Pizza Crust – baking instead of buying!

Pizza1

I am not a big fan of the store-bought, ready-to-roll Pizza dough. For some reason it has a weird flavour to me, I don’t know? Preservatives? I can’t quite pinpoint it, but every time I am looking forward to Pizza and we were lazy and bought dough at the store I am disappointed, I’d rather pimp up a frozen Pizza with fresh ingredients to be honest.

This Pizza Crust is perfect – I will elaborate if you don’t mind because I know lots of people claim to have found the perfect dough and you feel most of them are lying, because they just like their Pizza different then you do. This crust is fluffy and airy but crunchy on the bottom, it holds up to extra sauce, extra cheese and extra pepperoni without getting soggy. If you love your Pizza thin and crispy feel free to move on now. If you are intrigued, read on and get your supplies ready!

Pizza2

If you have a stand mixer it is most convenient to make the dough with the hook attachment. It will look quite oily but I promise this will reduce after the dough has risen and it will not be oily at all after baking. You will need to plan ahead to make this but it is also possible to freeze it and make your own ready-to-roll crust. Simply spread the dough on a sheet of baking paper after the first rise, then cover with foil wrap and roll up. Fold up the edges and place in freezer bag. There you go! 🙂

Pizza3

Pizza Crust
(serves 4)

  • 500 grams flour
  • 2 teaspoons yeast or 1/2 cube fresh yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 250 ml milk
  • 1 tablespoon Italian spice or 1 pinch each: Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano and Sage

Instructions:

  1. Dissolve the yeast in a little bit of lukewarm milk.
  2. Mix all Ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  3. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover with foil wrap and let rise for about 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
  4. Knead and divide the dough into 4 equal pieces for individual Pizza or spread on a baking sheet, you will not need additional oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven with your Pizza stone or turn a cookie sheet upside down instead.
  5. Add toppings of your choosing – I used pizza sauce, grated mozzarella, pepperoni, ham, button mushrooms, red bell pepper, onion rings and green olives.
  6. Bake at 200°C/390°F for 15 minutes.

ZIP IT!
Source: chefkoch.de

Butterscotch Brownies – baking instead of buying!

Butterscotch

So we all know impulse buys, right? It is not only me? You should never go and shop while you’re hungry and you should especially never visit the baking aisle without having a vague idea of what you want to bake and what you need for it. If you ignore all the good advice you end up like me, with a bag of butterscotch chips and no idea what to make of it.

In my search for the perfect and deserving butterscotch “something” I ended up on one of my favorite blogs: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. Over time I have tried a lot of her recipes and they were almost always excellent so I went for it.

On a sidenote: These Brownie Bars were made for the man in my life to take to work last Saturday because I firmly believe that when you have to work on a Saturday you should at least get cake, or cookies, or brownies, or cupcakes – or all of the above. The remainder was then taken to my workplace, so these bars have been taste-tested by roughly 30 people and all of them asked for more 🙂

I will probably adapt the frosting next time, I did not follow the instructions completely so I can’t blame Mel, but my frosting did not harden as well as expected. I waited a couple of hours and then decided to spread it on the cake and let it rest overnight in the fridge.

Bad idea, don’t do that. Do what Mel tells you to. My frosting ran off the cake and left me with a thin layer on top and a pool of frosting on the bottom of my pan. But as you can see in the picture: Made it work and it was well received!

Please also take a look at my adorable Easter decorations! I will tell you all about these in a separate post 🙂

Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe – Butterscotch Brownie Bars

Naan Bread – baking instead of buying!

Naan1

I am a little bit of a cheapskate when it comes to buying Naan, we actually haven’t bought any in over a year because I can make better at home and not pay an arm and a leg! It is actually super easy, even if you do not have much experience with yeast dough. Just beware! After trying these babies store-bought Naan bread will taste like spiced cardboard to you!

If you have a stand mixer it is most convenient to make the dough with the hook attachment. I make it with the Kitchenaid. Funny anecdote: While the Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer is present on most wedding registries, my family was surprised that I wanted one for my 30th Birthday. I mean, why would you wait with baking until you’re married? That is just crazy talk! – So I got the Kitchenaid for my birthday, my BFF and the dearest BF had collected money from everyone who seemed like they wanted to buy me something for this occasion and I ended up with the beautiful Ferrari Red limited edition. First time my dad came to visit he did this dad thing: “Na?? Are you using it often?” – Yes, I am. 🙂

Naan2

Naan Bread
(yield 15 breads)

  • 500 grams flour
  • 4 teaspoons yeast or 1 cube fresh yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 250 grams plain yogurt
  • sesame seeds
  • garlic powder
  • cilantro

Instructions:

  1. Dissolve the yeast in a little bit of lukewarm milk.
  2. Mix all Ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add more milk if the dough looks too dry, it should be smooth and elastic.
  3. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover with foil wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
  4. Knead and divide the dough into about 15 small flatbreads. Preheat the oven.
  5. Mix a small amount of Olive Oil with sesame seeds and garlic powder. Lightly brush the breads with the seasoning – you can add some dried cilantro if you like.
  6. Bake at 200°C/390°F for 15 minutes.

ZIP IT!
Source: chefkoch.de