Thursday, October 28, 2010

No Rise Pizza Crust for Pizza Night

Ok, so at least once a week, me and my friend, Christi have "pizza night." Typically when I make pizza, I make a traditional pizza crust that rises for any hour or two. Well, most nights that Christi and I do pizza we don't get off work or home till 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening. So, we found this No Rise Pizza Crust recipe and it has proven to be very handy! I didn't get home from work till 7:30 this evening and we were supposed to have pizza. Well, if I were making a traditional crust we probably wouldn't be eating until close to 11 p.m. We were eating by 9 p.m., thanks to this crust recipe.
I do prefer the texture of the traditional pizza crust recipe, but this does in a pinch. Especially, when you want to avoid frozen pizzas, premade crusts or worse yet.............pillsbury canned pizza crusts UGH!
So, tonight with Christi's help we managed to get pictures of the "pizza night" experience. We always make two pizzas. One her way and one my way. Christi's is usually referred to as "spaghetti bread" simply because she uses more sauce than she does anything else. My pizza's signature feature is mushrooms, doesn't matter how many or what kind, they have to be on my pizza! Seriously? How can you have pizza without mushrooms?
The texture of the crust is more of a crusty bread texture, rather than the chewy and crusty texture you normally get with a pizza crust. This recipe also makes some mean breadsticks! You can roll the dough out and cut into strips and then brush olive oil and whatever seasonings you want.
Ok, so enough about this crust recipe. I know you are all wanting to see a recipe and surprise! I am going to give you one! I don't normally give out recipes, but this I have to share.

No Rise Pizza Crust
3 cups flour
1 1/3 cup water
2 T olive oil
2 T yeast,
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Dissolve yeast with a 1/3 cup of warm water. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix.
Add oil, salt and 1 cup of water. Mix well.
Add 2 cups flour and mix. Make sure dough is not sticky, then dump onto floured surface.
Knead for 2 - 3 minutes. Add flour if dough is too sticky.
Grease a 16-inch pizza pan with oil and spread the dough.
Prepare pizza as desire.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Adding the yeast to the flour.

Mixing the ingredients together.

Kneading the dough.

The dough after the kneading process.

Rolling out the crust.

Applying the sauce.

Adding the toppings.....obviously mushrooms. :)

Adding the final touches.

The grand finale!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Almost Famous Cake

This peticular cake has become quite popular among those that I bake for. The basic concept was used for my friend's wedding cake on 5-1-10 and has since been made for birthday parties and family reunions. It has something for everyone, a dark chocolate cake, a creamy ganache filling, white chocolate buttercream and ganache topping. Its just hard to go wrong with this cake, well so far.
There are those who like a less "rich" icing and there are those that don't care for the taste of buttercream. Well, no worries there is a solution. I quite often use a Stabilized Whipped Cream icing as a replacement.
The actual term for this cake is "Tuxedo Cake." The colors of the white icing, dark chocolate ganache and red from the strawberries created the classic coloring of a tuxedo, complete with the red "Boutineer."
I am still searching for the perfect name for this cake.............It's out there somewhere.

                                          4 layer tuxedo cake, waiting to be iced.
                                          So that the moisture can be locked in.
                                          Crumb coat and 2 coats of buttercream.
                                            The final presentation.
                                         Same idea, different cake.
                                         This one is 3 layers and has a thicker ganache.

The First Blog

So, its late at night, or actually early in the morning and I have decided to start a cooking blog. My intention is to post pictures, recipes, ideas and just general experiences on this blog. I am going to attempt to post at least once a day. Whether that will happen or not..........who knows. In the meantime, welcome to Cooking with the "Almost Famous."