It has been a nutty last few weeks, cloudy head and achy body rule sometimes and blogging falls to the wayside.
But as I feel better I wander to my favorite place, my kitchen, and find my heart there. There is nothing more I love than putting love into food by using the best ingredients and taking time to do it right. I post photos of my creations to Facebook which always prompts a request for recipes so here we go at last….
You will need time, all good things take time so start your dough early, this also will refrigerate for 1 day but no longer.
In a small bowl, mix 1/4 c. warm water, 1 tsp. raw sugar or rapadura, and 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (I love Hodgson Mill) stir it up well. In another small bowl, mix 3/4 cup warm water, 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (I use organic of both)
In a large bowl combine 2 1/2 c. flour, 1/4 c whole-wheat flour and 1 tsp kosher salt, mix it up, create a well in the center and add the liquids. (I also use organic flours)
Using a wooden spoon, stir and bring the flour in from the edges until a soft shaggy dough forms. Add more water if needed. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes. Form a ball and place it into an oiled bowl in a draft free place covered by a damp towel, let it raise for about 2 hours.
Place back on floured surface, and divide in half, there will be enough for 2 pizzas. Flatten into a circle and place on oiled pan, pizza stone or a pizza peel with cornmeal. Stretch to shape of pan or stone and top with your yummy stuff.
Bake at 450 for 10 to 15 minutes, use bottom rack of oven for crispier crust.
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The usual fare is a red sauce that begins simply, if I have my own tomatoes it just that with olive oil, garlic and herbs simmered a good long while. In a pinch a can of organic tomato paste, 3 cans of water, season to taste with parsley, oregano, dried onion flakes, salt, pepper and basil. I’m not fussy and I let my creative juices flow!
Variations that are favorites in my house are not just regular pizza but Buffalo Chicken and Garlic Parmesean Chicken…not hard at all, read onward and don’t be scared!
I start with chicken breasts, 2 nice sized organically raised, in olive oil which I season with salt and pepper and saute them. If you have pre-cooked chicken that is fine, if I roast one of our pastured hens I save some just for this, usually about 2 cups of meat.
When it is done , I tear it up, shred it into smaller pieces and set aside.
For the Buffalo Chicken Pizza, take a saucepan and put 2 tbsp of butter and about a cup of Franks original Hot Sauce or homemade if you dare (not hard either), melt the butter and mix well, add the cooked chicken and let it simmer a minute or two.
Place this all over your crust and top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake until crust browns and toppings are bubbly. Before serving I drizzle homemade ranch dressing or bleu cheese over the pizza.
One other is the Garlic Parmesean Pizza, for this one you will also need 2 cups of cooked chicken.
Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large saucepan and saute 8 chgopped cloves of fresh organic garlic for about a minute. Add in 2tbsp flour to make a roux and mix well, cook about 1 minute. Slowly, whish in 1/2 cup milk ( I use raw from pastured cows) and 1/4 c organic half and half, then mix in 1/2 tsp black pepper. Cook for a few minutes until it thickness, whisk often. Remove from heat and mix in 1/2 cup chredded parmesean cheese.
Top your dough with this sauce, add the shredded chicken and 1/4 cup diced red onion, finish off with about a cup of mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 450 until crust is golden and cheese is melted. (10 to 15 minutes) Sprinkle with 1 tbsp fresh parsel, 1 tsp fresh thyme and 1/2 tsp dried orgegano before you serve it!
2 words….Absolute Heaven!
Now I can’t leave you hanging without dessert…I take advantage of some local “in season” fruits. For me in NE PA were are blessed with an orchard that has been in place for generations doing it right and using the right techniques such as mating disruption and minimal invasive practices. It is K. Schlegel Fruit Farm in Dalmatia, I cannot give them enough props!
The recipe is for a Peach and Blueberry Buckle…my thoughts are that peaches and blueberries should get married and always be together, perfect pair!
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together 1 3/4 cups organic flour, 2 tsp. aluminum free baking powder, and 1/2 tsp sea salt.
In separate bowl, beat 1 stick organic room temperature butter, with 1/2 cup raw honey (or 1 cup raw or rapadura sugar) on high until fluffy about 3 minutes. Add 1 room temperature pastured egg and 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract.
Reduce speed to low and add half the flour and 1/4 cup sour cream, then the rest of the flour and another 1/4 cup sour cream. (I use Daisy or Cabot, no Bovine Growth Hormones) and remaining flour. Mix well at every addition.
Lastly fold in 4 cups of ripe fresh peaches and 1 pint of ripe blueberries. (*note: if you cannot get to clean fruit that is not pesticide free, soak your fruit in a dilution of 1/2 vinegar to 10 cups water and scrub) Read more here: http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=372
Don’t worry if it seems you have alot of fruit, it will all form up. Here is what mine looked like before baking.
Heaven in a dish!
I used honey as I avoid sugar, and I can say the sweetness of the fruit made up for anything lacking in the batter.
I hope you all enjoy…