and a sprinkling of cinnamon for some color.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Triple Chocolate Chip Brownies

For my first post I thought I would introduce something that everybody loves...brownies. This are simple and get even better the next day. I sometimes add frosting to give them an extra kick, but I decided to keep it plain this time. I find this recipe to be pretty fool proof, so you could easily add your favorite nut or candy.
Triple Chocolate Chip Brownies

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
4 large eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 cup of flour
1 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Double boil bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate with butter until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm.
Stir in sugar, vanilla, and add eggs one at a time. Stir well after each addition. Stir in salt and the flour until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely.