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Baking has been my passion and for all these months I have been thinking of becoming a Daring Baker and this time I finally made it. This...

A Pizza From A Daring Baker


Baking has been my passion and for all these months I have been thinking of becoming a Daring Baker and this time I finally made it. This month DB was supposed to be hosted by three friends Sher of What Did You Eat, Glenna of A Fridge Full Of Food and Rosa's Yummy Yums. But 9 days before Sher died she had mentioned her desire to choose pizza for the DB October Challenge. Since Glenna quit being a DB for personal reasons Rosa had to host the event and she picked pizza as per Sher's wishes. Making pizza can be simple to some but the challenge was to make a pizza and try tossing it like a pro. In the past I have always made the pizza dough with a food processor and made a straight forward pizza by rolling it out. This time I had to do something different to prove that I am indeed a DB and I followed the recipe from “The Bread Baker's Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread” by Peter Reinhart as per the rules of the challenge and made the dough last night.Never have I made the dough using cold water but I was excited to try a new version. Made 3 portions of pizza dough for 3 of us and personalized it to each of our requirements.


~ BASIC PIZZA DOUGH ~

Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter).

Ingredients:
4 1/2 Cups (20 1/4 ounces/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (%14) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled - FOR GF: 4 ½ cups GF Flour Blend with xanthan gum or 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup corn flour, 1 cup oat flour, 1 ½ cup arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan or guar gum
1 3/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast - FOR GF use 2 tsp
1/4 Cup (2 ounces/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)
1 3/4 Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar - FOR GF use agave syrup
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting



DAY ONE

Method:

1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.

NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.
The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.


Or

2. FOR GF: Add the oil, sugar or agave syrup and cold water, then mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.

3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).

NOTE: To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Gently round each piece into a ball.

NOTE: If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.

DAY TWO

8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.

Or

8. FOR GF: On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the number of desired dough balls from the refrigerator. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a gluten free flour. Delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil. Lightly cover the dough round with a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rest for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.

Or

10. FOR GF: Press the dough into the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough).

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.
During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping.
In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.
You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.


11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter - for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.

Or

11. FOR GF: Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

Or

12. FOR GF: Place the garnished pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.

13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

Or

13. FOR GF: Follow the notes for this step.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.

If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.


14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.


For dinner I made pizza. As per the recipe I removed it form the fridge 2 hrs before making the pizza.




For the toppings I used Egg plant slices, paneer (Indian Cheese) , Cheese,Garlic oil, Onions, Chilli Powder, marinara sauce and Salt on Pizza uno.

My daughter's pizza was one with her favorite toppings of pesto sauce, olives, broccoli, paneer and cheese.



The third one is left for use for later.

My observation regarding the dough is that it came out soft but there was no gluten formed. The dough tore easily hence I had a touch time trying to toss , I tried 3 - 4 times and decided to just roll it out. When I baked the pizza it was very crunchy and not chewy. It was a thin crust pizza that baked well evenly and cooked the pizza dough and melted the cheese well. I liked both the pizza's but I was disappointed that I did not create the chewy texture that I prefer.




10 Comments:

Its time for us to make sweets to celebrate. Deepavali is a time when I am amazed at the energy I have to prepare sweets and savories. I u...

Low Fat Milk Cake/ Sweet for Diwali

Its time for us to make sweets to celebrate. Deepavali is a time when I am amazed at the energy I have to prepare sweets and savories. I usually ask my husband and daughter to decide on what they would like for me to prepare. My daughter picked milk sweet or cake and so I had to come up with something apart from kalakand that I had already posted. I must say the sweet turned out very well and was very simple to prepare. Usually milk sweets have a lot of butter and high fat milk, that is where mine varies. I used low fat ricotta cheese, very little butter and lactose free milk powder. Took me about 12-15 minutes to prepare. For those of you who are looking for an economical sweet to prepare this is one for sure.


Gadgets:
Heavy bottom vessel/Wok
Spatula
Measuring spoons and Cups
Knife
Prepared tray
Wax paper

Ingredients:

Low fat ricotta cheese - 15 oz
Sugar - 1 cup
Butter - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Coffee-mate(lactose free) - 1 cup
Cardamon - 2 pods
Rava/ Cream of Wheat - 3 tbsp
Cashew nut or almond powder - 1/2 cup (substitute 1/4 extra rava and 1/4 milk powder for nut free cake)



Preparation:

1. Place the wok on medium heat and add 2 tbsp of butter and allow it to melt.

2. Add ricotta cheese and rava and mix well and cook it for 6 minutes.

3. Add sugar and cook for 5 minutes.Then add nuts and milk powder and be careful to mix them so as to not allow the lumps to form.

