Posts Tagged ‘milk’


Posted: 1st May 2013 by doomthings in Dinner, The Foodening
Tags: , , , , , , ,

UP-FRONT APOLOGY:  I hate long food posts.  I just want to get to the recipe, man!  This is a long post and I have to apologize for that because, like I said, I hate them!  Pizza dough is really not that hard, but as I wrote this, I realized it took me a long time to get my process right.  That means a lot more words, and more time wasted before getting to the recipe, which also has a lot of words.  So, again, apologies for the ridiculous post-length, but I feel like it’s worth it.  If you decide to continue making pizza on a regular basis, this stuff will become REALLY easy and you’ll know what I mean.  And now, back to the post…

So, normally I wouldn’t post about something like pizza dough, because it’s something we make all the time.  So far, most of my posts have been of food I don’t make often or was a first-time try.  However, I think we perfected the recipe to a point where it’s ready to share with you there in the interwebs.

The first bunch of times we made pizza dough, it was a same-day affair.  That got really old really fast because I was hangry and wanted to eat right away.  Waiting an hour for dough to rise is painful when your stomach tries to eat you from the inside.

To counter my pathetic gastro-emotionalness, we decided to make multiple doughs at once, refrigerating them to use later.  I basically double my favorite “thick” pizza dough recipe and divide it into four chunks.  You can just make two, but we found that halving the thick pizza dough recipe yields the perfect amount of pizza for two people.

There are three very important things about making (this) pizza dough that make it so much better than the original recipe:

  1. Use milk instead of water.  Milk is often used for other bread recipes, so we tried it in pizza dough.  It.  Was.  AMAZING.  We haven’t gone back.  It adds a lot to the flavor.
  2. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 days before using it.  It ferments a bit and makes the dough a lot tastier.
  3. Probably the most important:  Let the dough come to room temperature before working with it.  This made stretching the dough sooooo much easier.

Ingredients (Dough):

  • 2 2/3 cups warm milk
  • 4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 6 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (more is never a bad idea!)

Ingredients (Basic Pizza Non-Sauce and Toppings):

Normally we just use a store-bought pizza sauce or pasta sauce, but lately, I’ve been just using veggies and spices.  Apparently, just chopping up tomatoes and adding some herbs/spices makes it taste pretty much the same, without all the chemical preservatives in there.  I’m not really a “health” nut, but I do like doing things fresh from scratch.  If that means I might be making something healthier than usual, I’m down with the unintentionally positive side effects.

  • Grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Oregano leaves
  • Basil leaves
  • Cracked pepper
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Toppings of choice (I like to use sauted veggies)

Directions (Making the Dough):

  1. Combine the yeast with the milk and let sit for about 10 minutes or until foamy.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
  3. Add dry ingredients to yeast mixture and stir until combined (a mixer is seriously useful here).
  4. Add more flour as necessary until the dough is elastic and not very sticky.
  5. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead a bit more by hand, adding flour as necessary.
  6. (optional, mostly because I forget to do this all the time): Slam the balled-up dough on the counter/tabletop a few times; this apparently gets the gluten working faster.
  7. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, cover w/a towel, and let sit for at least 1 hour, or until doubled.
  8. Divide the dough into 2 or 4 pieces, depending on how thick you want your crust to be.
  9. From here you can either refrigerate all the pieces, or keep one out for immediate use and refrigerate the remaining pieces.
  10. To refrigerate, lightly coat each ball of dough with flour, place in a gallon ziploc bag, and toss in the fridge.  Make sure to get most of the air out; as the dough rises in the refrigerator, it releases gas that expands the bag.
  11. You can store the dough for up to 2 weeks.  I’ve read other places that you can’t do this, but I haven’t ever had a problem.  I believe you can also freeze the dough, but it won’t rise anymore or ferment if you do this, so the flavor won’t be as nice.

