Pizza Dough

Once upon a time, I would want to make pizza and if the weather was nasty out, I’d just forget about it because the bakery was so far away. Despite the fact that I’d spent most of my life making homemade bread, it didn’t occur to me that pizza dough doesn’t require as much time and work.

You can mix this up and use it immediately, but I prefer to let it sit for at least an hour in the oven with the light on before stretching the dough.

Pizza Dough Stretched
Pizza Dough, Stretched

You can vary the amounts of flour, which will give you different textures and degrees of pliability. This recipe is easy to stretch while in the pan, simply plopping the ball of dough in the pan and then pulling it like taffy (for those that remember this) to the edges of the pan. It’s a very good texture for making a thin crust and gooey enough that if you make a tear, you can easily break off a piece from a thicker part and use it as a patch. It will heal itself quickly if placed across the tear.

Increasing  flour to 3 cups will give you a dough that could work if you want to try your hand at stretching it by tossing above your head.

If you have never done this before though, I recommend practicing your flips with a wet towel first to get the technique, and then making  extra dough in case something goes wrong. A fun trick to master though, and I fondly remember my time as a pizza cook in the West End of Vancouver in my teens.

Pizza With Sauce
Pizza With Sauce

As long as you don’t drop it on the floor, you should be able to get something out of it. As this dough is tender, it is best to use a thin sauce, rather than  a thick one. I tend to thin mine with olive oil.

 

Pizza Toppings
Pizza Toppings

When it comes to topping the pizza, I find that it works best to chop all the ingredient to the sizes that I like best for each and then mix all together in a bowl before topping the pizza. You get better distribution this way than by individually placing items on the dough, which relatively speaking

Potato Latkes

Recipe and photograph by Gayle Hurmuses

My friend Lindsay was looking for his latke recipe, so decided I would write up this one. I make several variations on the theme of Latkes, but this is a good basic type, and my general favourite.

My preference is to fry them in chicken fat and have them with sour cream, but applesauce is also popular. If you plan to serve them at room temperature, or are making them for a Hanukah event, of course fry them in oil.

Warm Bread for Cold Days – Purity Flour Cookbook White Bread

How to knead bread, Purity Flour Cookbook
How to knead bread, Purity Flour Cookbook

There is nothing better than a fresh slice of bread with butter melting into it.

I made my first pies at the age of 8 and my first bread at the age of 10. Supervised by adults at first, but fiercely independent, I would make them sit back and watch, and only allowed assistance for the purpose of instruction.

Quickly, I was making it regularly,  entirely on my own, inspired by how much I loved Grandma Nelson’s home made bread. She never needed a recipe, just poured mountains of flour into a bowl, waved her hands over it and voila! Bread.

It may have involved more than that, but she wasn’t big on giving instructions, so I never did learn her secrets, even though I watched her every chance I had on visits. She made at least 8 loaves and a tray of bannock every week. I can still smell her kitchen when I think of fresh bread.

At one point, I bought a bread maker at a garage sale, and tried it out…it worked fine, but lacked the tactile sensations that are part of my love for bread making.

Normally, I prefer whole wheat bread, but this is the first recipe I ever used, and it is bullet-proof. It’s from the Purity Flour Cookbook, and the same recipe appears in most of the flour company cookbooks of that era that I have seen.

You’ll notice that this recipe calls for the addition of milk, as does the Sunflower Bread, in both cases, I regularly use milk to make ricotta, and then use the whey from the cheese making  to make the bread.  A litre of milk will usually produce about 600-700ml of whey.

Goat Cheese Cheesecake

Recipe by GaddAboutEating

Perfectly light and tasty cheesecake especially when coupled with this simple Graham Cracker Crust recipe.

It’s also a great recipe to mess with and try different variations.   If you are avoiding sugar:  use honey.   The general rule for honey/sugar substitution is replace by the same amount of honey if it is under a cup of sugar.  (If the recipe calls for more than 1c sugar, then substitute 2/3rds to 3/4s of a cup of honey beyond the first cup).  Remember:  honey is sweeter and contains more moisture than sugar.  The flavour and colour of the honey can have an interesting impact on the results.  Honey also contains some great antioxidants.

Or you could replace the eggs with an egg substitute.   Don’t feel like lemon?  Use orange!   Avoiding flour?  Replace with a gluten free substitute.   The flour is to help bind the cheesecake but it’s not as important an ingredient as it would be in a bread, so you can easily substitute it out.

HAVE FUN.