Scratch Made Pizza Dough

Mmmm pizza!

Pizza is probably my biggest weakness on earth, next to red wine. When I have both at the same time, there is little that can get me down!

I love to make pizza at home using my aunt K-K’s (Karen’s) pizza dough recipe. My sister shared this recipe with me years ago and my life has not been the same – and neither has my friends or family whom I have made pizza for.

The dough only has 5 ingredients – flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and water. It’s as easy as apple pie!

Scratch Made Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
  • 1 package of yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 TBS salt
  • Olive oil

First – put your oven on the lowest setting possible. I use the ‘warm’ option. Pour the package of yeast in a small bowl, add about 1/4 cup of

proofing yeast

warm water and stir until dissolved. Add the 1 tsp of sugar and stir until dissolved. Set on top of the stove with the oven on the warm setting. You need to ‘proof’ the yeast. Once it has doubled in size it’s ready, this usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

Second – measure out 3 1/2 cups of flour into a large bowl, add salt and whisk together.

shaggy dough coming together

Third – once the yeast is ‘proofed’ add it to the flour and the remaining 1 1/4 cup of warm water. Stir everything together, it will look sort of shaggy.

Once it comes together as pictured dump it out on your counter top or table and gather it together into a ball. Knead the dough ball for about a minute until it is somewhat smooth. Take about a tsp of olive oil and spread all over the dough ball and place it back in the large bowl. Cover with a towel and set it next to

your warm oven to let rise. The rule of thumb with

 

punching dough after rising

bread or dough is that you should try and let it double in size. This usually takes about an hour, maybe less. Once it has risen to your liking, comes my favorite part…. punching it down!

 

 

divided dough balls after rising

Punch that bad boy down, then scoop it up and make another tight little ball, add a little olive oil to the outside and let rise again. You don’t have to do this step, if you are ready to make your pizza after the first rise, you can be done. However, if you have the time to let it rise again, it’s even better. After the second rise, I punch again and then divide into 3 small dough balls, oil the outside and let rise again. It only takes 15 minutes or so for the little balls to rise up nicely. If I’m still not ready to use the dough, I will punch down these little balls, oil and let rise again. You can’t go wrong.

At this point, the dough is ready for you to roll out. These balls make 3 large thin crust pizzas. If you want a thicker crust don’t roll it out so thin. I will typically cook my pizza on the grill or in the oven on a well-oiled cookie sheet at 425 degrees and it only takes about 10 minutes depending on the topping load you use. Check on my Buffalo Chicken pizza recipe here.

Let me know if you try this recipe!

Artisan Angela

 

French Toast Croissants with Yogurt and Strawberries

Nothing says the weekend more than a yummy, sweet treat for breakfast. Ayla and I went to Costco yesterday and in order for her to be happy about that adventure, I said she could pick out a few things. This lead to the jumbo sized package of croissants that I would have not normally bought!

Fast forward to this morning – Arlo climbed into our bed at 6:45 ready to start the day. Normally we make pancakes or waffles on the weekends, but I knew we had run out of flour.  Then I was thinking I could make french toast because I had a lot of bread from that Costco trip. When I went into the kitchen I saw that big package of croissants and ping – lightbulb idea – croissant french toast!

This is usually how I cook – I review all items on hand and whip something up. You will find most of my recipes can be altered to what you have on hand in the kitchen. This is a great example – Artisan Angela strikes again!

My plan was to use the fresh strawberries I had, thinly slice them and put them in between the croissants topped with real maple syrup. Then I thought, I wish I had whipped cream to go in between with the strawberries.. but I didn’t. But, I always have plain greek yogurt! Ping – lightbulb, scooped out some yogurt, added a little maple syrup to sweeten and then layered between the croissants with the strawberries. YUM.

After I plated it up for the kids, I knew Pete would want some, however, he was still in bed (aren’t I nice for letting him sleep in?).  I thought I could be even sweeter if I plated this up and brought it to him warm and fresh in bed with a cup of hot coffee. So, he got breakfast in bed, the kids got a yummy, sweet, special weekend breakfast and now I get to drink coffee and share this recipe with you!

French Toast Croissants with Yogurt and Strawberries ( cook and prep time 20 minutes)

Ingredients

  • 6 store bought plain croissants, sliced in two
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup (we use organic, grade b)
  • 2 TBS coconut oil (can use butter)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk (cow, almond, soy, coconut whatever you have)
  • 1 tsp almond extract (can substitute with vanilla, coconut, whatever you like)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free plain greek yogurt

Wisk eggs, milk, almond extract and cinnamon together well in a small bowl- about 1 minute. Add 2 pieces of the sliced croissants and soak well about 1-2 minutes.
While croissants are soaking, heat 1 TBS of coconut oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add the 2 croissants to the pan, and then add another 2 croissants to the egg mixture and keep adding to the pan – you can probably fit about 6 ‘halves’ in the skillet. Watch closely and flip croissants when they become a medium brown on the bottom. They are done when you press on the croissants and they don’t feel spongy like the egg is still loose – it should bounce back with confidence! Remove that first batch from the skillet, add the remaining oil and finish cooking the remaining croissant halves.

