23 March 2009

dinner and deserts [not sic]

i finally decided what to do with the notebook that my aunt sent me for my birthday [in october] today. if you're like me, 5 months is a good amount of time to spend figuring out what to write in a cute book. since i'm always leaving my recipe cards to fade in the kitchen window, i thought it would be a good idea to write all my recipes in a book too. in celebration of my pretty, covered-in-birds-chirping-and-spring-happening notebook filled with food, i am giving you a recipe for pizza dough. it's really easy, you just need to plan a few hours early so the dough will have time to rise.

+1 pack [2 1/4 teaspoons] of fast-acting yeast
+2 tablespoons of sugar
+1 cup of warm water

the water should be warm enough so that the yeast can grow but not so hot that it kills the little guys. if you turn on the faucet and wait until the water feels as warm as your hands, that's about perfect. mix the water, sugar, and yeast with a fork as well as your can, but don't worry about trying to get the yeast to dissolve--it won't. after about ten minutes, there should be light brown bubbles on the surface. if there aren't, stir it up again and wait a little longer, if there are, go on to the rest.

+1/3 cup of olive oil
+3-4 cups of flour

add the olive oil to the water-sugar-yeast mixture, stir it, and then start adding the flour. it's better to start with 2 1/2 cups and add more if you need it, because adding too much flour will make the dough dry and tough. if you've got a kitchenaid, you probably know what you're doing and shouldn't be listening to me, if you don't, use your hands to mix. the dough should be shiny, elastic-y [but don't play with it too much! it won't rise as well], and still sort of sticky when it's right; just make sure you stop adding flour before it starts looking like cookie dough. get another bowl, grease the sides, put your dough in it, cover the bowl with a cloth, and put it somewhere warm like a window, an oven [not turned on, obvs, although i've done that before and accidentally cooked a lump of dough], your fire escape, or your front steps. let it rise for an hour, punch it down, turn it over, and let it rise for another hour.

while you're waiting for it to rise, think about sand. why does it exist and what is it made out of? i mean, i mostly understand the sand in oceans [rocks & shells + water = erosion], but what about the sand that's in deserts? my mum said she thinks it's there from when deserts were covered by water, but that was a long time ago, shouldn't the wind have scattered it by now? once you've figured it out, let me know. for real. i've been looking online and can't find anything about sand formation.

kaythanks, back to pizza: if you're really really in a hurry, you don't have to let it rise twice and you can cook it after the first hour, but your pizza won't be as good because you were an impatient 5-year-old [and also because the dough won't have time to develop it's flavor]. grease a pan and use cornmeal if you have it, roll out your dough, decorate your pizza, then cook it for about 13 minutes at 425F.