Posts tagged ‘crust’

September 17, 2010

Pizza Dough and Toppings

by horseradishsauce

I’ve got about 5 pizza crust recipes but I’ve only used one of them so far. I think it comes down to that I don’t usually have a lot of time to make the crust, so I haven’t bothered to take the time to experiment.

As usual, I found this recipe from somewhere online and neglected to save the location (I think it’s from Allrecipes though). I added the cornmeal part though, both because it keeps it from sticking to the pan and because I like cornmeal on the bottom of my pizza, what up.

I don’t know how accurate the baking time is. It always took mine about an hour, but I don’t know if it was lots of toppings making the pizza wet or because I was at a 5,000 ft altitude which always messes up cooking. Just watch it til it’s crispy. Crispier is better than if you’re not sure, it seems.

Pizza Crust
Ingredients

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (1 tbls)
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • about 1/2 cup of cornmeal

Directions

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups bread flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar and the yeast mixture; stir well to combine. Beat well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover and rise until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface. Form dough into a round and roll out into the shape of the pan you’re planning to use. Sprinkle some cornmeal on the bottom of the pan, then place the dough in it. Cover with sauce and toppings and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

This lady has tips for making “perfect” pizza crust, but as I’m usually feeding boys who either don’t cook or “like to grill”,  “great” pizza crust will do just fine for me.

Toppings?
I like to first brush a garlic+olive oil+seasonings mix on the crust, then put the tomato sauce, then the toppings. It’s so delicious.

Sauce:

  • 8 tbls olive oil
  • 6-7 cloves crushed/minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning*
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • about 1/2 cup to 1 cup canned, crushed tomato
  • Parmesan and/or mozzerella, shredded

*or sprinkle equal parts oregano, basil and thyme on it. Add marjoram and rosemary if you have it. 1 tsp is just a recommendation, of course.

I usually end up mixing the olive oil and garlic and spreading it on the pizza. Then I just sprinkle each spice over the top of the pizza. It’s probably around 1 tsp of salt and 1 tbls of everything else. I add the crushed tomatoes to the top then add some more pepper and italian seasonings. Then I add the toppings.

Pizza #1:

  • about 1/2 a medium yellow or red onion
  • about 1 red bell pepper (I tried it with yellow once and it’s nowhere near as good)
  • about 1.5 cups cubed chicken breast (raw)
  • about 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
  • about 2 cups chopped spinach

Just put everything on the pizza, grind some pepper on top, sprinkle a little more cheese, and stick it in the oven. 425 is probably a better temperature just cos there’s a lot of stuff. Bake it for however long it takes. I’ll make one nearer to sea level sometime and figure out what’s normal.
People often cook the chicken first, but I never did and it always cooked through, but maybe that’s because I had to bake the pizza for so long.

Pizza #2:

  • 1-2 red potatoes
  • about 10-20 cloves of roasted garlic
  • more italian seasoning and salt

My friends and I made this once in imitation of the You Say Potato pizza that Escape From New York Pizza in San Francisco makes:

As you can see, it’s supposed to be cheese, pesto, roasted garlic, potatoes, and seasonings.
Here is someone’s version, though Escape From New York Pizza makes thin-crust and that person made a thick crust so therefore you should not trust the recipe. Anyway, if you’ve softened your potatoes a little and roast some garlic, put it on the pizza and you’ll be good. When my friends and I did it, we didn’t cook the potatoes but they were fine, probably because we sliced them really thin. We also just sliced the garlic and put it on top (it was kinda an everything pizza). As you can see, we used pesto and red sauce, some ham luncheon meat, the potatoes, garlic and artichoke hearts. It was delicious.

(That crust was a boxed crust my friend made. I don’t have pictures of the one the recipe makes).

EDIT: Pizza #3:

Use whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose. Brush on the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Add onions, peppers and tomatoes. Slice yellow squash and zucchini really thin and lay it on top. Sprinkle liberally with paprika and cinnamon. I will make a post about this one in particular soon.

