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BASIC PIZZA DOUGH

I finally made pizza dough! After spending months buying the pre-made stuff from Trader Joe’s I bit the bullet and made my own. Well, technically it wasn’t my own. I used the recipe from the Joy of Cooking, but I made it! It was pretty fun, too. Watching the dough rise was really exciting, and now I’m inspired to make bread.

BASIC PIZZA DOUGH

Start out with 1-1/3 cup warm water and one package of yeast.Empty the packet of yeast into the bowl of your mixer.

Pour in the water. I gave it a little stir, but I’m not sure whether you’re supposed to do that or not. Does anyone know whether the yeast will dissolve without a little stir to get it going? Anyone?
Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved.

To the yeast mixture add 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp salt, and 1 tbsp sugar.

Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed for about a minute. Or you can do it by hand if that’s your thing. It will look something like this.

Switch out the paddle for the dough hook, and beat on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. My previously unused dough hook had a little sticker on it telling me not to use on a speed higher than two, I believe, so I kept it at one or two until it looked like this.

While the dough hook is doing its job, rub a little oil in a large bowl.

Remove the dough from the hook, and form it into a ball.

Roll it around a little to coat it with oil.

Cover it with plastic or a cloth, and set it in a warm place to rise for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. I don’t really have a warm place in my apartment, so I ended up turning the oven on to the warm setting and setting the bowl on the stove. Sorry, environment. Next time I’ll bake something in the oven so I’m not just wasting a bunch of gas. I promise. And please forgive me for my filthy stove. I’m working on it.

Just for fun, here’s what it looked like before rising.

And here’s what it looked like after 1.5 hours. Wowsa! This is what has convinced me to give the bread a shot. It’s just so cool to watch it grow.

And then there’s this step! You get to punch the dough! I wish I would have discovered this when I was a little girl getting picked on by my two older brothers. Instead of crying and telling them to “shut up” I could have taken out my aggression on some dough.

After the big punch, divide the dough in half.

Loosely cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

Then it’s ready to go!

I was pretty excited about my first batch of homemade pizza dough, but I have to say that I wasn’t blown away by the results. I’m not sure if it’s the recipe if I beat it too long, or what it was. I prefer a chewier crust, and this was just a little too crispy for me. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!…

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Beetza

Welcome to the wonderful world of beetza.  Or bizza.  Or beetzah.  Beet pizza.  Well, more like beet focaccia.  Beetaccia just doesn’t roll off the tongue in the same way.  It sounds more like a martial arts exclamation.  Beeeeee-taccia!

Hello there, beets.

Beetza

Lovely jubbly, innit?  I have no idea what that means, but I have an Irish friend who says it a lot, and it seemed appropriate for this lovely beet.

Behold, the root vegetable contingent in my apartment.

You’ll only need one beet and about half of a potato for the beetza.  And some pizza dough, olive oil, rosemary, sea salt, and goat cheese.

Thinly slice the raw potato.  I used my new mandolin, and it did a fine job.

The slices were so thin you could see through them.  I really liked them like this, but it won’t ruin the ‘za if they’re a little thicker.

We have a clinger!

I sliced the whole tater, and I ended up with a plateful.

Drizzle a little olive oil on a baking sheet, throw the potatoes on, and bake at 350 for about 5-8 minutes.  You don’t want to cook the potatoes completely because they’ll cook more once they’re on the pizza.  Just soften them up a little.

This was after about 8 minutes.  Some of the thinner ones stuck to the pan and some of the thicker ones were still pretty undercooked.  I’m going to used the thick ones to make a little batch of potato chips.

Zoomed in a little.  You can tell that they’re not totally raw.

Now it’s time for droppin’ beets.  Some may say “thinly slicing” beets.  Potayto, potato.

Is that a tiny, super thinly sliced beet or do I just have a big, fat thumb?  It’s all relative here.

You’ll only need a single beet for the beetza.  Thinly slice it just like the potato.  Save the others for roasting or making beet chips.

I love taking pictures of beets.  They’re such an awesome color and them kind of look like a tree trunk on the inside.

Bake the beets just like the potatoes, only extend the cooking time to 10-12 minutes.  Once you take the beets out of the oven, throw in your pizza stone and crank up the temperature.

Can you beat a plate of beets?  I love beet puns.  Now beat it.

Roll out some pizza dough, and drizzle with a little olive oil.  I just used my hands to kind of rub the oil around the crust, but you could just brush it on, too.  I prefer to get as few utensils dirty as possible.  I guess I shouldn’t care this week since I bet on UNC to win the championship game, resulting in Matt having to wash the dishes for a week.  Beat that!

Sprinkle the crust with rosemary and sea salt.

Spread the potatoes over the crust.  They’re really thin, so I didn’t really skimp.

Top with some beets.

Crumble some goat cheese on top of it all.

Bake for 20 minutes or so – until the crust is done.

Beetza is pretty hard to beat if you ask me.

We dipped it in olive oil with cracked pepper, and it was lovely.

If you want more healthy recipes like that, you can ask for your recipes here.…

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