Homemake Pizza Dough – Cold Proof

After trying quite a few recipes and much experimentation, I have come to the conclusion that the key to good pizza dough is a cold rise.

I have found that dough which rests in the refrigerator for 24 to 72 hours has vastly more flavor than a quick made dough. Personally, I like a 72 hours cold proof. 

Dough which rises quickly tends to taste raw, like flour and water and there is little of the complex yeasty flavors that develop when given proper proofing time. 

There are so many variable to making a good dough, so experiment. Most top pizzerias have their own recipe and I think the crust is what really separates average pizza from the sublime.

Ingredients

3 cups Bread Flour or Italian 00 Flour
1 packet of Instant Yeast (Note: this is not the same as Active Dry Yeast)
1 tsp Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup, plus 1 Tbsp warm water, about 110 degrees F.

Put all of your dry ingredients into a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment. Blend them together and then slowly add your water and olive oil until the mixture comes together and it is not sticking to the sides of the mixer. If you need more flour or water, just add a little bit at a time, until the mixture is workable.

Take the dough out and knead it back on itself until it glistens and comes together without sticking. I find 4-5 minutes is ideal. Add a little olive oil to a bowl, I prefer glass, and massage a little on the dough and place the dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap and into the refrigerator for a minimum of 24, or even better 72 hours.

When you are ready to use it, you will need to bring it up to room temperature. Divide the dough into two or three equal pieces, work it into balls and place onto a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and allow to proof for at least two hours in a warm spot.

Then put a little bit of flour onto your working station, and then stretch with your fingers to the desired thickness and size.

Preheat your oven to 550F and then add your sauce and toppings and bake on the top shelf for 9-11 minutes.

Pommes de Terre Sarladaises

This French bistro favorite is wonderful. While traditionally made with goose or duck fat, this lighter, healthier version is just as good without the bad fats. It’s very good with either butter or Earth Balance.

Ingredients

1 1/2-2 lbs of Gold Potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch think. I leave the skins on for extra flavor. 
3 Tbsp Earth Balance or Butter
2 Tbsp Water
4 cloves of Garlic, peeled and sliced very thin. 
1-2 tsp Sea Salt 
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Fresh Parsley, loosely chopped 

In your largest lidded sauté pan, melt your Earth Balance/butter on medium/high heat. Gently lay your potatoes into the pan in one layer. Allow them to begin to brown, add your water and put on your lid. 

Leave it for 20 minutes, then gently turn over each slice and add your garlic, salt and black pepper. Put the lid back on for an additional 20 minutes. Then remove the lid and increase the heat for a further 5 minutes to finish browning. Add the parsley and serve. 

Saag Chole- Spicy Chickpeas and Spinich

I love Indian food, but sadly, I’ve struggled to find really stunning Indian food outside of the UK, India or major urban areas in the us, (not saying it isn’t there, haha, so no hate mail).  So out of necessity, I learned to make it myself. It requires some prep time, but it’s not that difficult and Indian cuisine is a rich source for vegetarian and vegan dishes.

One of my fellow blogger’s Pragati Bidkar, at Kamil’s Kitchen has some wonderful recipes and I wanted to share this one. It’s spicy, but you can adjust the heat by modifying the cayenne chili powder. I’ve adjusted the method slightly, but essentially, it’s her recipe. Thanks Pragati.

Ingredients
  • 2 cans organic Chickpeas aka Garbanzo Beans
  • 1 packet frozen chopped Spinach 
  • 1 cup canned, crushed or diced Tomatoes
  • 2 medium Onions
  • 4-5 whole Cloves
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 3 Green Cardamom pods
  • 2 dry Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper, go down to 1/4 tsp if you don\’t like spicy
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh Ginger Root, peeled
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  •  
  • Thaw and wash the spinach under hot water and drain in a colander. Squeeze all of the excess water out. 
  •  
  • Put the onions, ginger, sea salt, garlic and the spinach in a food processor and pulse it until you get a thick pesto like paste.
  •  
  • Drain the canned chickpeas taking care to remove all the water/liquid from the cans. 
  •  
  • Assemble all the dry spices in a bowl or ramekin. Heat oil in a sturdy pan and add the spices, and stir constantly until you can smell the fragrance. Keep stirring as they can burn quickly. 
  • Then add the pureed mixture and gently simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add in your tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutesAdd the cayenne, garam masala, salt and sugar. Stir, cover and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. 
  •  
  • Serve hot with steamed down basmati rice, rotis, naan or just in a bowl like a thick soup.