Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thin Crust Breafast

Finished breakfast pizzas, and perfectly browned crust. Very excellent.

I'm saving my appetite for red sauced pizzas. Currently I have taste for something different, breakfast pizza. A multi-layered savory meal of breakfast champions. I even got Patrick, the Breakfast Captain, whom I am grateful for and constantly impressed by, to lend his experience:

3 small potatoes, diced
leftover stuffing from Thanksgiving, optional
4 strips of bacon
4 eggs overeasy, or cooked to your liking
1/8th of pizza dough recipe, divided (from previous post)
cheddar cheese
salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Place bacon on a cookie sheet. Bake about 20 minutes until crunchy, flipping half way. Meanwhile, brown potatoes on all sides in a pan, about 15 minutes. Add stuffing and cook another minute or two. Set aside. The smell is good, and everyone is waking up to breakfast aromas, so send em out to get you coffee. Next crack 2 eggs at a time in a hot pan sprayed heavily with pam. A special trick from the breakfast captain: spray the top of the eggs with pam before flipping. Your overeasy eggs won't stick, and if you are good, won't break. Repeat with the next two eggs. Keep it all warm.

Cooking bacon on a cookie sheet intensifies the bacon flavor.
Captain Breakfast takes his bacon however he can get it.

The cap stretches dough. Not an easy morning task.

Stretch out pizza doughs to make something like a circle, or rectangle, or something in between. Layer on your breakfast goods. Start with the cheese, for a nice melty base that will adhere the potatoes on the next layer. Top with bacon strips, the eggs, and more cheese (more cheese is optional). Pop it in the oven, take a sip of coffee, and wait 15-20 minutes. This is a laborious recipe, but hot damn, its the best breakfast treat when ready.

crust is a must

Pizza dough, looks harmless but contains powerful
raising agents, that could easily destroy any kitchen.

Think about food over Thanksgiving? I did. I read up on pizza dough, 6-8 different variations. It came down to 2: The Frugal Gourmet and the Best Recipe Cook Book's. Best Recipe took the prize for explaining all the possible problems I might encounter.

Here tis' the master dough recipe for 4 medium pizzas:

1/2 cup 105 degree water
1 envelop of yeast (I actually order a European bulk kind, extra springy yeast)
1 1/4 cup room temp. water
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups bread flour (really better then the cheap kind, and I use King Arthur)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

To summarize, you put the yeast in the 105 water, and wait until it blooms, then add the rest of the water and oil. Pulse flour and salt in a food processor, and add in most of the liquids to form a ball of dough. Continue to pulse 30 seconds. Scrape onto a floury flat place, knead a couple of turns into a ball. Place in an oiled, warm bowl and let rise 2 hours, until doubled. Then you punch it, and make pizza. Or freeze it for you party a few weeks a away. My yeast was so springy, that my dough erupted out of the freezer quart bags. That yeast was going somewhere. Glad I caught it, punched it some more, and re-sealed the bags.

I found the food processor technique extremely convenient. The batch was almost too big for the motor of my cuisinart. It dimmed the lights and made horrible sounds. I came together fast, and the dough was very smooth. I had some trouble with the liquid. Its easy to add too much and create super sticky and gloppy dough. Gloppiness can be remedied with a little messy and floury kneading.

I made 5 batches of dough in 1 hour, before rising time. Very easy, but I don't
own so many mixing bowls, and had to use my pots and pans for rising.

I am making a total of 7 batches for 40ish medium to small pizzas. I fear that each batch will vary a touch, as my measuring isn't scientific. I made some experimental pizzas to know if the dough was right. Its soft inside and crispy out, with nice flavor. I am pleased. Time to practice throwing dough around.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Save the Date: re-Scheduled

Whats a dinner party blog, without a dinner party? Unforeseen family circumstances have caused me to reschedule the Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner Party until after Thanksgiving! A new twist. It will be the Post-Thanksgiving (Pre-Christmas & Hanuka) Dinner Party. Same food, and I hope, same wonderful guests. New date December 14th, a Sunday.

Details to come!