4. Add cardamon powder and 2 tsp of ghee and mix until it thickens.

5. Layer the prepared tray with wax paper and pour the cake mix into it and level it.

6. Allow it to cool and put it in the fridge to allow the cake to set and then cut into squares.





6 Comments:

Yes I know most of you love this dip. I do too and love to order it whenever I see this on the menu. I make this when I want something done ...

Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip

Yes I know most of you love this dip. I do too and love to order it whenever I see this on the menu. I make this when I want something done in 10 minutes. Its that simple and very yummy. This was the dip I made for football this week. The dip was good but Chargers were not.They lost again and I felt very sad. The dip is an adaptation from Alton Brown's recipe and is very delicious. Please do try it and give me a feed back. I used non-fat to low fat cheeses so that I do not feel so guilty to indulge.





Gadgets:

Microwave safe bowl

Measuring bowl and spoon

Saucepan

Ingredients:

Cream cheese - 3/4 cup (Low fat)

Sour Cream - 1/2 cup (non-fat)

Mexican blend cheese from Costco - 1/4 cup

Parmesan cheese - 1/4 cup

Frozen Spinach - 1 cup

Frozen Artichoke hearts - 1 cup

Garlic powder - 1/3 tsp

Salt

Pepper freshly grated

Water - 1/2 cup



Preparation:


1. Using the microwave or the sauce pan cook the spinach, artichoke hearts with water until soft about 5 minutes.

2. Heat cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl for a minute.

3. Mix in all the rest of the ingredients.

4. Remove the excess water from the spinach and artichoke and mix well to break down the artichoke.

5. Mix with the cheese and heat it in the microwave for 1 minute and serve it warm with some chips or bread of your choice.

NOTE: If you have a very salty chips reduce the amount of salt in the dip else it can be very salty to taste.


5 Comments:

At last I was able to take photos of the dal makhani that I prepared over the weekend. This is the most common side dish that you can find...

Spicy Dal Makhani

At last I was able to take photos of the dal makhani that I prepared over the weekend. This is the most common side dish that you can find in any Indian restaurant especially if they serve you the combo meal. There are many recipes out there to prepare this side dish. This is my version adapted from a restaurants recipe that I came across a few years ago and I have modified it and perfected to suite my taste. The dal makhani that I make is always spicy because I feel that the dal absorbs the spice after it is prepared and the spice is evenly distributed.I always make a lot more than I need because I find that it can be used as a replacement to beans in regular burrito. Please refer to the recipe posted here. So this weekend combo meal at my place, roasted spicy potatoes, chapathi and dal makhani.



Gadgets:

Pressure Cooker/ Ipot
Bowls
Cutting board
Knife
Heavy bottom vessel/Wok
Spatula


Ingredients:

Whole black udad dhal/ Whole thoor dhal with skin/lentils - 2 cups
Kidney beans/ rajma - 2 tbsp
Chann Dhal - 2 tbsp
Red Onions - 6 chopped finely
Tomato - 4 roma
Ginger - 1 inch grated fresh
Garlic - 4 cloves finely chopped
Green Chillis - 2 to 3 (to reduce spice remove seeds)
Shah Jeera - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Dal Makhini Powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Kathuri Methi - 1 tbsp crushed
Cilantro - 2 tbsp chopped
Water
Butter - 1 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
fresh cream - 1/4 cup (optional)



Preparation:

1. Soak the lentils and kidney beans over night with plenty of water.

2. Add them in a pressure pan along with channa dal with a little salt and pressure cook to 3 whistles.

3. Heat the pan with 1 tbsp butter allow it to melt and add 2 tbsp oil. Add in the shah jeera and cover for it would splatter a little.

4. Add onions, garlic, ginger, green chilis and salt and cook them well. Add turmeric, salt, dal makhini masala and tomatoes, cook well until they incorporate about 7-8 minutes.

