Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New workout while improving your skills.

Lately when cooking I look around at all the gadgets and wonder what if there is no power.  So for a month or so, I have been doing things by hand.  I make fresh bread without a mixer or bread machine, just all by hand and wooden spoon.  I made pizza tonight with homemade crust, no mixer or food processor just by hand and wooden spoon.  Why am I calling it a work out?  Well have you ever mixed or kneaded dough by hand it is a workout, but more than that I have been watching what I lovingly call my "bat wing" arms tighten up.  Do you know how hard that is to get to tighten and tone?  Almost impossible, unless you do push ups and lift weights from dawn to dusk.  I haven't got time for that.  The other advantage is I am building my skills at cooking without powered gadgets, I mean what if a storm took out the power for a few days, or worse.  Could you, would you know how to do this without all the gadgets?  Start practicing now and get a workout.

Pizza dough
  • 1 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package or 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast 
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for bowl
  • Cornmeal, for pan
Preheat oven at 450 degrees F.
Measure out 1 3/4 cups warm water (it should be pleasantly warm on your wrist). Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and allow it to activate, about 10 minutes.
Put the salt and 2 cups of the flour into a food processor. Pulse 5 times to blend. Pour in the yeast and water and pulse 5 times. Add the olive oil. Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time, pulsing and scraping the sides of the bowl until well blended. As soon as the mixture is combined, dump it out onto a well-floured board and knead for 15 turns, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes, until doubled in size, then punch it down. Divide it in half; each half will make 1 (12-inch) pizza.
Place on a cornmeal-dusted pizza stone, pizza pan, or cookie sheet. Roll up edge slightly to create a ridge around the pizza. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until crust is light brown.
Cook's Note: If using only half dough, freeze the other half. Place the dough in a resealable freezer bag. To thaw, remove the bag from the freezer and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Roll the dough out while cold then allow it to come to room temperature before adding toppings.

Pizza sauce recipe
2 1/2 cups of tomato sauce
1/2 c red wine ( I used Lion's Courage from the OZ Winery)
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp oregano
simmer simmer while cooking the pizza dough (55 minutes)
It made enough sauce for the pizza and 2 1/2 pints to can for later 

In case you are wondering about the OZ Winery, it is in Wamego, Kansas a block down from the OZ Museum.  It is totally worth going if you are driving through Kansas.  You can call the OZ Winery and they ship!  I recommend  Witch in a Ditch, Bad Witch Gone Good, and Lion's Courage. 

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