Monday, July 20, 2015

Super Easy Pizza Dough - Win!

We had some visitors a few weeks ago and got an amazing housewarming present - a pizza stone!
Now I remember when I was a kid, you used to be able to buy uncooked pizza dough. We loved making pizzas, and the taste never compares to frozen or delivered. Sorry, Panago.
I've told myself for years "I have to make pizza dough" but I've never actually done it. Well, with our new fancy pizza stone, I finally have run out of excuses. PLUS it can go on the BBQ! Seriously, this thing is amazing.

The recipe from Mom's Need to Know was super easy to put together (hence the name) and makes four decent sized thin crust pizzas. If you want thicker crust or larger, split the dough in half instead of in four. Right off the bat I made 3 different pizzas using my stone on the BBQ, and froze the fourth bit of dough. I was cooking for 6 people so there are no pics. Sorry!
My second time was whipping up a pizza in the oven (it was raining) before soccer using the extra dough I had frozen before.

Yes, apparently there is still soccer games when you sink ankle deep into the field because it's so wet.
Good thing tomorrow is laundry day.

The dough comes together easily and is really tasty. It makes a perfect crust, not doughy or chewy, or over cooked. It's a really solid recipe. The recipe suggests flour on the pizza stone / pan which is highly recommended so it doesn't stick. Next time I may get cornmeal which may be a nice touch. I've even doubled this batch and it still worked great. It will be more work if you don't have a stand up mixer, and it'll need more time in the mixer if you do. It was also stickier then the first batch, but it worked out perfectly.

Making a well, as seen above, is the method used to mix the wet ingredients and the yeast. There are other methods around, but this worked fine for me.

Before and after rising of the double batch
Homemade pizza is awesome since you can pick and choose and make what ever you want. This is easily a recipe you can make, then bake a pizza for one or two people. We really enjoy it on the pizza stone, but any baking pan would do! Try and make your own pizza dough, you'll never go back to take out again!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Easy Strawberry Shortcake - Win

It's Father's Day!

And what better gift to give the father of your kids then baked goods. A way to a man is through his stomach, right?
We're heading off to dinner with the inlaws this afternoon and each of the dad's got to pick a course. My husband got to pick desert (yippie!). And one of his all time favs is Strawberry Shortcake.

The timing is perfect for this recipe. Ontario strawberries are coming out and look fantastic, plus this gave me an excuse to pull out my big stand up mixer. I seriously debated pulling out my old recipe using bisquick and cool whip, but decided that a) an entire cake isn't that portable and b) after a recent family health scare, a slightly healthier version might be in order.

A quick search of Pinterest lead to this recipe from Just a Taste. Simple and easy, but looking tasty. Now for the waist-watchers, this recipe does call for heavy cream for the cakes. This could probably be replaces with milk, but I'm not too sure how it would turn out. Also this recipe is egg free, and can easily be made sugar free as well.

The dough is super simple, but REALLY sticky. I have no pictures of the pre-baked dough because it was everywhere! I tried not to over work it, but ended up having to put it all back in the bowl and re-flour my work board and rolling pin. And my rolling pin did jack all. It just kept sticking to the dough. SO learn from my mistakes! Be generous with the flour on your working surface, and butter your hands. I also just used my hands to flatten out the dough instead of my rolling pin, it was much faster. 
After baking the cakes for 15 minutes they came out light and brown and lovely.

I eliminated most of the sugar in the entire recipe, opting for a tiny bit of regular on the scones, in the strawberries, and in the whipped cream. You could really do this to taste, but for health reasons I decided to heavily reduce it. 

One of the best things is I could pre-make everything and assemble it later. It's really easy to transport this way as well.

Don't they look lovely??
Now because I eliminated the sugar they were not sweet at all, which is something that might not be everyones taste. The shortcakes were a bit heavy, but it worked perfectly with a lot of strawberries and fresh whipped cream.

Overall, a perfectly easy summer desert!