5. When the lentils are done add it to the above mix and cook well.

7. Add kasthuri methi and mix well. Add fresh cream, cilantro and serve it hot with chapathi.

If using an Ipot: Follow step 1. Heat the Ipot on saute mode. Add oil, shah jeera, chilis, onion, garlic,ginger and tomatoes and saute for a few minute (2 mins). Add the udad and channa dal, rajma, salt, soaked water, dal makhini masala , kasturi methi, turmeric. Mix, cover and cook it on manual mode for minutes. On natural release give a mix, add cilantro, butter and cream if u wish. Give a stir and serve it hot.

9 Comments:

Last weekend we were trying to get over our mild cold and wanted to have some soup. I opened one of my Vegetarian cook books and looked at...

Spicy Corn Bell Pepper Soup

Last weekend we were trying to get over our mild cold and wanted to have some soup. I opened one of my Vegetarian cook books and looked at this recipe with corn and bell pepper. I liked it for its simplicity and so adapted its method to prepare this soup . I tried it out and I must say it was very comforting, tasty and had a good flavor. I made almost 2 and 1/2 quarts and it was all gone in 30 minutes. If you like cilantro this one is a winner. One thing though, I think its important to use frozen corn instead of fresh because its important not to have a lot of husk remains in the soup. My entry to No Croutons Required :Soup for this month.




Gadgets:


Heavy bottom pan

Cutting Board

Knife

Measuring cups and spoons

Blender


Ingredients:


Oil - 1 tbsp

Butter - 1 tbsp

Red Onion - 1

Red Bell Pepper - 1

Roma Tomato - 1

Frozen Corn - 2 cups

Cilantro - 1 bunch (use the whole bunch)

Green Chilli - 1 ( remove seeds

Salt

All purpose flour or Rice flour - 1 tbsp

Vegetable Broth - 2 -3 cups

Fresh Cream or whole milk - 1/2 cup





Preparation:


1. Heat the pan with oil and butter. Add chopped onions, red bell pepper, tomato, green chillis, corn, cilantro( with the stem) and salt. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until they are cooked.


2. Add all purpose flour and mix well and cook for a few minutes and remove from heat.


3. Add the vegetable broth and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.


4. Cool and blend them into a puree. Pour it back into the pan and add fresh cream and cook on low to heat it up.


5. Serve it hot with any bread or sandwich.I served with lavash roll ups.


8 Comments:

 Today for lunch I made mutter paneer.  This recipe is easy to prepare, very flavorful and tasty. I served it with store bought flat bread...

Healthy Mutter Paneer Made Easy

 Today for lunch I made mutter paneer.  This recipe is easy to prepare, very flavorful and tasty. I served it with store bought flat bread, rice and raita for lunch. My entry to MM:Sensational sides hosted by Ruth's Kitchen Experiments who is helping Meeta this month. I made a few changes to the recipe my friend gave me many years ago. This is the only recipe I have used to make mutter paneer.




Gadgets:

Heavy bottom pan
Cutting Board
Knife
Blender
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Spatula

Ingredients:

Paneer - 1 pound ( Fry for a few minutes if needed)
Tomato - 4 cubed
Red Onion - 2 finely chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves finely chopped
Ginger - 1 inch grated
Peas - 2 cups frozen
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Bay leaves -2
Butter - 2 tbsp)
Oil - 3 tbsp
Kasthuri Methi - 1 tbsp crushed
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 3 Tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1 pinch
Cilantro- 1 tbsp chopped
Water -2 cups





Preparation:

1. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the heavy bottom pan and fry the onions and tomatoes together for 5 minutes. Grind into a paste.

2. Add  2 Tbsps of  oil and add the raw spices and  add the onion tomato paste, ginger and garlic paste mix well and add the powders, salt ,water and peas. Mix well cover and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Microwave the frozen peas for 5 minutes add to the tomato onion gravy.

4. Add paneer, sugar and cook for 2 minutes.

5. Add butter and cover and cook for 2 minutes.

6. Add Cilantro for garnish.


5 Comments:

Have you ever had Marie biscuit or any other cracker types sitting in your shelf for a while? Yeah! I have always had rolls of them at ho...

Eggless Cookie/Biscuit Crumble Refridgerator Cake: No Bake Cake

Have you ever had Marie biscuit or any other cracker types sitting in your shelf for a while? Yeah! I have always had rolls of them at home and sometimes I let them get soft and stale. This time I found a good use for it and converted them into something very tasty, crumbly and crunchy. This no bake cake takes 5 minutes to make but longer to set. I liked to eat it as soon as it is prepared because it is warm. However, I  had to allow for it to settle down to be cut into a cake.




