Sunday, March 11, 2012

Me?? Make homemade crust?

"Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven." Yiddish Proverb.
I'm getting ready to leave the office today and I get a panic call from Mike.  " You didn't set out the crust recipe for me! Where is it?"  Since I am at work on Friday afternoons and Mike is at home, our normal routine is for me to set out the bread maker, the recipe and all the ingredients for our pizza crust.     Late afternoon my sweet husband will get the bread maker going so that later in the evening we can enjoy our pizza together while we watch a movie.  Obviously this Friday I forgot to set out the recipe!  We generally make regular pizza dough using the recipe that came with the bread maker. 
For regular crust, put the following ingredients into your bread maker according to the  manufacturer's instructions: 3/4 cup water (80 degrees F), 1 TBL olive oil, 1 TBL sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 TBL dry milk, 2 1/4 cup s bread flour, 3/4 tsp yeast ( I just use one of the small packets of yeast, it probably is more than 3/4 tsp). 
 There is also a wheat crust recipe, but since Mike's latest favorite expression is "Fiber makes me sad." (imitating the husband on the ad for Fiber One bars), the wheat crust will have to wait for a time when I can sneak it in without him knowing. 
For wheat crust, put the following ingredients into your bread maker in the order recommended by the manufacturer: 1 cup water (80 degrees F), 2 TBL oil ( I would use olive oil), 1 TBL sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups bread flour, 1 1/2 tsp yeast (I usually just use one of the small packets). 
The book we are working through is Maxine Clark's Pizza, Calzone & Foccia.  She talks about using a wood-fired oven and shooting the pizza off parchment paper and into the oven.  I'm sure in the evolution of our pizza adventure we will eventually experiment with other types of crusts, but the bread maker dough is so simple and so yummy that at we haven't tried anything else.  About ten minutes before the dough is ready to use, I preheat the oven to 400 F.  I spray the pizza stone with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with a bit of corn meal.

A sprinkle of cornmeal

Ready to Roll!

When the dough is ready, I simply roll it out directly onto the pizza stone and then put it into the oven for 8 minutes to prebake while I prepare the toppings.  Once the crust is prebaked and I've added my favorite toppings, I put the pizza back into the oven for another 14 minutes.  Mike and I are decidedly spoiled by our pizza crust and the various creations it has inspired. 

Like you, I have a very full life and taking the time to make homemade pizza seemed difficult to squeeze into my busy schedule.  This is an idea that worked for me.    I have had many people tell me they have a bread maker that they never use; maybe this will inspire you to put yours to work!  Perhaps you don't have a bread maker. . .it is my hope that this might encourage you to find some other way to
fit this into your lifestyle and create some family fun.

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