18 April 2012

White Pizza

I've been making my own pizza crusts with the aid of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. You know how he gives you a hundred choose-your-own adventure options for any dish? Well, here is the dough I chose:

1 1/2 Cups bread flour
1 Cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 Cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons instant or bread machine yeast
2 teaspoons sea or coarse salt

1 to 1 1/2 Cups water
2 Tablespoons olive oil plus 1 Tablespoon olive oil later

1. Put all the dry ingredients in your food processor. Whir.
2. Slowly add water and 2 Tablespoons oil to the food processor as it runs. In about 30 seconds you should have a sticky dough that wads around the blade.
3. Turn off the food processor.
4. Dump the dough into a nice sturdy bowl. Form into a ball. Knead for two to five minutes until it seems really cohesive.
5. Add 1 Tablespoon oil and turn the ball of dough in it until evenly covered.
6. Cover the bowl with a wet towel and allow to rise in a warm, moist place for 1 to 2 hours.
7. Preheat oven to 500º F.
8. Take out two baking sheets. Cover each with parchment paper.
9. Divide your ball o' dough in half. Take one of these halves, pat it into a sphere, and place it in the center of a baking sheet.
10. Use a rolling pin and roll the dough out as thinly as you can (it will double in thickness in the oven). Prick the dough with a fork in a few places. Immediately stick the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 6 minutes.
11. Take out the dough, add your vegetable toppings and any cheese or sauce, and pop the pizza back in the oven for another 6 minutes.
12. Remove your pizza and serve at once.
13. Repeat steps 10-12 with the other half of the dough.

Great toppings I've used successfully:
7 sweet onions carmelized in butter, olive oil, and a bit of salt and sugar
roasted mushrooms with pats of Gorgonzola

Tea Sandwiches

I've always dreamed of enjoying classy British tea sandwiches in my own home, but I've never yearned for the labor involved. Luckily, my mother made them for me recently, and the little sandwiches looked pretty and tasted pretty too. It's true that the bread could have been of better quality, but for a first attempt, everyone enjoyed them.

Mom bought Pepperidge Farm Very Thin white bread. She cut off the crusts and cut the slices on the diagonal into triangles. Then she toasted all the bread in the broiler. Afterward she spread low-fat cream cheese on all the slices. She topped the bread with either thinly sliced cucumber, thin shavings of nova lox, or thinly sliced figs. Some of the sandwiches ended up being open-faced (pretty, but easier to make a mess) and the others were close-faced. The colors complimented each other well, as if the sandwiches were throwing their own party.

Try it sometime.
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