I hope everyone had a great 4th of July celebration! We took it easy with a family bike ride to the cabana & burgers on the grill… The only thing missing was apple pie. It was nice having the extra day off to relax.
One of the special treats that I make when we grill hot dogs (all beef nitrate-free, please) or hamburgers is Sweet Potato Fries. These really compliment the meal so much more than regular fries. Plus, they satisfy that primal need we all have for fries without the added grease, starch & empty calories. Simply coat sweet potatoes with EVOO, add a light dusting of sea salt, then bake at 425 for 20 minutes (turning once).
Despite all the praises I give MY fries, I would be amiss to leave out two great posts that I saw over the weekend on french fries. Lori Lynn of Taste With the Eyes enlightens us with some new tempting flavors in a Trio of Duck Fat Fries and Peter of Kalofagas beautifully explains the Canadian tradition of Poutines in Happy Birthday Canada. These two posts alone will have me buying a deep fryer soon!
I know this the third time that I have posted a pizza here…. However, I have recently perfected my dough and thought it was important to share the extra step. You see (true confession here), I have always had trouble with my dough rising. When they say “until dough doubles” I thought that must be some arbitrary measurement because my dough NEVER doubled. So, in the past, my pizzas have been huge wafers with sauce & cheese. Then, during my last Daring Bakers’ Challenge it called for agitating the water & yeast for about 5 minutes before adding the flour – this one step has changed my life. I have now made pizza twice in one week and have actually witnessed this thing called “Doubled.” Even better, I have finally “punched” the dough. Following is my revised dough recipe:
Pizza Dough · 1 Cup warm Water · 1 pkg Active Dry Yeast · 3 Cups All-Purpose Flour (optional: replace 1 cup all-purpose with 1 cup whole wheat as seen in photo) · 2 Tbsp Olive Oil · 1/2 Tsp Salt If possible, use the hook attachment on your standing mixer to combine water & yeast first – mixing on a low speed for about 5 minutes. Add about half the flour, mix well still using a low speed. Then, add oil, salt & remaining flour. Continue to “work” the dough in the mixer for about 5 minutes adding flour if it looks sticky. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with towel & let it rest for about an hour until it doubles in size. Once risen, place on lightly dusted counter again, divide it in two (or more) balls & cover again for 15 minutes. Finally, dough is ready to be shaped, topped & baked.
I would like to thank Abby of Eat the Right Stuff for suggesting pesto as a topping for our pizza. The aroma from baking a combination of bread & pesto is to-die-for! The nuttiness from the pesto was a surprise scent that lingered in the air to make us even more ravenous. For the pesto recipe, please go to either Maria’s, Deeba’s or Peter’s site. They are all unique AND fabulous!