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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Phenominal Pizza Dough Recipe

Active Time:     1/2  hrs
Total Time:       3 hrs plus risng time
Yield:               3 large pizzas

This recipe is for a long, slow refrigerated rise. For a quicker rise, you can leave the dough in a warm spot for 2 or 3 hours, but it's flavor and texture will be slightly compromised.


4 cups unbleached bread flour plus extra for dusting

1 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast

1 3/4 cups of filtered or bottled water at room temperature

2 1/4 teaspoons of coarse salt

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus extra for brushing

In a large bowl, whisk together flour and yeast. Slowly add water, mixing with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Stir in salt and oil. At this point, the dough should be rough and raggedy. Brush with olive
oil. Cover bowl with a dry kitchen towel and let it rest for one hour.

Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and pat with flour. Holding tow opposite ends, pull the dough until its about a foot long. Then fold the dough back onto itself and pinch the ends together. Repeat the process 4 more times, rotating the dough each time to stretch alternate sides, until it feels smooth.

Then place dough in a well oiled large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in the refrigerator until it doubles in bulk, or at least 24 to 48 hours.

Turn the dough on a floured surface. Cut into 3 equal parts and form it into balls. Brush each ball with oil and cover them to rest for an hour. 

Then transfer one of the doughs to a 9 x 13 inch  rimmed baking pan. Pull edges to fill pan. Apply your favorite tomato sauce then spread on shredded  mozzarella cheese and bake. Preheat your oven to 450 F and cook pizza for 15 to 20 minutes on until done.

If you wish to freeze the dough it will keep beautifully..    

Recipe's For Incredible Edible Gifts

House-Jarred Marinated Feta

Makes: one 9-ounce jar

Cut 6 ounces feta into ¾-inch cubes. Pick the leaves from a 6-inch sprig each of thyme and rosemary. Use a vegetable peeler to remove four 2-inch-long strips of lemon peel from 1 lemon. // In a clean 9-ounce jar, lay down ⅓ of feta cubes, followed by ½ of thyme and rosemary. Sprinkle 5 pink peppercorns and a pinch of Aleppo pepper on top, followed by 2 lemon strips. Repeat process once more with the same amounts of feta, pink peppercorns and Aleppo pepper, then top with remaining feta cubes, leaving a ½-inch gap at top of jar. // Pour in olive oil to cover feta completely. Seal and let sit in refrigerator at least 7 days before using. // To serve, remove from refrigerator about 20 minutes in advance to let oil come to room temperature. Store, refrigerated, up to two months.

Fruited Sugar

Makes: one 16-ounce jar

In a 16-ounce terrine jar, sprinkle ¼ cup amber sugar crystals, followed by ¼ cup dried fruit. Repeat three more times with the same amounts of sugar and fruit, placing 1 cinnamon stick in after the second layer, leaving a ½-inch gap at top of jar. // Pour in 1 cup dark rum (at least 50% ABV), until top layer is just covered. Bring ¼ cup honey to a boil and pour it over top. Seal immediately. // Once opened, store in refrigerator up to six months.

Thyme Oil and Blood Orange Vinegar

Makes: one 12-ounce jar of oil and one 12-ounce jar of vinegar  

 Peel 4 small or 2 large blood oranges, reserving a 2-inch strip of peel, free of pith. Use a paring knife to remove orange flesh in sections from membrane. Pour 8 ounces red wine vinegar into a blender and squeeze in any remaining juice from orange membrane. Add orange flesh and purée until smooth. Store in a sealed container in refrigerator for 24 hours, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve and transfer to a 12-ounce bottle. Close tightly. Vinegar will keep up to four weeks. // Make thyme oil: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Wash ¼ bunch fresh thyme under running water and dry with paper towels. Arrange sprigs on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake just until brittle, 5-10 minutes. In a medium pot over low heat, combine 12 ounces olive oil and dried thyme. Cook just below a simmer 4-5 minutes. Transfer thyme to a paper towel and let oil cool to room temperature. Once oil has cooled, pour into a sterile 12-ounce bottle. Add reserved thyme. Close tightly. Oil will keep, refrigerated, up to four weeks. Bring to room temperature before using.

