Cinnamon Rolls with Apple Sauce

>> Monday, March 28, 2011

Farewell again, weekend.

I had a good time but I wish you'd stay longer. Am I being unreasonable? Yes.

ate some green food (green tea latte and guacamole on toast) for breakfast. A tad late for St. Patties day celebration.

I curled up and read a new book (thanks P!) until my eyes were sore and fell asleep.

And what a bummer it rained - at least it will keep me off the streets...

So I turned on some Bach Concertos and danced my way into the kitchen.

I've been wanting to make cinnamon rolls for a while now. And apple sauce too.

Maybe I can marry them together?

I used The Pioneer Woman's recipe for the cinnamon rolls sans the maple frosting. It's no doubt that this recipe has been a huge hit with so many people so I couldn't wait to see how it turns out.

Slight alterations to the original recipe: I've used less butter and replaced it with some of the apple sauce. I also swapped 1/3 cup of the plain flour for its wholemeal alternative.

Apple sauce is useful to have in the fridge at all times because you can use it to replace a portion of the fats (butter or oil) for a healthier baked treat like cakes and cookies (I haven't tried replacing butter entirely with apple sauce but I think the texture of the cakes/cookies would be rubbery and not crumbly?)

Thankfully it's apple season at the moment. When it comes to making apple sauce, make sure you use a good cooking apple like Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Fuji or Jonathan (which I used) etc.

The chunky apple sauce is layered on the dough along with sultanas and a bit of butter before you roll it up and slice them into something as glorious as this:

Then you let the magic happen (i.e. some proofing and waiting and baking)...

Don't forget to drizzle (or drown) them in maple syrup goodness too!

The result is a delicious and soft bread roll moistened by the maple syrup. Yum - we finished 2 batches of rolls within a day! I felt the first batch (photographed) lacked sultanas and apple sauce so I was more generous with them in the second batch.

Anyways, I hope you're off to a good start of the week. After a relaxed weekend, think I might just be ready for a busy week ahead! 


Cinnamon Rolls
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
Makes ~15 rolls (I scaled the recipe down to 1/3)
  • 1 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 2/3 cups plain flour
  • 1/3 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ~100 g unsalted butter - melted (or I used 50g + apple sauce)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Cinnamon powder
  • ~1/2 cup apple sauce (optional)
  • Sultanas (optional)
1. Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool for about 30 mins.

2. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in dry yeast. Let this sit for a min. Add 2 2/3 cups of flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

3. Add 1/3 cup of flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point the dough will be quite sticky, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two. This will give you a firmer dough. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down). I used my dough straight away.

4. When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. (I halved the dough here to make 2 batches) Form a rough rectangle with (one of) the dough. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle melted butter over the dough followed by the apple sauce. Now sprinkle sugar over the butter/apple sauce followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon powder and sultanas.

5. Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

6. Cut the roll to approximately 1 inch thick and lay them in a greased baking tray. Leave a little space in between the rolls for them to rise.

7. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 mins or until they look bloated (I left it to rise for about 1 hr), then bake at a 180℃ pre-heated oven until light golden brown, about 20-25 mins.

Apple Sauce
  • 1 kg (~3lbs) of peeled, cored, and quartered apples. 
  • 4 strips of lemon peel (use a vegetable peeler)
  • Juice of one lemon, about 3-4 tbsp
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar (or more depending on your taste)
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

1. Put all ingredients into a large pot. Cover. Bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

2. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks and lemon peels. Mash with potato masher.

Note: They freeze easily - up to one year in a cold freezer.


Dulce de Leche éclairs

>> Monday, March 21, 2011

I recall learning the word, compartimenter, from my high school French classes.

To compartmentalize.

I liked this word as much as compartmentalizing things.

A compartment of practical (and comfortable) clothes - worn ninety percent of the time.
A compartment of fancy clothes - worn the rest of the time.

To me, an éclair belongs to the compartment of fancy - along with other dainty and delicate desserts with pretty sounding French names you might see in a pâtisserie.

This particular compartiment in my life is visited rarely...definitely not as often as I'd like.

Just because it is not of the one-bowl, or minimal-post-production-clean-up type.

