tonight we used whole wheat dough that i made a while ago (maybe two months?) and froze. I transferred the dough from the freezer to fridge a day ago and out of the fridge a couple hours in advance of baking to let the yeast come back to life. I have to admit, i have constantly struggled with wheat dough. just intuitively, it seems like the graininess of the wheat flour prevents it from rising well. chemically, wheat flour is lower gluten than the nice white bread flour that is typically used. tonight i did two things differently; i left the dough a bit thicker than usual, and while shaping it, had my hands coated with olive oil.
On my half of the pizza, i used a spinach pesto sauce with red onions (sauteed for 5 min. w/S + P and a little thyme), kalamata olives, and mozzarella.
- 6 T warm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more water)
- 2 T white wine (or 2 T more water)
- 3/4 t active dry yeast
- 1/2 t honey
- 1 t salt (heaping)
- 1 T olive oil
- 3/4 C wheat flour
- 3/4 C all purpose or bread flour
- Cornmeal for sprinkling
- Flour for dusting counter
- Whisk wine, water and yeast in a medium bowl until yeast has dissolved. Add honey, salt and olive oil and stir. Add flour and no matter how dry it looks, work it with a spoon and your fingers until it comes together as a dough. Add more water one tablespoon at a time if you need, but in my experience, this is almost never necessary.
- Sprinkle some flour on the counter and knead the dough for a couple minutes.
- For Joe’s sake, i try to reduce the number of dirty dishes left at the end of the night. Just rinse the bowl you made the dough in, dry it and coat the inside with olive oil. Put the dough in, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise for an hour or up to two, until it is doubled.
- Preheat your oven to its highest temperature (typ. 550°F). Put your pizza stone in the oven as it heats up!
- Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a floured counter and gently deflate the dough with the palm of your hands. Form it into a ball and let it rest on a floured spot with either plastic wrap over it (sprinkle the top of the dough with a little flour so it doesn’t stick) for 15 minutes.
- Stretch the dough out into your crust shape, either on a conrmeal dusted baking sheet or a piece of parchment paper.
- Slide the pizza from the baking sheet to your preheated pizza stone, or just transfer the parchment paper onto the stone.
- Bake for about 7 minutes, checking at 5. Slice and serve immediately.
a quick lunchtime dessert while i read up on my next BREAD BAKER’s APPRENTICE CHALLENGE.
- 1 fuji apple, sliced
- 1 T raisins
- 2 T honey (i used 1 T honey + a splenda packet – my vice)
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t salt
- place apples and raisins in a small, microwave safe dish. drizzle w/honey and sprinkle with cinnamon and salt.
- bake in microwave for 5 minutes on 70% power.
a slight variation on the last time i made pickles. i used apple cider vinegar and i’m really happy with the results. you can boil them to your crunchiness preferences. I let them cook for a total of 10 minutes and they were boiling for about 4 of that.
- 2 large cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1/2 C salt
- 1 C (white or apple cider) vinegar
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1 T mustard seeds
- soak cucumber slices in salted water for about 8 hours or overnight.
- drain cucumber and bring vinegar, sugar, and mustard seeds to a boil over medium-high heat in medium-sized saucepan.
- add cucumber to the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
- can and keep for a month or two.