Directions (Shaping the Dough):

  1. When you’re ready to make pizza, make sure to take the dough out well in advance so that it comes to room temperature.  I usually take it out in the morning before work so it’s definitely ready by dinnertime.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F with the pizza stone inside.  If you are using a pan, it probably only needs to preheat for a few minutes – that can be put in while you’re adding your toppings.
  3. If using thawed dough from the refrigerator, it should be a flattened disk.  With floured hands, take it gently out of the bag.
  4. If using dough you just made, with floured hands, try to shape it into a fat disk without working it too much.
  5. Lightly flour the dough and place it on top of your fist.  Gravity will start to pull the sides down, giving you a larger disk to work with.
  6. When you get bored with this, I find the best way is to hold the edge of the circle and, working quickly, work my way around the crust.  As you inch your way around, the weight of the dough will pull it down, creating a nice large circle.  The bigger it gets, the faster it “grows”, so you may need to be creative with how you hold it.  I have not been able to document this process yet, and I know it reads very ackwardly, so the next time we make pizza dough, I’ll make sure to get some pictures.
  7. On a cornmealed transfer paddle, or pan if you don’t have a pizza stone, lay out the dough and throw on those toppings!
  8. (Optional):  Drizzle olive oil on the pizza crust and spread out with a pastry brush (or your fingers).  This will help hold in moisture in the crust making it less dry.

Directions (Basic Pizza Non-Sauce and Toppings):

  1. Dice tomatoes and spread on prepared pizza dough.  The entire surface does not need to be packed with them; maybe try a density of 2 – 3 per square inch (1 per square centimeter).
  2. Sprinkle on oregano and basil as desired.  Fresh or dried both work.  If using fresh, rip them in small pieces.
  3. Sprinkle on crushed red pepper if desired.  I desire it way much.
  4. Sprinkle on cracked pepper as desired.
  5. Grate cheese onto tomato mixture.  I don’t like to over do the cheese, such that the tomatoes should be showing through.
  6. Top with delicious meaty or veggie (or other!) goodness!  (If sauteing veggies, don’t forget to use some salt – I forgot to do this last time and the pizza seriously needed it).

Holy crap that was way too long;  totally worth it.  – 5 life; + 20 karma

Pita Bread

Posted: 19th April 2013 by doomthings in Lunch, Snack, The Foodening
Tags: , , , ,

I love pita bread, but we never end up getting it because other breads are more cost effective.  Naturally, I tried to make my own.  And it was delicious.  Now, I should say it wasn’t a complete success.  The taste and texture were great, but they didn’t make the pocket like they were supposed to.  Not that it mattered; I eat pita bread without anything in it on a regular basis, so I basically ended up with fat little flatbreads.  YUM.  Also, it turns out using milk for bread dough tastes SO MUCH BETTER than using water.

Ingredients (adapted from Under the High Chair):

  • 1 tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup skim milk, warm
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups bread flour


  1. Dissolve yeast in milk for 5 minutes or until frothy (throw in the pinch of sugar to help activate the yeast).
  2. Add salt and 1 1/2 cups of the flour, using a dough hook to combine.
  3. Add additional flour and continue kneading with dough hook until smooth and elastic.
  4. Add more flour if necessary.
  5. Turn dough onto floured surface and divide into 8 pieces.
  6. form each piece into a ball and flatten to form 1/4-inch-thick disks.  Try to keep the thickness even.
  7. Let rise for 30 minutes to an hour or until slightly “puffed” looking.
  8. Flip dough upside down onto baking sheet and bake for 10 – 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, or until light golden.  (The puffing happens during the first 5 minutes if you want to watch!).

These can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.  The original recipe says 2 days, but I’ve had mine for a week and they’re still good.  You can freeze them for up to 3 weeks.

Oooooh kay, as I mentioned at the start of this post, these didn’t turn out quite right.  Not that they tasted bad, i couldn’t keep from eating them.  Seriously, I think I gained poundage over the first 2 days they were sitting on my counter.  The problem is that they did not seem to have the pocket that pitas are supposed to have.  I think the problem is that I did not make the dough disks flat enough.  They were roughly 1/4-inch thick, but I think they needed to be much thinner.  Next time (which will be soon I’m sure) I’ll thin them out and update this post.  Despite that, they were awesome.  I have one left.  I’m currently planning it’s funeral.  In my belly.

TAKE 2:  I rolled them flatter and KAZAM, actual pitas!  Full of cheese and meats.  YUM.