But once in a while, on that slightly special occasion....

Or on days when I nostalgically reminisce back on the Paris trip of too long ago.

There are three components which make up this éclair (four, if you want to make a chocolate glaze too):
  • Pâte à choux (choux pastry)
  • Dulce de Leche 
  • Vanilla bean pastry cream (crème pâtissière)
The last 2 components are whipped together to create the filling for this éclair.

Dulce de leche is a thick, almost caramelise-like sauce that is milk-based (unlike caramel which is just heated sugar). It can be made the traditional way by boiling down a pot of milk and sugar for hours or the cheats way (which I used here) - which is heating up a can of condensed milk.

One way to heat up the condensed milk is by boiling the can for a few hours. However, if you choose to do so, you must ensure the can stays submerged in the water at all times otherwise the can will explode. My usual clumsy self did not dare to attempt this potentially explosive method ;)

Other people bake the condensed milk to make dulce de leche. 

I prefer to steam it with my much loved Datung rice steamer (trust any Taiwanese to have a Datung at home!) I can leave it steaming while I go out as it will turn off automatically when it's done. No explosions of any kind! Yes!

After an hour and a half, you get something wholly amazing that you just want to have it by the spoonful...

Add this beautiful caramel-like sauce to the vanilla pastry cream and whip them together for a silky smooth filling. I didn't add any sugar to my vanilla pastry cream as I know that once you combine with the sweet dulce de leche, it will balance out.

If you are not so keen on the dulce de leche (or your last can of condensed milk exploded? I hope not!), just fill your choux pastry with plain sweetened vanilla pastry cream!

As I am not too crazy about the glaze that you'd normally see on éclairs, I skipped the chocolate glazing in the recipe. However, I've included the recipe for it, in case if anyone's interested.

These éclairs are best when they are served the same day they are filled and are delicious with a strong cup of coffee or tea :)

Dulce de Leche Eclairs
From The Art and Soul of Baking
Makes 20

  • 1 recipe Spiced Pâte à Choux (see below)
  • 1 recipe Dulce de Leche Pastry (see below)
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) heavy whipping cream

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205C) and position two racks in the top and lower thirds of the oven. To make the templates, line the baking sheets with parchment paper, then remove the paper and use the ruler as a guide to draw twenty 4 by 1-inch rectangles with a pencil, dividing and spacing them evenly between the sheets. Turn the pieces of parchment paper over and return them to the baking sheets with the marks facing the sheets.

2. Pipe the Pâte à Choux: Spoon the dough into the pastry bag fitted with the ½-inch plain round tip. Pipe the dough into ½-inch-high rectangles to fill each template. (To stop the flow of dough from the pastry bag and disconnect it from the piped dough, slice a lightly oiled dinner knife across the opening of the tip.)

3. Glaze and bake the Pâte choux: In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg to blend thoroughly. Brush a light coating of egg over the tops of the piped dough, being careful that the egg does not drip down the sides (it will glue the éclairs to the parchment). You will not use all the egg. Bake both sheets of the éclairs for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F, switch the sheets between the racks, rotate the pans from front to back, and bake for 20 minutes longer. Reduce the temperature again, to 300°F, and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer (to dry out the interior). The éclairs should be a deep golden brown, with no more bubbling moisture visible around the sides. Transfer the éclairs to a rack to cool completely.

4. Fill the éclairs: Spoon the pastry cream into the cleaned and dried pastry bag fitted with the Bismarck or ¼-inch plain tip. If using the Bismark tip, first make a little hole in one of the short ends of the éclair with the tip of a paring knife. Then, insert the end of the Bismark into the éclair as far as it will go. Squeeze firmly as you slowly pull the tip out of the pastry, filling the cavity with the pastry cream. If using the plain tip, make two evenly spaced small holes in the bottom of an éclair with the tip of a paring knife. Insert the plain tip into each one, squeezing firmly to fill the center of the pastry. Repeat to fill the remaining éclairs.

