Happy Friday, everyone!
I love Fridays. Obviously it is the start of the weekend, but it means so many more awesome things!
Like CSA day!
And pizza night!
And so much fun free time to look forward to! I have awesome plans for tomorrow that involve a nice long run downtown, a farmer’s market trip, and a delicious bowl of Saturday Morning oats.
Rewind. Back to the CSA. This week’s box was pretty much a repeat of the past few weeks.
More heirloom tomatoes.
Last week, we had a bit of a tomato problem. The week before that, eggplants were taking over. Now it is the fabulous pepper.
That’s alright, peppers freeze perfectly. Also in the box, local eggs.
And this delicious cheese, that tastes a lot like an amazing sharp cheddar.
And finally, the most exciting thing in the box.
Apples! YAY! These are fantastic for lunches. I’ve been worried about getting fruit and veggies for lunches for the 20/40/60 challenge and this helps tremendously.
And you know what else apples mean? They mean that Fall is right around the corner. Yippee!
Last week, I was way too lazy to even make my simple pizza crust recipe. But for this week’s pizza night, I not only made it, I documented it to share. I worked quite a while to perfect a whole wheat pizza crust that was crunchy, chewy and delicious. And here it is my friends.
I use my beloved KitchenAid stand mixer for pizza crust. But you could just as easily mix it by hand or in a bread machine, but my directions will follow the stand mixer method.
Side note: my KitchenAid mixer was my 21st birthday gift from my parents. It was what asked for. Yeah, I know, I was a wild child.
Affix your mixer with the dough hook…because…well…we’re making dough.
In the bowl goes very warm water, olive oil, sugar, and salt. And maybe a few specs of black pepper that have infiltrated your kosher salt bowl. Maybe.
I’m currently mourning the end of my bottle of olive oil.
Not exactly sure how we are going to afford to replace that within the 20/40/60 budget.
Next up are the dry ingredients. Pull out your favorite flour container. Bonus points if it is a well-loved flour container that you grew up with. (I saved this from the trash at my parents’ house. Mama couldn’t understand why I’d want it.)
It still looks strange sitting on my shelf instead of the top shelf in the pantry of my Mama’s kitchen.
We did a mix of whole wheat flour, white flour, and cornmeal this time because we wanted a little bit of a different texture. Normally we do a 2/1 ratio of whole wheat flour to white flour.
Into the bowl. Plus yeast and a massively overflowing teaspoon of minced garlic. I used the jarred stuff here, but if you are using fresh, reduce the overflowingness by quite a lot.
Fresh basil. Slice ‘er up.
Everybody in the pool!
Turn on your mixer on the lowest level. Go ahead and lock the flip-top.
Then walk away. Seriously. It is going to look like it is too dry. And then too wet. Just walk away. Let it mix and knead for 5-10 minutes. Go find something else to do. Like clip coupons.
You may even find a coupon for something you desperately need.
Your dough is ready when it is all pulled together and mostly doesn’t stick to the bottom of the bowl. It should be a little stretchy but still sticky.
Cover it up with a towel and let it rise for a bit. Not long. I normally let it sit 5-10 minutes. Just long enough to get my toppings together.
It won’t rise much, but it’ll get a bit squishy. Split in half. At this point, you can wrap up one of the halves and freeze it, if you don’t plan on making two pizzas.
Spread the other half out on a pizza pan. Top with sauce.
Bake in a 475° oven for 15-20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melty.
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
1 c. warm water
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 1/2 tsp. yeast (1 packet)
1 tbsp. basil (optional)
In a mixer, fitted with a dough hook, combine all ingredients. Mix on low until well combined. Knead on low for 5-10 minutes until dough is stretchy and slightly sticky to the touch. Cover bowl with cloth and let rise in a warm place for 5-10 minutes. Split dough in half and form into disc (wrap one in plastic wrap and freeze now, if desired). Coat pizza pan with cooking spray, spread one dough disc. Top with sauce, toppings and cheese. Bake at 475° for 15-20 minutes, or until nicely browned. Slice pizza into eight slices.
This one was incredible! If you’ve been paying attention, you know all about my love of cheese, but honestly, I think minimal cheese is best on veggie pizzas. I really allows all the yummy veggie flavors to shine.
