Friday Night Pizza Revisited

Hello Friend!  Today I share with you my Friday Night Pizza complete with pictures & a slide show!  

INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTS

INGREDIENTS

14 oz. all-purpose flour (or 3 cups)
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp dry active yeast
1 cup warm water (between 80º to 100º F)*
2 Tbsp olive oil (plus a bit more for oiling the bowl in which the dough will rise)
Note: *Cooler water is fine, but I wouldn’t use icy cold water. I recommend warm water simply because it makes the dough easier to handle.

 

 

 

DIRECTIONS

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WARM & COZY OVEN 🙂

 

1.  Warm up your oven (anywhere from 170º – 200º F). Once it hits this temperature, turn the oven OFF. Coat the inside of an oven safe bowl with some (maybe 1/2 tsp?) olive oil.

 

 

 

 

2.  Place flour, salt and yeast in bowl of food processor fitted with either the plastic dough blade or the steel blade. (I’ve used both and noticed no real difference.) Mix for 5 seconds.

3.  Measure out the water and add 2 Tbsp olive oil.

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4.  With the machine running. Pour the water & oil into the bowl through the feed tube. Process for about 30 seconds. The dough should come together into a ball.

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5.  Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead a few times.

 

6.  Put the dough smooth side down into the oiled bowl, rub it around, then flip dough over.

IN OILED BOWL

IN OILED BOWL

7.  Place dampened tea towel, sprayed with cooking oil, over the bowl and place in that warm cozy oven or in another draft-free spot in your kitchen.

After just 3 hours in the warm oven…

AFTER 3 HOURS

AFTER 3 HOURS

 

8.  When you’re ready to bake, take bowl out of oven and dump the risen dough onto a floured surface.

RISEN DOUGH, AFTER ABOUT 6 HOURS

RISEN DOUGH, AFTER ABOUT 6 HOURS

9.  Knead dough a few times to reshape into a ball.  Dust with a bit of flour and cover again with tea towel.  Allow dough to rest while you preheat oven to 500°.

RESHAPED AND DUSTED WITH FLOUR

RESHAPED AND DUSTED WITH FLOUR REMEMBER TO COVER WITH SAME TEA TOWEL

10.  After 15-20 minutes, stretch out your dough.  This takes practice and PATIENCE.  If, when you’re stretching the dough, it bounces back a lot or tears easily, it needs to rest some more.  Reshape into a ball or just pinch the torn edges together, cover it and walk away for at least 5 minutes.

11.  Stretch to desired size and shape, then prick dough with a fork.

APPROX. 12" X 14"

APPROX. 12″ X 14″

12.  Bake the naked dough for about 5-7 minutes.  No color or a light golden color is good.  Remove from oven and lower the oven temperature to 375°.  Top your partially cooked dough to your liking.  I usually use store-bought jarred pizza sauce and pre-shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake again for 10-15 minutes, keeping a close eye after about 8 minutes, to desired doneness.  Please note that the fat content of your cheese will affect how quickly it browns.

My family and I were so hungry on Friday night that I forgot to take a picture of the completed pie…

HALF EATEN PIZZA YUM!  :)

HALF EATEN PIZZA
YUM! 🙂

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Friday Night Pizza

Okay, today is Friday which means one thing here at the McKiernan house…Pizza for dinner!  I’ve been doing this for years (and years!) so I am always amazed on a given Friday, when someone in my family asks, “hey, what’s for dinner?”  My response is always the same, “Well, it’s Friday…” and then they know.  I like my Friday pizza routine because it makes the dinner plans for at least one night out of the week easy, predictable and satisfying.

Today I wanted to do something a little different.  Instead of mixing my dough in the food processor (which is the EASIEST and FASTEST and LEAST MESSY/STICKY way), I wanted to make the dough by hand.  I Googled “pizza dough by hand” and found a YouTube video of a man making pizza dough.  His recipe is very similar to the one I usually use.  And so I went for it!  It’s about an hour later and my dough is rising very nicely in a cozy warm oven.

Click here for my pizza recipe.

Corned Beef & Cabbage

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Hello Friend!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A few years ago, I did something outrageous, something radical, something shocking.

I put a corned beef brisket into my slow cooker.

Yes.  And do you know what else I did?

roasted my cabbage.

For years, on March 17th, I would put my corned beef into the largest pot I had, covered it with water, sprinkle in the tiny yet magical packet of seasoning and bring that pot to a boil.  Then, I’d set it to simmer for hours, intending to keep a close eye on it so I could add more water as needed.  More often than not I would forget about it and then I’d have a dried out tip of the iceberg shaped meat sticking out of the water.  What a pitiful sight that is.  Somehow, i got it in my head that maybe I could cook up our St. Patty’s Day corned beef in the slow cooker.  So, I started surfing the web for possible recipes.  They’re all basically the same, but I’ll give you mine anyway.  These days, I plop that hunk of meat into my slow cooker, set it on low and guiltlessly forget all about it until dinner time.  The result?  Moist, flavorful meat…the kind that makes you eat more than you should.

On that same St. Patrick’s Day, I scoured the internet for alternative ways to cook cabbage.  I found this ridiculously easy way to roast cabbage.  Now I am hooked.  My cabbage shall forevermore be roasted!  No more boiled cabbage for me!  My husband informed me that he likes it boiled.  My response?  Okay. (But I’m sticking to my guns on this one.)

Click on these links to my favorite St. Patrick’s Day recipes.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef

Roasted Cabbage

Irish Soda Bread

 

An Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rain fall soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand

Slow Cooker Chili & Skillet Cornbread

Hello Friend!  Do you have a slow cooker?  Are you a fan of your slow cooker?  If you aren’t yet a fan of your slow cooker, here’s one recipe that may persuade you to pull out that old beast.

This recipe, like all of my recipes, is a variation on a recipe I found either online or in a cookbook or passed on from a friend.  The original recipe is quite good as is, but I think you will like my variation just as much, if not more.  There are a few things I like about this recipe.

  1. It’s easy!  Mostly you’re just dumping a bunch of cans of beans into your slow cooker.
  2. It makes a lot!  I always get two nights worth of dinners for my family of four plus two or three lunch servings.
  3. It’s low on Weight Watchers PointsPlus program.  Only 4 points for a one cup serving! (It’s herbs, spices and power foods!)

Follow this link to my recipe.

Laura’s Slow Cooker Chili

 

Skillet Cornbread

Now when your main dish has a PointsPlus value of only 4, why not have some cornbread with it?  Follow this link to a quick, easy and tasty cornbread recipe I found on allrecipes.com.  I like to call my cornbread Skillet Cornbread (thanks Fiona!) because my variation on the recipe is to bake it in my cast iron skillet.  Each of the 12 servings this recipe yields have a PointsPlus value of 5.

With Many Thanks

Before I let myself get distracted by recipes and creating and writing, I want to pause and say thank you.  Two little words, I know.  But still, very important words.

I am filled with gratitude for the people whose websites inspired and/or helped me to finally get this blog going. Their sites are packed to the gills with priceless information about how to start a blog.  Their guidance was both reassuring and practical.  They showed me that blogging is accessible and not nearly as scary as I had originally thought.  A great big thank you goes out to these writers and I encourage you to check them out, too.

Pinch of Yum

The Minimalists

Start Blogging Online

Fabulous Blogging

Here are two other blogs that I have read and/or followed that have been inspirational to me in ways other than the “how-to” aspect.

Cathy Bueti

Stephanie O’Dea

* Thank you * Thank you * Thank you *