Whip the yogurt and about 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup.

To plate- take 1 half of a croissant, spread the yogurt on it, set on plate and top with sliced strawberries, take the top of the croissant and place on top of the strawberries, top with a little more yogurt and more strawberries. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve! Extra points if you put it on a tray and take it upstairs to your significant other or friend/relative/child that is still in bed!

Happy Sunday ya’ll.

Artisan Angela

Meal Prepping

Meal prepping 101

My mom is visiting from Indiana and whenever she comes she wants to invite my neighbor over for beers and snacks. So, I invited her and 2 of my other girlfriends and we had a wonderful night of laughing, drinking and eating some yummy snacks I whipped up. Of course we ended up talking about my goals and dreams for this blog and what the content would be and it lead to a long conversation regarding what I do in terms of ‘meal prepping’ – how long it took, how complicated the recipes were, how long do the pre-cooked veggies last before they get gross etc. Since Sunday’s are my meal prep day anyway, I decided this was something worth sharing, so here it is! I do want to add that my recipes shouldn’t be taken too literally – if you are comfortable to increase the number of spices, substitute things etc., then feel free. I typically just use what I have and make it work. Now, for baking, that’s a different story and I usually follow recipes pretty closely for baked goods.

#1 – grocery shopping

I shop 1x a week and buy a mixture of meats (skinless boneless chicken thighs, ground turkey, maybe a chuck roast, ground beef..) Usually, I buy about 4 things of meat. Then I buy a bunch of vegetables including broccoli, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, zucchini, peppers, onions, a few bags of spinach or mixed greens, kale etc.) I also scan the isles for sauces that I would consider ‘clean,’ meaning they have a small list of ingredients, no sugar, and no weird sounding chemical names. This curry sauce pictured is a good example of what I’m describing. I also always have on hand quinoa, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. I will also pick up a bunch of fruit, fat-free greek yogurt and chia seeds. I also buy veggie stock and use this for braising and sautéing instead of oil.

Once you have all these things – it’s easy to put together delicious meals for the week. You do have to have a pretty well-supplied spice cabinet also garlic, olive oil, and coconut oil.

 

 

#2 veggie prep

Get out all your veggies and wash them. Get out your baking sheets, aluminum foil, spices you want, olive oil, and preheat your oven to 425 and adjust racks so that you can fit 3 cookie sheets in there at a time.

#3 veggie chop

Chop everything the way you would want to eat it. Put tin foil on your cookie sheets and put the veggies on the sheet, drizzle with olive oil, your spices of choice – I usually use salt, pepper, oregano, fresh herbs if I have them like type or rosemary. Then toss them to make sure the veggies are coated.

#4 veggie roast

Put them all in the oven and roast at 425 for about 15 minutes, you might want to turn them half way through.

Once they are done, let them cool and then put in containers and refrigerate. They will last for up to 5 days before they get weird. The picture here will last my family of 5 for about 3 days of lunches and dinners.

#5 meat prep

I normally am roasting a meat in the oven and have something going in the crock pot. So today, I had the boneless skinless chicken thighs and the curry simmer sauce pictured above. I chopped up a few carrots, an onion, and a couple celery stalks and put in the bottom of the crock pot. Then I added the chicken and then poured the entire jar of sauce on top.

 

 

Put the lid on the crock and set the timer to cook on high for 4.5 hours – Done! I would serve the chicken with some of the roasted veggies and some quinoa. Delicious, healthy and easy.

Today I also am roasting a whole chicken in the oven. It sits on top of celery, carrots, and onions. I chopped garlic and put all over the chicken along with a little olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper and oregano. I bake it on 375 for about 90 minutes. We will eat the chicken with the roasted veggies and probably some baked sweet potatoes.

So all of this food pictured will probably last my family for 3-4 days. We eat this for dinner and also, my husband and I eat it for lunch. Some of the leftover roasted chicken, a few veggies, and some mixed greens would be a great lunch. When I get home from a long day of working, everyone is crabby and hungry, I just have to simply re-heat and serve and it doesn’t require any thinking or stressing about what’s for dinner. It is such a good thing to have healthy prepped food in your fridge so you are less tempted to wing it or get take out! It saves also saves us money on going out and making several trips to the store.

You can meal prep easily too, start out with buying a bunch of veggies, meats and just roast everything, package and refrigerate. Once you get the hang of it, you can explore more complicated recipes. Hopefully, you found this helpful!

Artisan Angela