Monday, July 25, 2011

What a Great Weekend...

I have been wanting for at least the past 3 year to take a bread baking class at King Arthur Flour. This past weekend I am happy to say that my dream has come true. I was lucky enough to take the Beauty and the Baguette class. One that I need to take because every time I have made baguettes in the past they have always come out flat.

The back of the classroom where we learned all about how to make french baguettes.

My dough divided into 2 a waiting to be shaped into baguettes.

Some coming out of the oven all nicely baked...boy did it smell amazing in there!

My two baguettes cooling off after coming out of the oven.

I know I want to go back and take another next week too soon. Just kidding I am sure they are all sold out and I know a bunch of people that will hurt me if I go back without them this time.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Grilled Pizza

I have been hearing a lot about making pizza on the grill. I even put it on my summer to-do list because I wondered how it would work. I honestly always thought it wouldn't work out well but I was so wrong. Also with the way how hot is has been so far this summer I am just happy not to have to turn on the oven to make pizza.

Grilled Pizza

2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon Pizza Dough Flavor (optional, but tasty)
1 tablespoon King Arthur Easy-Roll Dough Improver OR Baker's Special Dry Milk OR nonfat dry milk
3 cups (11 ounces) King Arthur Italian-Style Flour or All-Purpose Flour*
3/4 cup (6 ounces) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) olive oil

*Substitute King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat flour for half of the Italian flour, if desired.

Mix all of the ingredients to make a soft, supple dough. Knead for 5 minutes, divide the dough in half, cover with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let rest and relax for 15 minutes (or for up to an hour or so; work it into your schedule as you see fit).

Grease two 12" squares of parchment paper. Use your greased fingers to press each piece of dough on the parchment into an 11" to 12" circle about 1/8" thick. Brush or spray the crusts with olive oil, and let them rest for about 30 minutes, while you preheat your oven to 450°F (with a pizza stone inside, if you have one).

Place the crusts with their parchment directly on the stone, or onto a baking sheet. Bake till they're just starting to brown around the edges, about 4 minutes. Remove from the oven, top with your favorite toppings-we've used pesto, sliced tomatoes, and mozzarella here-and bake for an additional 6 minutes, till everything's warm and bubbly. Yield: two 12" thin-crust pizzas.

To make grilled pizza: Be prepared to grill your pizza within 15 minutes of shaping it; you don't want it to rise too much. So, make sure your barbecue grill is heated (or cooled) to medium-hot by the time the dough is ready to grill.

Set the rack 3" to 4" above the fire. Take one circle of dough, on its parchment, and swiftly but carefully turn it (dough down, parchment on top) onto the grill. Peel off the parchment.

After 1 minute, turn it over; it should be stiff enough to turn quite easily (if not, your grill isn't hot enough). Layer with toppings. This is not the time to pile on the meat, cheese, veggies, etc. Since the pizza will be cooking very briefly, it's better to top with just a minimal amount of stuff: thinly sliced veggies, a thin layer of cheese, etc.

Bake an additional 5 minutes or so, with the cover on (if your grill has a cover), or until the filling is hot and the cheese is melting. Adjust the temperature of the grill if the bottom is browning too quickly. And, move the pizza around on the grill if one side or the other starts to get too brown on the bottom. Repeat the grilling process with the other pizza.

Review: This one was a keeper even before I tasted it because just for the fact that it was easy to make. Like I said before Mike really loved this pizza and even makes me to make it during the winter. I made it for friends and they were all impressed with it which makes it a great appetizer for a party!


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