Olive Oil Pizza Dough

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What food do you associate with weekends? For us, it’s pizza. We have our local favorites, but those versions aren’t always economically friendly. Especially after I spend like a drunken solider on my trips to Target. It’s kind of a budget buster.

Robert and I have been on a quest to make the ultimate homemade pizza for a few years now. We have a pizza stone, a pizza peel, and we use our homemade pizza sauce. What we’ve been missing is the right dough. I’ve tried a variety of recipes, but they’ve always fallen a little flat. Finally, we stumbled across this recipe and we are thrilled with our results.

The other important part of making a great homemade pizza is the temperature of the oven. The best temperature, in our experience, is 500 degrees. This allows the dough to bake quickly and get a nice chewy crust. I was a little weary of how our oven would do at such a high temperature, but it does just fine (and our house is not a pile of ashes).

Now that we’ve found our favorite dough, our biggest problem is resisting the urge to make pizza every night. Oy vey.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Olive Oil Pizza Dough

Printable Version

Yield: About 4 large pizzas worth of dough

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Directions

1. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water in a large bowl or lidded (not airtight) plastic container.

2. Add in the flour without kneading. Stir with a large wooden spoon to incorporate the flour into the wet ingredients. Do not over stir!

3. Cover (not airtight) and allow the dough to rise for approximately 2 hours and up to 5 hours.

4. The dough can be used immediately or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

5. When you are ready to make the pizza, preheat the oven (and pizza stone if you have one) to 500 degrees. If the dough was in the refrigerator, it needs to rest until it reaches room temperature so the dough can be stretched easily. To do this, take a grapefruit-sized hunk of dough and gently cover it with flour. Place the hunk on parchment paper and  let it rest for at least 20 minutes.

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6. After the dough has rested, carefully stretch the dough out using both hands. If you’re feeling frisky, you can toss the dough in the air. Allow the dough to be a little thicker around the edge if you would like a more defined crust. Keep the dough on the parchment paper. Next, top the pizza with sauce and your desired toppings.

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7. Using a pizza peel or a cookie sheet, place the pizza (still on the parchment paper) directly on the pizza stone. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cheese is toasted brown. Remove the pizza from the oven and enjoy!

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Source: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Caramelized Onion and Herb Rolls and a Giveaway!

I don’t think I can stress enough how easy it is to make these caramelized onion and herb rolls. I made them for our Thanksgiving dinner last week and they were great. I used to be very intimidated of making bread from scratch until I found out how simple it can be.

The recipe comes from one of my favorite bread making books, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and the dough is exactly the same as my favorite artisan bread. All you have to do, after the dough is made, is make the onion jam that goes on top of the rolls before you pop them in the oven. The onion topping can be made days in advance so that you can make these rolls at the drop of the hat. I also froze the leftover rolls we had after our feast and we heated them up to make turkey sandwiches for the days following the holiday and they still tasted great.

If you are thinking about making homemade rolls, look no further. This is a great recipe to add to your arsenal.


THE GIVEAWAY

It’s officially the holiday season and I love these rolls so much that I want to share the splendor with a giveaway of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The winner will be chosen, via a random number generator, on Sunday December 4th at 5:00pm. I will email the winner Sunday night and they will have until Wednesday, December 7th to respond. Otherwise, I will select another winner.

Here’s how to win:

1) Leave a comment telling me about your favorite homemade bread recipe (enter once a day)

You can also get additional entries by doing the following:

1) Follow Lolly’s Sweet Treats on Facebook and leave a comment telling me you do 

2) Follow Lolly’s Sweet Treats on Twitter and leave a comment telling me you do

Good luck! :)

Full Disclosure: This giveaway is provided by me because I love this book so much and want you to love it too :)

Caramelized Onion and Herb Rolls

Printable Version

Yield: 6 dinner rolls

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (grapefruit-size hunk) of refrigerated pre-mixed artisan bread dough
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp dry white wine
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions, salt, wine, vinegar, brown sugar, herbs, and water to the oil and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized. Add more water as needed to prevent burning.