5. Make the glaze: Place the chocolate in a small bowl (which should be just large enough to accommodate an éclair, which is about 4 inches long). Bring the cream to a boil in the small saucepan. Immediately pour it over the chocolate and let the mixture sit for 1 minute. Whisk until the mixture is completely blended and smooth. Cool for 10 minutes.

6. Glaze the éclairs: Turn the éclairs upside down, dip the top of each one halfway into the chocolate glaze, then lift it and let the excess glaze drip back into the bowl. Set right side up on a serving platter or parchment-lined baking sheet and allow 30 minutes for the glaze to set. Refrigerate until serving time. Reserve any leftover milk chocolate glaze for another use.

Storing: You can store éclairs in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days. However, they are at their best the same day they are filled, as the pastry absorbs moisture from the pastry cream and eventually becomes soggy.

Spiced Pâte à Choux
From The Art and Soul of Baking
Makes 20
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, plus another tablespoon or two, if needed
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
1. Cook the butter, water, and salt in the medium saucepan over low heat, stirring from time to time with the wooden spoon so the butter melts evenly. Combine the spices as well as the sugar with the flour. When the butter has melted, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and add the flour mixture all at once. Beat vigorously with the wooden spoon until the dough comes together in a mass around the spoon. Place the pan back over the medium heat and continue to cook, beating, for another minute or so to dry out the dough-the pan will have a thin film of dough on the bottom.

2. Transfer the dough to the bowl of the stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute to slightly cool the dough and develop the gluten. In the medium bowl, beat the eggs together until you can't distinguish the yellow from the white. With the mixer on medium, add the eggs a couple tablespoons at a time, allowing each addition to blend completely into the dough before continuing. When all the eggs are incorporated, the mixture should be shiny and elastic and stick to the side of the bowl. It should also pass the "string test": Place a bit of dough between your thumb and forefinger and pull them apart. The dough should form a stretchy string about 1½ to 2 inches long. If the dough has not reached this stage, beat another egg and continue adding it, a little at a time, until the dough is finished.

To shape and bake, see individual recipes.

Storing: The dough can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Dulce de Leche
  • 1 can of condensed milk
To boil:
In a large pan, completely submerge the can of sweetened condense milk in water. Make sure it is covered by at least one inch of water and remains covered throughout the entire process – this is VERY important otherwise it could explode. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for three hours. Continually check to make sure the can is completely covered with water.

To bake:
Refer to here.

To steam:
Depending on your steamer. I used a rice steamer for this: Pour out the content of the condensed milk into a shallow bowl and put it into the steamer with ~3 cups of water. Let it steam for just over an hour until the pale condensed milk turns into a deep caramel colour.

Dulce de Leche Pastry Cream
From The Art and Soul of Baking
Makes 2 cups
  • 1½ cups (12 ounces) whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean (or 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) sugar (I omitted this as the dulce de leche is sweet already)
  • 1/4 cup (1¼ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) cold unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dulce de leche (above recipe)
1. Fill the large bowl halfway with ice and water and set it aside. Pour the milk into the medium saucepan. Use the tip of a paring knife to cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Turn the knife over and use the dull side to scrape the seeds into the saucepan, then add the pod. Heat until the mixture just begins to simmer. Remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes. (If using vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean, skip this step and add the extract later.)

2. Heat the milk to just below the boiling point and remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, and sugar until well blended and smooth. Add the flour and whisk vigorously until the mixture is very smooth. Pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to temper the yolks. Slowly pour the yolk mixture back into the hot milk, whisking all the while.

3. Heat the mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the flour from lumping, until it reaches a boil. Continue to cook and whisk for another minute, until the pastry cream is very thick. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter (and vanilla extract, if using). Strain the pastry cream through the strainer set over a medium bowl to remove any lumps or tiny bits of egg. (Save the vanilla bean: Rinse it thoroughly, allow to dry, then use it to make vanilla sugar).

4. Whisk room temperature dulce de leche into the strained pastry cream.

5. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream, then set the bowl into the bowl of ice water. Once the pastry cream has completely cooled, use or store in the refrigerator until needed.


Homemade Wholemeal Chia Bread

>> Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not many things make me feel more domesticated than...baking bread.

