Friday Night is Pizza night! – Pizza from scratch…

Pizza is ready!
Pizza is ready!

Ingredients:

For the Dough

3 cups All Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 package of yeast
1 cup warm water, 110 degrees

Pizza Dough before
Pizza Dough before
After resting the dough doubled
After resting the dough double

Method:

Take warm water and add the yeast and leave it for 2-3 minutes till it becomes foamy/ frothy.

If you are not confident of this step then you can also add yeast directly into the dry ingredients. I usually do that.The reason we dissolve yeast in warm water is to test whether the yeast is alive or not. Because if it is not alive, then we have to toss all the ingredients to waste.

Mix flour, salt, sugar, olive oil in a bowl of standing mixer attached with the dough hook. Stir in the yeast to dissolve in the water and add that to the flour mix.

At medium speed mix everything together and stop to scrape if necessary. Mix until everything is well combined and forms dough.

Grease it with some oil.Cover and  Let the dough rest and proof in a warm spot in your kitchen.

Once it has rested for an hour , divide it into 2 or 3 equal parts and shape them into rounds and leave it aside for another 10-15 minutes covered. Once it had rested the second time, take one dough ball at a time and spread a parchment paper on the baking sheet and spread some oil and place the dough ball and start giving it a shape for pizza.  I start by making borders, i.e. by pressing the dough ball with the help of my fingers start spreading it out into round and then press at the edges and with the help of my knuckles start stretching it out as thin as I want. I do not use rolling pin. You can also use some dry flour to while rolling the pizza. Meanwhile, preheat oven at 500 F. Spread the tomato sauce. Lot of times I make my own homemade tomato sauce but on lazy or busy days I do use store bought sauce. There is nothing wrong in doing so.

Ready to go in the oven!
Ready to go in the oven!

Add the toppings of your choice, add freshly chopped herbs or dry herbs like oregano powder, rosemary, dry basil, onion and garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place cheese. I like mozzarella and ricotta. Do not add too much of ricotta, or else it will make it more heavy and a little soggy. For toppings we usually use bell peppers, onions, black olives, pineapple, recently I threw in some black seedless grapes also, jalapenos to give some kick. Finally, we never make pizza without fresh basil.  I would suggest that never make your pizza heavy by adding lots of toppings. Keep it simple and crusty. Less is better in this case. You can also add broccoli, Brussel sprouts, corn, cottage cheese cubes – paneer.

Baked pizza and unbaked pizza and a garlic knot with left over pizza dough..
Baked pizza and unbaked pizza and a garlic knot with left over pizza dough..

Bake the pizza in a preheated oven at 450 F to 500 F. But, beware of your fire alarm. The only thing that intimidates me is the fire alarm in pizza making. If you cook your pizza at high temperature it really comes out perfect in just under 10 minutes with such a good crust.

Bubbling cheese over the pizza
Bubbling cheese over the pizza
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Blueberry Pie

Individual Blueberry Pie

Individual Blueberry Pie
Individual Blueberry Pie

 

Serve 2

Ingredients :

1/2 All Purpose flour

pinch of salt

3 Tbsp of Sugar

5 Tbsp of Cold butter cut into cubes

2 or more Tbsp of Ice -Cold water

Teaspoon of almond extract

handful of blueberries or any fruit of your choice

3 or more Tbsp of Sugar

1 Tbsp of Corn Starch

DSC_3303

 

Method: 

Take the first three dry ingredients and mix it , add the almond extract and then cut the butter cubes into the flour with the help of your fingertips . The mixture should look crumbly and you should be able to see tiny balls of dough, then gradually add water one tbsp at a time to it and try to form dough. The water should be ice cold and also the butter should be cold. 

Another thing, only add water to roughly form the dough. We do not want to over mix it. Transfer everything into a plastic wrap or parchment paper and try to form discs out of it. And, keep it in the fridge for about an hour or more. You can also freeze this dough for future use for about 4 weeks.

In another bowl, mix the berries with sugar and corn starch and leave it aside.

After the dough has been in the fridge , remove it and  we are ready to bake the pie. Preheat oven at 350 F.

Take the pie dough which we just removed from the fridge and start rolling it out gently. Do not tear the dough as it is cold. Gently try to roll it. It is ok not to have a perfect rolled out dough. With the help of the rolling pin, wrap the rolled out dough and place over the pie dish. And, press it down a little bit if needed. Take a fork and poke holes into the pie dough so that it doesn’t rise while baking . If I was baking a big pie, I would have blind baked it first and then would have added my filling. It depends. 

Once you are done rolling it, then fill the pie with blueberries and if you have remaining dough just press it down on the filling, as you can see in the picture above I didn’t cover my pie fully. One reason because I didn’t have enough dough to cover and another reason, I also wanted the  blueberries to peek a little bit and barely cover them.

Bake it for about 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 F. Once, it all looks golden and delicious, and juice are bubbling, remove it form the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes , if you can wait. Serve it warm with vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche .

Enjoy! 

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