But of course, I then put some more cheese on top. 🙂
Salad on the side. Romaine, yellow and red heirlooms, sunflower kernels, and some of the cheese from the CSA. Dressed with balsamic vinaigrette.
Seriously. Good. Cheese.
Split a Red Stripe with Babyface.
All together. Perfect Friday night meal.
And the perfect Puppyface lurking in the background.
Finished it all up with a piece of chocolate.
Have an awesome Friday night, everyone!
20/40/60 Day 3 Recap
- Rhubarb bread, homemade
- Hard-boiled egg, local, free-range
- Yogurt, organic
- Pear, organic
- Leftover Eggplant and Tomato Sandwiches
- Cherry tomatoes, local (from our garden!), organic
- Carrots, organic
- Cantaloupe, organic, local (from my parents’ garden!)
- Salt and pepper popcorn
- Apple, organic
- Veggie Pizza
- Salad, organic, local
Days Completed: 3
Days Remaining: 17
Money Spent: $0.00
Money Remaining: $40.00
Ohmygosh I need to add garlic and basil to my pizza crust! That sounds so amazingly delicious! We use a very similar recipe for our homemade pizza (we do half white flour and half wheat flour). We also let it rise a bit longer before we add toppings, because we like a thicker, chewier crust. But mostly, it’s the same recipe.
I have three questions, though.
1. What does the cornmeal do for the flavor/texture of the dough?
2. How do you get your dough so round? We usually end up with a very oddly shaped pizza. We have a round pizza pan, but usually end up with dough that looks like a cartoon sheep.
3. How did you find out about the CSA? We’ve had trouble getting to the farmer’s market this summer, and are thinking of finding some sort of produce delivery, but have no idea how to find a good one.
If you like chewier crust, you might not like the cornmeal. It makes the outside of the crust super crispy, which we love. Next time you make pizza, instead of mixing it in like I did, sprinkle a little in the bottom of the pizza pan before you put the dough in. It’ll give you an idea of what the cornmeal texture is (plus, it’ll make it to where you don’t have to grease your pan at all).
The longer I let my dough rise, the harder it is to keep in a circle. I always smoosh the edges of the dough into the pan along the outside so it kinda sticks.
We found our CSA by searching through Local Harvest. I’m not sure if they cover Canada or not. There were quite a few in Bloomington so we just chose the one that fit our price range, had easy pick-up and had fruits and veggies we like. Plus we love the “Local Fare Share” part of ours which is how we get the cheeses, cornmeal, beans, canned goods, etc. Also, almost every vendor at our farmer’s market does a CSA program, so it might be work heading to your farmer’s market and poking around and seeing if anyone has a program.
We’ll have to try adding cornmeal sometime, just to try it out!
I didn’t even think to ask around at the farmer’s market. I found a few organic produce deliveries, and MAY have found one that will work for us (being in this area + in an apartment) but I’ll have to ask around tomorrow to see if there are any other options.
I realize that I am not objective but the aspect of your blog that seems to be at the forefront is that eating healthy and using fresh, local ingredients results in an end product that is well worth the little extra effort.
I suspect that many people would like to prepare food like this but have convinced themselves that it is too labor intensive in comparison to either ordering in a pizza or buying a frozen frisbee at the store. They could not be more wrong. More work–yes. But most quality things do require a little more effort. I guess if a person sets his or her standards low enough, it is easy to believe that what is being consumed is good food.
The cost-benefit ratio of cooking like you do is not understood by most people.
Keep preaching the gospel according to Cass.
Yup, you are spot on. I really want this to be all about balance. People say to me pretty often, “I just don’t have time to cook like that.” But you make time. And you figure out how to streamline the process, because what we are fueling our bodies with should be one of our top priorities.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t love a bacon, feta and pineapple pizza delivered to my door from Aver’s every now and again. 🙂 Everything in moderation. Including being crazy snobbish about your food consumption.
God, I want your dinner.
It was not hard to make at all. And my favorite part about the crust, I only have to make it every-other-week. Next week, I just have to thaw it and proof it and we are ready to go. YUM!
These photos are sexy.
Kinda like you.
I love the green basil against the blue cutting board and the pizza, because it reminds me of how scrum-diddly-umptious it was.
Kinda like you.
I don’t like that shot at all. I think because it looks so plastic-y. We should get more non-plastic cutting boards methinks!
I just love your blogs!
Thank you so much!