As I took my batch of bread out of the oven, I felt as if I should be wearing a frilly apron.

And suddenly find myself as a housewife in Pleasantville or Stepford.

The novelty of freshly baked bread from your own oven hasn't worn off for this girl-from-a-non-bread-baking-family. Yet.

Strangely, I also feel like I'm going 'backward' in some ways.

But this is what I'll be doing from now on, going forward in time.

Because there is nothing better than fresh bread made with your own hands.

With plenty of love of course - the essential ingredient!

Homemade bread tends to harden up and dry out overnight compared to store bought ones, so I wanted to avoid that as I could hardly finish a whole loaf within a day.

I'm glad I came across the TangZhong method of bread making a while ago. I've read about how this method ensures that the bread stays soft and moist days after it's baked -  just like the bread you find in the Asian bakeries!

So what's this TangZhong method? In short, it's when a natural flour paste (TangZhong) is cooked to 65°C and then added to the rest of your normal bread making ingredients. This paste will ensure that the bread stays soft and 'bouncy'.

Amazing huh?

Ok, let's get baking.

First, you've got to make the TangZhong paste (I used a thermometer to check the temperature)...

Once you're done, add all the ingredients into your bread machine and let it knead away (the recipe below also caters for those without a bread maker, you just got to knead by hand which can be very time consuming!)

I added chia seeds to my dough. These Aztec ancient grains have recently been re-discovered as once of today's superfood. You can hardly see or taste them in the bread because they are so tiny! 

Once the dough has rested for at least an hour, divide the dough into 3 equal portions and let rest for another 15 minutes. 

Now roll each portion into an oval shape and roll from the upper, shorter end down to the bottom...

Flatten the dough with your rolling pin, then roll once again with the seals face down. 

Finally roll it up pretty like this:

Set all three into a baking tin and let rest for around 40 minutes (depending on the weather), until the dough rise once again...

It might be good to practice your patience here :)

Finally, bake for 30-35 minutes and there you have it!

Love. Soft. Fluffy. Cloud-like. Bread. 

Go spread the bread love!

Sometimes I sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder into my dough and I get this:

Other times, I have it with my homemade jam. Seriously good. 

[For a more detailed photo instruction, please go to Christine's Recipe!]

Wholemeal Chia Bread
Adapted from here

Ingredients of TangZhong (The amount is enough to make two loafs):
  • 50gm/ 1/3 cup bread flour
  • 250ml/ 1cup water (could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk)
Ingredients of bread:
  • 1½ cups bread flour
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 3tbsp+2tsp caster sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 large egg
  • 1tbsp+1tsp milk powder (to increase fragrance, optional)
  • ½cup milk
  • 120gm tangzhong (use half of the tangzhong you make from above)
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3tbsp butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
Making TangZhong:

1. Mix flour in water well without any lumps. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon, whisk or spatula to prevent burning and sticking while you cook along the way.

2. The mixture becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. You get the tangzhong. (Some people might like to use a thermometer to check the temperature. After a few trials, I found this simple method works every time.) Remove from heat.

3. Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Let cool. Chill in fridge for several hours. (I chill it overnight.) Then the tangzhong is ready to be used. (Note: When you are ready to use the tangzhong, just measure out the amount you need and let it rest in room temperature for a while before adding into other ingredients. The tangzhong can be stored up to a few days as long as it doesn't turn grey. If so, you need to discard and cook some more.)

Making bread:

1. Combine all dry ingredients: flours, salt, sugar , chia seeds and instant yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Whisk and combine all wet ingredients: milk, egg and tangzhong, then add into the well of the dry ingredients. Knead until you get a dough shape and gluten has developed, then knead in the butter. Mind you, it’d be quite messy at this stage (That's why I used a bread maker). Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, not sticky and elastic. To test if the dough is ready, you might stretch the dough. If it forms a thin “membrane”, it’s done. The time of kneading all depends on how hard and fast you knead. (Note: I use bread maker to do this hardest part and messy job for me. I added the wet ingredients into my bread maker first, then followed by the dry ingredients. The yeast is the last to add.)