Gadgets:

Wok
Spatula
Prepared Square Tray
Measuring cups and Spoons
Wax Paper


Ingredients:



Butter - 1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar - 1 cup
Cocoa Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Walnuts - 1 cup chopped
Vanilla - 1 tsp
Marie biscuit - 25 or crumbled cookie, biscuit, cracker - 2 cups


Preparation:

1. Crumble the marie biscuit or any other kinds that you might have with your hands into small pieces or put the biscuits in a ziploc bag and ask your kids to break them with a rolling pin.

2. In the wok ad butter and sugar and melt. When it melts add cocoa, vanilla, biscuit and walnuts.


3. Pour this mix into a prepared tray and spread it out with a flat. Cut with a knife and put it in the fridge to set for 6 hours and it is pure heaven.

4. Serve it with ice cream, with tea or coffee. A pure treat.

12 Comments:

The first time I tasted something like this was when Natalie, our friend came home for dinner and brought us some appetizer . I fell in lo...

Cream Cheese Stuffed Cherry Tomato - A Finger Food



The first time I tasted something like this was when Natalie, our friend came home for dinner and brought us some appetizer. I fell in love with it and have made it a zillion times. I have modified the recipe a little and substituted different nuts in this and it still tastes amazing. All you need to is to find cherry tomato that are fresh. If you get the bigger one in that variety you can get more cream into and as we know the more the better. I know the holidays are around the corner and I wanted to post it so that you can all prepare this and enjoy with family and friends. My entry to WYF: Party Food hosted by Simple Indian Food.




Gadgets:


Cutting Board

Knife

Tea spoon

Bowl

Table Spoon

Paper Towel

Measuring Cup


Ingredients:


Cherry Tomato - 15

Low fat Cream Cheese - 1/4 cup

Low fat Sour Cream - 2 tsp

Chives/ spring onions/Shallots - 2 tsp

Walnuts/ slivered almonds - chopped 2 tbsp

Pulp form the Tomatoes - 1 tbsp


Preparation:



1. Cut the top of the tomato and using a knife and back of a tsp remove the seeds and pulp from the tomato.


2. Place it face down on a paper towel and allow the juices to drain.


3. Mix the rest of the ingredients fill the holes of the tomato and cover with the piece of the top that was cut and serve. Can be kept in the fridge and served later too.




9 Comments:

Sundal is usually prepared and served as prasadhum . Navarathiri is a celebration of goddesses Durga , Lakshmi and Saraswathi for 9 nig...

Channa Sundal/Spicy Garbanzo Beans

Sundal is usually prepared and served as prasadhum. Navarathiri is a celebration of goddesses Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswathi for 9 nights. During this time prayers to these goddesses and Golu or display of dolls is a tradition in the south. Women and children are invited for the Golu viewing and sundal is generally prepared and given to the visitors. The most commonly used bean is garbanzo beans. Why? Garbanzo beans or channa is associated with the navagraha Guru/ planet Jupiter in astrology. When this is offered to children and women all negative effects from this planet is reduced and the grace of Guru is bestowed. So people who are yearning for a child, have problems with the children, education etc would make this and offer it to everyone especially on Thursdays as it is known as Guru varam or the day of Guru. This can be made spicy or mild as per ones taste.For those who would like to make it for a party it is a perfect accompaniment with a round of drinks.


Gadgets:
Pressure Pan/Cooker
Wok
Cutting Board
Grater

Ingredients:

Garbanzo beans/Channa - 1 cup
Water - 10 cups
Salt
Green Chili - 2 - 3
Curry Leaves - 7 leaves
Coconut - 2 tbsp ( I used the dry one)
Mustard Seeds - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Ginger - 1 inch
Turmeric - a pinch


Preparation:

1. Soak channa or the garbanzo beans in water over night.

2. Add 5 cups of water in a pressure pan and add some salt and pressure cook it to 3 whistles.

3. Heat the wok with some oil. Add asafoetida, mustard seeds allow it to pop, add green chillis, grated ginger, Coconut, turmeric and curry leaves.

4. Drain the water from the beans and add it to the seasoning. Mix well check for salt and add more if needed.

5 Comments: