Simple Pizza Dough

When I was younger I lived in Long Island, NY. We had amazing pizzerias. I have fond memories of walking to the pizzeria and asking for a little bit of dough to play with. When I began cooking, I was queen of the Semi Homemade. I’d try store bought dough that came in the canister like biscuits (bleh). I’d tried a certain powder dough mix that came in a bag (also bleh). Occasionally I’ve lucked up on bagged fresh dough at the supermarket and that’s not too bad. I’ve come to prefer homemade dough. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh dough in the kitchen.

 

It’s easy to make and it yields enough for two smedium pizzas or several calzones or a shit ton of garlic knots. You can make this recipe ahead of time and store the dough in the freezer. Simply thaw it overnight in the fridge and you’re ready to go when it’s time to cook. Or you can use it straight away as I did this evening.

 

Ingredients:

 

3-4 Cups of AP flour

1 ½ tsp salt

3 tbsp of olive oil (plus extra for brushing)

1 tbsp of sugar

1 pack of fast rise yeast (2.5 tsp)

1 1/3 cups of very warm water

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and turn it off.

 

  1. In the bowl of your mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar and the warm water.
  2. Add the yeast.pizzadough
  3. Allow it to proof for about 10 minutes. It will become frothy and fragrant.
    • If nothing happens, you’re yeast is dead. Scrap it and try again.

 

  1. Combine the flour and salt.

 

  1. In your mixing bowl attach your hook attachment, add the oil and turn the mixer on low.
  2. Carefully add your flour+salt mixture.

 

  1. Mix on low until combined well.

 

  1. If the dough is sticky add flour one tbsp a time. If you touch it, it should spring back without sticking to your fingers.

 

  1. Beat for 5 minutes on medium-low

 

  1. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about a minute.

 

  1. Form into a bowl.

 

  1. Oil a bowl, place ball into bowl. Turn so it is coated in oil.

 

  1. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.

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  1. Place in oven (make sure you have turned it off after it preheated to 200). Keep the door ajar.

 

  1. Allow to rise for about 30 minutes then punch it down.pizzadough3
  2. Place back in oven and allow to rise until it is doubled in size.pizzadough4
  1. You can portion this for freezing, use right away or both.
  • If you’re going to freeze, carefully and tightly wrap in plastic wrap and store in a ziplock bag for up to a month.

 

Homemade Mini-Monkey Bread

Tis the season for coming together and eating everything that you really shouldn’t. And that includes yummy, homemade baked goods. This weekend we hosted a holiday gathering and I decided to whip up some yummy mini-monkey bread! This is not a last-minute recipe; you have to plan accordingly to allow for enough time for the dough to proof. Be mindful that you want to allow the dough to proof a minimum of eight hours.

 

Little hands really enjoy rolling out the balls so call them in to be sous chefs!

 

Ingredients

 

Dough

1 package of yeast

1/4 cup warm water

1 and 1/4 cups warm milk

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon salt

5 cups all-purpose flour

 

Sauce

3/4 cup unsalted butter

1 cup white sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Glaze

1 Cup powdered sugar

3 tbsp milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. In the bottom of your bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir and allow it to rest for a few minutes. It will be fragrant and a bit frothy.
  2. Slowly add the milk, cooled melted butter, sugar, salt, and eggs one at a time. Slowly incorporate 3 cups of flour.
  3. Using the dough hook, beat on medium for a few minutes. Slowly add remaining dough until the dough forms a firm bowl.monkeymonkey2
  4. Put the dough onto a floured surface. You want to knead until it just smooth and elastic. Be careful not to over knead the dough. The dough is ready for proofing when you poke it and it springs back to you.
  5. Turn the dough out into a greased bowl, toss to coat and cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Refrigerate the dough for at least 8 hours or overnight.monkey3monkey13
  7. Remove your dough from the fridge, punch it down carefully. Allow the dough to rest.
  8. Set up your coating station. Melt ½ c of the butter in a small bowl and in another bowl you want to combine sugar and cinnamon.
  9. Spray your muffin pan with cooking spray (alternatively, you can do this in a bundt pan, but this recipe is generally for mini monkey breads).
  10. Pull apart pieces and roll into balls about the size of a peppermint ball. You’ll want to fit 3-4 balls in the muffin wells.monkey4
  11. Dip each ball into the butter, gently shake off excess butter. Then roll in the cinnamon sugar, shake off excess. Then pop your balls into the muffin well.monkey5
  12. After filling the wells, allow the muffins to rest while you make the sauce.
  13. Preheat oven to 350F.
  14. On the stove, melt 1/4 cup of butter and whisk in the brown sugar and vanilla until it is well combined.
  15. Pour the mixture over the dough balls.monkey7monkey6
  16. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden. (Cover loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly)monkey8monkey11monkey9monkey10
  17. Allow to cool before carefully removing and placing onto a large serving plate.
  18. Optional: Whisk all of the glaze ingredients together and pour it over the bread.

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Will keep for a few days.

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Homemade Danish Pastry Dough

 

1 standard package of active dry yeast

¼ cup warm water

½ cup milk (room temp)

1 large egg (room temp)

1 tsp salt

2 ½ cup leveled all purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

14 tbsp very cold unsalted butter

 

In a large bowl, proof your yeast. Mix yeast with warm water and sugar. Once foamy, mix in egg, milk and salt. Set aside while you mix dry ingredients. (If foam does not form, your yeast is dead and you should begin again with a new packet.)

 

Pour flour into food processor and add butters, sliced into tabs. Pulse until flour butter is crumbled into flour.

Pour mixture into wet ingredients. Gently fold to just incorporate ingredients. You will see pieces of butter. Turn the dough out and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place in fridge for 2-3 hours, or overnight. (If you are in a pinch, you can freeze for about 45 minutes to an hour).

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After the time has elapsed, flour a work surface liberally. The dough will be very sticky. Flour your rolling pin, as well. Using the palm of your hand, flatten the dough into a small square. Roll the dough out into approx. a 15” rectangle. It may be necessary to continue to flour as you go along to prevent sticking. Fold the rectangle as if you were folding a letter. Roll out, flour, fold. Repeat three times. This is what creates the flaky layers.

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Fold the dough and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for 30-40 minutes. (Or up to one day).

Homemade Roti

Roti is a flat bread that originates in India. It can also be found in parts of Africa and the West Indies. It’s such a simple side but it adds to any dish, especially a flavorful curry.

The dough seems like it might be complicated to make but it’s honestly pretty easy. I have made Thai Curry Puffs before and it reminds me of the laminating process. If you take your time, you’ll definitely be able to pull this off and impress your friends and family.

 

Requiring only a few ingredients, this is something that you can easily throw together using kitchen staples.

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ to 2 cups of flour

¼  tsp baking soda

½  tsp salt

¾  cups water

Melted butter or olive oil

 

  1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and create a well. Pour in the water and slowly incorporate until a ball forms.rotii
  2. On a floured surface knead the ball until no longer sticky and pliable.
  3. Cover dough and let it rest for 20-30 minutes
  4. Divide dough into four balls
  5. Roll one ball out until it forms a thin circle.rotii2
  6. Brush with melted butter or olive oilrotii3
  7. Make a small slit and slowly roll (follow pictures) up the dough until it forms a “cone”rotii4rotii5rotii6
  8. Holding the cone, poke the top of the “cone” into itself; you’ll be sort of poking the dough into your hand (again, follow pictures).rotii7rotii8
  9. Do this to the remaining ballsrotii9
  10. Heat a large ungreased pan on medium heat
  11. Roll out one of the balls as thinly as you canrotii10
  12. Brush with butter and put in the hot pan, brush the other side
  13. Flip it as soon as it begins to bubblerotii11
  14. Using your spatula be sure to gently press the dough to eliminate any trapped air
  15. Flip from side to side for 1-2 minutes, you will have browned spots on the dough
  16. Remove from heat, fold up and cover with a tea cloth
  17. Repeat
  18. Best served warm

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