2. Knead the dough into a ball shape. Place in a greased bowl and cover with a wet towel or cling wrap. Let it proof till it's doubled in size, about 40 minutes (Note: the time will vary and depends on the weather. The best temperature for proofing is 28C. I still used my bread maker in this stage. And my bread maker has a heater.)

3. Transfer to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide the dough into four equal portions. Knead into ball shapes. Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes.

4. Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Sprinkle bacon and cheese evenly as much as you like. Roll from the upper, shorter end down to the bottom (as picture shown). Flatten the dough with your rolling pin. Then roll once again. The seals face down.

5. Arrange the rolled-up dough in a greased or non-stick loaf tin (as picture shown). Leave it for the 2nd round of proofing, about 40 minutes, or until the dough rises up to 3/4 of the height of the tin inside.

6. Brush whisked egg on surface. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and tin. Transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Slice to serve or place in an airtight plastic bag or container once it's thoroughly cooled.

On another note, remember my pizza post a few weeks ago? I'm pretty stoked it was featured in Gourmet LIVE last week. Check it out along with other great pizza recipes!


Pork and Shrimp Balls with Glutinous Rice

>> Thursday, March 10, 2011

Of late, a lot of my conversation with Sister begins with...

Remember when...?

Those nostalgic flashbacks may be the result of seeing the city you grew up in destructed by an earthquake.

Remember when we jumped so high on the trampoline to wave at the neighbours over the fence?

Remember when our black-nosed friend was given away to this 'mean' girl who grabbed it by the legs?

Remember when we used to call that 'mean' girl, 'Boy', just because we associated those two words? (We were nasty, aye?)

Remember when Mother would make her famous cheesecake?

And remember those 'Pearl Balls'? Gee, they were tasty, weren't they?

Perhaps we subconsciously try to hold on to these precious memories in the fear that they may one day slip away from the mind like so many others have over the years?

So what are these 'Pearl Balls', you ask?

They are juicy minced pork and shrimp balls rolled in a layer of sticky rice. There are also loads of shallot and mushrooms in there...oh yes! And they are usually eaten with some soy sauce to dip on the side.

Should I add, since I am home in Sydney on a break, credit also goes to Sister who helped to re-create this childhood dish that has never departed our minds since those trampolining days.

What better time than now to re-visit childhood flavours with our tastebuds just as we have visited those old memories with our mind.

Pork and Shrimp Balls with Glutinous Rice
Serves 8

  • 2 cups glutinous rice, rinsed, soaked for a day, drained
  • 500g pork mince
  • few cubes of silken tofu (optional: just because we needed to use it up!)
  • 6 shiitake mushroom
  • 300g fresh shrimp, deveined and chopped
  • 1 bunch shallots
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch sugar

1. Roughly chop the shallots and add to a food processor along with the mushrooms and garlic. Pulse until fine.

2. Place the pork mince and tofu (optional) in a big mixing bowl, and add the shallot/mushroom mixture as well as all the rest of the ingredients except the glutinous rice.

3. Mix together for a few minutes until all is well combined. I used my stand mixer with paddle attachment.

4. Divide and shape mixture into equal size balls (should be a bit smaller than a golf ball).

5. Roll mince balls in the glutinous rice to coat evenly.

6. Arrange coated balls in steamer basket and steam in a preheated steamer for 10 to 12 minutes, until cooked through.

Don't forget to dip it with some soy sauce on the side!

Hope you all had a good week...and are happily anticipating the weekend ahead as I am! 


Homemade Pizza and the end of summer

>> Friday, March 4, 2011

Before I have the chance to put on my summer dress, summer is bidding its farewell.

Like an old friend visiting from afar. But leaving before we have a chance to catch up properly.

Who knows where I'll be the next time we meet?

That's not to say that I didn't have a good summer.

Oh I did, friends.

I recall there were plenty of pizza dough, tan lines, new friendships and the relief of letting go of broken promise made 3 years ago... and of expectations.

But I did much more than these.