Grab a grapefuit-sized hunk of the dough and dust with flour and shape it into a ball. Divide the ball into 6 equal portions. Shape each one into a smooth ball and place on a greased baking pan. Allow to rest for 20-30 minutes.

Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Just before baking, sprinkle the rolls with flour and cut a 1/2 inch cross pattern onto the top, using a serrated knife. Fill the space with about 1 tablespoon of the onion mixture.

Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until browned and firm. Allow to cool before digging in. :)

Source: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois

Artisan Bread

A few months ago my mom told me about this recipe that was “the easiest and most delicious bread I’d ever make.” I didn’t believe it until I tasted a piece of it when Robert and I went home for Easter weekend. It tasted like La Brea bread-it was that good! My mom got the recipe from my Aunt Molly, who got it from her daughter, Hadley (kind of complicated, I know). It came from the cookbook Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, written by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. The particular bread I make is “The Master Recipe,” but there are several other mouthwatering bread recipes in the book  as well. The Master Recipe is incredibly versatile and can be adapted into several different kinds of bread. In fact, we like to use it for homemade pizza.  There are only 4 ingredients in the dough and it keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

I highly recommend this book to any novice or experienced baker out there who wants to enjoy fresh, homemade bread at the drop of a hat. The recipe may sound intimidating initially, but it really is very simple once you get the hang of it!

Click here for a link to a YouTube Video of the authors demonstrating the process

Artisan Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp granulated yeast (2 packets)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • cornmeal for pizza peel

1. Warm the water slightly (I zap it for about 50 seconds in the microwave). It should be just a little warmer than the body.

2. Add the yeast and salt to the water in a large, resealable, lidded plastic food container (I use an empty Whale of Pale ice cream container my mom gave me).

3. Mix in the flour- kneading is unnecessary. Add all of the flour at once. Mix it with a wooden spoon, a high-capacity food processor (14 cups or larger) with a dough attachment, or a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the dough hook until the mixture is uniform. If you’re hand mixing and it becomes to difficult to incorporate all the flour with the spoon, you can reach into your mixing vessel with very wet hands and press the mixture together. Don’t knead! You’re finished when everything is uniformly moist.

4. Allow to rise: Cover with a lid (not airtight) that fits well to the container you’re using. Do not use screw-topped bottles or Mason jars, which could explode from the trapped gases. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flattens on the top), between 2-5 hours. After this, you can either use a portion of this dough right away or put it in the fridge.

5. Cloak the dough with flour: When you are ready to bake the bread, prepare a pizza peel or cutting board by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal tor prevent your loaf from sticking to it when you slide it in the oven. Sprinkle the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour. Pull up and cut off a grapefruit-size hunk of dough, using a serrated knife. Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it won’t stick to your hands. Shape it in the desired shape you want your bread. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go. Liberally dust the entire ball of dough with flour- this is the “cloak” and it makes the outside crusty and the inside of the bread soft and chewy.  Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it’s not intended to be incorporated into the dough. The entire process shouldn’t take more than 30 to 60 seconds.

6. Rest the loaf and let it rise on the pizza peel or cutting board: Allow the loaf to rest on the pizza peel or cutting board for about 40 minutes.

7. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on any other shelf that won’t interfere with the rising bread.

8. Right before you place the dough in the oven, dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour and slash the top of the dough about 1/4-inch deep with a serrated knife.

9. After 20 minutes of preheating, place the dough onto the stone with a quick forward jerking motion. Quickly, but carefully pour about 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the oven to trap the steam. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned. Allow to cool completely, preferably on a wire cooling rack.

10. Store the remaining dough in the fridge in your lidded (not airtight) container and us it over the next 14 days!

Enjoy (with or without my mom’s homemade raspberry jam)! :)