Brain Dead Simple Desserts That Will Drive Your Dinner Guests Bananas

Best Banana Cake Around

Active Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 10 hours (includes overnight chilling) Serves: 12 
For the cake:
2¼ cups sifted cake flour, plus more for flouring pan
1½ cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon, plus a pinch of salt
½ cup vegetable oil
5 large egg yolks
¼ cup orange juice
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1½ cups shredded, sweetened coconut, toasted (optional)
3 firm-ripe bananas, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds (optional)

For the icing:
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2¼ cups sugar
6 tablespoons cold water
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
1½ tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the banana filling: 
2 cups cold heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
3 large overripe bananas, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
5½ ounces instant vanilla pudding mix
1¼ cups whole milk
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
2. Sift flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt together into a bowl. In this order, add the following, one at a time, to flour mixture stirring after each addition: oil, egg yolks, juices and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer at low speed to whisk egg whites, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until opaque. Slowly add remaining sugar and beat on medium-high until soft peaks form. Stir in a quarter of beaten whites into flour mixture, then fold in the rest.
4. Pour batter into greased pan, smoothing the top and rapping once on the table to eliminate air bubbles. Place on middle rack in oven and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan, upside down, on a rack.
5. Remove cake from pan, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days.
6. Make icing: Place all ingredients except vanilla in a large stainless steel bowl. Use an electric mixer or a whisk to beat until combined. Fill a wide, deep skillet with 2 inches of water and set over medium heat. Bring to a steady simmer and place bowl in skillet, making sure water level is at least as high as egg whites inside bowl. Beat on low speed until mixture reaches 140 degrees, using an instant-read thermometer to monitor temperature. (Do not stop beating or egg whites will overcook.) Increase speed to high and continue to beat exactly 6 minutes. (Icing will be very thick.) Remove from heat, add vanilla and beat on low speed to cool, 2-3 minutes. Set aside. (Use within 6 hours.)
7. Make banana filling: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to whip heavy cream until soft peaks form, 2-4 minutes. In a large bowl, toss bananas with lemon juice. Add instant pudding and milk to bananas and stir. Gently fold in whipped cream. Set aside.
8. To assemble, use a large knife to slice cake horizontally into three even layers. Place bottom cake layer on a large plate. Spread half of banana filling on top, then lay second cake layer on top of filling. Spread on remaining filling, then lay third cake layer on top. Spread icing over top and sides of cake. If you are garnishing with coconut or banana rounds, distribute them over top and sides of cake. (Bananas should be added just before serving as they will brown quickly.) Serve immediately or refrigerate and then serve.

Banana Cream Pie

Active Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 3½ hours (includes chilling) Serves: 8

For the vanilla cream filling:
⅔ cup sugar
6 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
6 large egg yolks, well beaten
3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small bits
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the pie:
1 homemade 9-inch basic pie crust, or store bought  pre-baked, or frozen + thawed
4 large very ripe but not overripe bananas, cut into ¼-inch-thick rounds
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Make vanilla cream filling: In a medium saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch and salt until well-blended. Gradually whisk in, one at a time, milk, heavy cream and egg yolks, whisking until no yellow streaks remain.
2. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula. Custard will begin to lump. Off heat, scrape sides of saucepan with rubber spatula and whisk until smooth and no lumps remain.
3. Return to heat and, whisking constantly, bring to a simmer and cook 1 minute. Off heat, whisk in butter, then vanilla. Lay plastic wrap directly on surface of filling, to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool. (Cooled filling can be refrigerated up to 24 hours.)
4. Make pie: Spoon a third of vanilla cream filling into crust. Scatter half of sliced bananas evenly over filling. Repeat process. Top with remaining filling.
5. Lay plastic wrap directly on surface of filling. Refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to 6 hours.
6. In a medium bowl, whip cream with sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form, 2-4 minutes.
7. Before serving, spread whipped cream evenly over pie. (Pie may be slightly runny when cut.)

Bananas Foster

Total Time: 15 minutes Serves: 1
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 banana, sliced in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
Small pinch of cinnamon
1 tablespoon dark rum (such as Myers's)
1 large scoop vanilla ice cream
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and cook until it turns light brown, about 5 minutes.
2. Add banana to pan in one layer and cook until fruit browns and begins to caramelize, about 1 minute per side. Toss with sugar and cinnamon and cook until sauce thickens and begins to caramelize, 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat.
3. Meanwhile, warm rum in a small saucepan over medium heat. Use a match or a lighter to ignite alcohol and pour flaming rum carefully over bananas. Shake pan and stir until flames die out.
4. Serve in dessert bowls with vanilla ice cream.