Once I figured out how to spread out a thin crust pizza dough, The Thin Crust Pizza Silver Bullet, I worked on finding a dough recipe I liked. This recipe is for thin crust. Yes it does involve kneading but the amount of dough is small so it is not hard to do with your hands. This way also you can feel the dough and when it is ready.
This recipe is for enough to make two 12″ pizzas. I place the extra dough in a plastic bag in the fridge. You can use it the next day or freeze for longer storage. Just permit to thaw before using it.
Dressing the pizza is another topic. I’ll do a post on that soon.
This is a recipe I developed yesterday with Pam Beach. This was an interesting example of taking my potato bread recipe and integrating sourdough starter. This is not as complicated as it sounds. If you look at my sourdough starter directions, I use a 100% hydration formula meaning the starter is equal weight of flour of water. WEIGHT – not volume. You really need a scale to do this. (As I said to Pam – get over it 🙂 )
There are two kinds of sourdough recipes: ones without any commercial yeast and those that use commercial yeast also. This is the later. The purpose of the starter is to act as the sponge for additional flavour. This makes the recipe quick as dough rises slowly when it relies on the starter yeast only.
This week I am playing with two dried ingredients: potatoes and tomatoes, as in Instant Mashed Potatoes and Sundried Tomatoes. While many will turn up their nose at potato flakes, I love them for baking. They are convenient, low-cost, easy to use and have a long shelf life. Sundried tomatoes come in two form: dry and in oil. I prefer the dry ones because the hydration phase releases wonderful flavours to the water. I use Aurora sundried tomatoes in the 85g/3 oz resealable bag. Normally I use 50g but for convenience I use 1/2 of the pack, 43g/1.5 oz.
Once you make dinner roll dough and ferment it, you have many choices in how to make your rolls. You can divide and put the dough balls in a muffin tin. I also like to then cover in a cinnamon sugar to make a sweeter variation. I love this recipe as it is easy to make and so yummy. The total time from start to rolls out of the oven is only 2 hours 20 minutes.
So far on my adventures into making sourdough bread:
My starter, Fido pronounced Fi-Dough, has been growing for a week now so it was time to make my first loaf. Sourdough bread comes in two varieties depending on the source of the leavening agent, ie source of the yeast. Regular bread uses commercial yeast while Leaven Sourdough uses only the wild yeast in the starter. Many sourdough breads use a combination of the wild yeast from the starter as well a boost with commercial yeast. In that case the starter is there more for flavour rather than to raise the dough. This recipe is from King Arthur Flour and is their recommended first sourdough. I tweaked the metric recipe some as well as optionally adding raisins.
My First Challah is a great first bread to make. One, it is not complicated and two, it looks amazing. Fleischmann’s Bread World – Easy Challah was one of the very first bread recipes I made. Using a 9×5 loaf pan is easier than braiding the dough and once you make a loaf you can always do a proper braid. There is nothing pan unique about the recipe. The pan is just an nice step for the first timer.
FYI – The picture above is of my first challah. The structure is far from perfect but it tasted wonderful and amazed people. I moved quickly to braiding the dough to make a traditional Challah with the same recipe.
Old fashion rolled oats give this bread body with a wonderful chew. An excellent sandwich bread toasted, grilled or as French toast.
Don’t add more flour too quickly. As the oats absorb the milk, the dough will firm up. Hand knead the dough into a nice ball before the ferment. As this dough is firm, it requires a long ferment and proof.
This is a luxurious white bread. It has a soft crumb and a wonderful crisp crust created by an olive oil wash. It is quickly becoming a favourite in my house. This recipe comes with a variety of choices. For the fat, you may use vegetable oil, olive oil, butter or vegetable shortening. For sweetness, try honey, sugar or maple syrup. Side note, I live on a working maple syrup farm in Canada so syrup is a way of life with us. And last, for milk, use whole or evaporated.
This is not a complicated recipe and the steps are not time consuming. Most of the timeline is waiting for fermenting, proofing and baking. Your choice of fat and sweetener will impact how much flour you need. If the dough does not form a ball on the mixer hook then add some flour. Not too much. I do it a heaping tablespoon at a time. This dough can easily get too firm.
Guinness Draught beer is an Irish dry stout. It is described as “Mahogany brown with creamy white head; coffee, toasted malt and hops aromas; medium to full body, creamy smooth flavour and nice touch of bitterness to finish.” My beer bread has tended to be based on India Pale Ales. I thought it would be an interesting challenge to develop a bread around a stout. If you love the taste of stout, you can make my Beer Bread recipe. I wanted something with a bit more body to live up to the beer’s strong flavour so I decided to add oats. The brown sugar gives some sweetness while the butter softens up the crumb.