Finally, I just wanted to say that I’m a big fan of grinding black pepper liberally over your toppings before baking. It sticks to the toppings (particularly if you use chicken) and takes really good.

I tagged this post as vegan just cos you can leave out the meat and cheese if you want. Just use the olive oil + garlic and maybe some pesto or peanut butter or something vegan, who knows.

I should try peanut butter. Hmmm….

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September 3, 2010

Apple Pie: Crust Variations and the Best Filling

by horseradishsauce

This is my favorite apple pie recipe. I haven’t tried the cheddar crust yet, but hopefully next time I will make it. By the way, if you want to make the crust vegan, use crisco. I tried it with the only vegan margarine I could find (most of them use whey), and it came out…I don’t know how to describe it, but suffice to say the rest of us tried to convince the vegan to eat the “face pies” instead (the ones made with ingredients that came from things with faces, of course).

So here’s the crust recipe I like, a variation that’s supposedly awesome, the cheddar crust, and a delicious filling recipe I found somewhere online:

Isabelle’s Crust (stolen from Mamma, stolen from Grandmaman, stolen from Crisco)

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter/shortening
  • 3 to 8 tablespoons ice cold water
  • 1 egg

Doubled version:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups cold butter/shortening
  • 5 to 12 tablespoons ice cold water
  • 1 egg

Combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until it’s crumbly. Toss with cold water until it’s doughy enough to roll.
Clean your counter, you nasty person. Now flour the surface and put the dough (formed into a ball) on the flour, and dust the top with flour. If you’ve got a rolling pin, flour that and roll out the crust. I used a bowl with a smooth bottom all through college and that worked fine. The palm of your hand will also work. Done? Excellent. Put it in the tin. Add the filling, then pull the extra bits of dough over the top of the filling. Prick some holes in the top of the crust. Beat the egg and brush it over the crust. If you didn’t beat the egg thoroughly, there will be the clumps of the albumen that will like to sink into the recesses of the pie. If you leave them there, they will bake into oddly chewy sections of dough, which I don’t like.

Supposedly the Best Pie Crust

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups shortening or butter, in chunks
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar

Combine flour, salt, and sugar. In a small bowl whisk together the water, egg, and vinegar.
Cut butter into dough until large crumbs form.
Add egg mixture, stirring as little as possible until the dough starts to form a ball. Form dough into a ball while working it as little as possible. Dough may be somewhat sticky. Place on a piece of plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Chill for at least an hour. Roll or use as normal. 1/4 of ball will make one crust – bottom or top.
(This dough is very soft. Roll on a well-floured surface and dust with flour as needed while rolling.)
If baking by itself for a no-bake pie, prick the crust all over – even on the sides – with a fork. This will allow the steam to release instead of it puffing up. Bake in a 350 oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crimped edges are turning golden. Cool compeltely if using a cold filling.

Cheddar Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup (6 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4-6 tablespoons water

Heat oven to 425F. Combine flour & salt; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cheese. Sprinkle with water while mixing lightly with a fork; form into ball. Divide dough in half. Roll one part to 11″ circle on lightly floured surface. Place in 9″ pie plate. Add filling. Roll out remainder of dough to 11″ circle; place over apples. Seal edges of crust & flute. Cut slits in top of pastry. Bake at 425F, 35 minutes.

Apple Pie Filling

  • 6 large apples
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • probably about 4 tablespoons teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter — cut into bits
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Peel, core, and thinly slice apples. Toss with lemon juice and zest. Mix sugar, flour, and spices. Toss with apples to coat.
Roll half of dough into a round and fit into a 9″ pie pan.Fill shell with apple mixture. Dot top with butter. Roll remaining dough into a round large enough to cover top of apples. Place carefully over apple filling and crimp edges of crusts together. Make slits in top crust to vent. Mix teaspoon of sugar with dash of cinnamon. Brush top of crust with milk and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 20-30 minutes.
Note: even though you think the crust will burn by leaving it in that long, it shouldn’t. The apples will continue to cook and the crust will be the same as if you’d taken it out when it first turned golden. People always ask me whether I cooked the apples first before putting it in the crust :).