...I read under trees during lunch breaks

...I witnessed new beginnings

...I was inspired to colour my hair in many different shades

...I window-shopped to all my heart's desires

...I indulged in so much food with great companies

...I rested (or rather, I learnt to rest and be still)

...I saw things from the other side

...I praised the Painter of the sky

...I reflected and skipped by the seaside

...I drank (a lot of) coffee skillfully

...I ate strawberries to last me the year

...I got to know every streets and alleys of Melbourne like the back of my hands

...I went to cafes and scribbled in my notepad

And back to pizza dough...

Like everyone says, making your own pizza dough is not difficult and so worth it.

I scoured everywhere for the 'perfec't pizza dough recipe. After all, a good base makes a good pizza but you can't have a good pizza with bad base.

A few things I've learnt:

1. It is better to have a pizza stone, but it's not essential to have it to make a crispy base (although you get better results.) If you don't have the stone, pre-heat your baking sheet in the oven first so you place uncooked pizza on the hot sheet. 

2. Turn on your oven as far up as it goes and roll your dough as thin as possible for a crispy crust.

3. It is important to rest your dough in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Overnight is even better. Sometimes I make it early in the morning to have for dinner.

I made two different pizzas with the dough:

Zucchini with Sausage
Rosemary potato with Caramelised Onion

After you roll out the chilled dough, all you need to do is...

Add your favourite toppings!

And more!

Don't forget to top it with grated cheese..

With the potato pizza, brush the base with garlic infused olive oil

Pizza is ready for the oven now!

Pizza Dough 
Makes two pizzas
Adapted from WildYeastBlog and Eats Well with Others
  • 312 grams flour (around 2 1/3 C flour)
  • 3.3 grams (1 teaspoon) instant yeast
  • 4.5 grams (3/4 teaspoon) salt
  • 200 grams water
  • 14 grams (1 tablespoon) olive oil
Topping Ingredients for Potato and Caramelised Onion Pizza
  • one medium potato
  • garlic infused olive oil (2 large cloves garlic, chopped and soaked in a drizzle of olive oil)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • a few whole rosemary leaves
  • a few thin slices of brie or other cheese of your choice
  • a pinch of Kosher salt 
Topping Ingredients for Zucchini and Sausage Pizza
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 sausage, case removed
  • garlic infused olive oil (2 large cloves garlic, chopped and soaked in a drizzle of olive oil)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 figs
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
1. In the bowl of a food processor with metal blade, combine the flour, yeast, and salt.

2. Combine the water and olive oil in a liquid measuring cup. With the processor running, add the liquid in a thin stream.

3. Process until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 90 seconds. Then knead the dough by hand for a few turns.

4. Place the dough in a lightly-oiled bowl and ferment at room temperature for about 1.5 hours, until doubled in bulk.

5. Divide the dough into two pieces of about 260 grams each. Shape each piece into a ball and place onto a lightly-floured, parchment-lined baking sheet.

6. Slip the sheet into a large plastic bag and refrigerate for 4 – 12 hours.

7. About 35 minutes before you will assemble the pizza, slice the potato and zucchini very thinly. A mandoline is very helpful in getting the slices thin and uniform.

8. Lay the slices on a kitchen towel, sprinkle them with salt, and roll the towel into a cylinder to enclose the potato. Let rest for 30 minutes. The potato and zucchini slices should be wilted but not brown. (I skipped this step)

9. 30 minutes before assembling the pizza, preheat the countertop oven, with baking stone if you have one, to its maximum temperature.

10. Generously dust your countertop with a mixture of flour and semolina. Roll out one ball of dough to a diameter of 10 or 12 inches. If the dough resists stretching, take it as far as you can, let it rest for a few minutes to relax, and continue rolling.

11. If using pizza stone, dust your peel (or piece of corrugated cardboard) with the same flour/semolina mixture and place the crust on it. Otherwise, dust a baking (parchment) paper on the baking sheet.

To make the potato and caramelised onion pizza

12. Add the sliced onion to a pan over medium heat until soft then brown. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey.

13. Brush one crust with garlic infused olive oil and top with potato slices (you may not use the whole potato), chopped garlic, sliced shallots, caramelised onion and rosemary leaves. Top with the brie (or other cheese), sprinkle with Kosher salt, and drizzle the remaining olive oil over all.

To make the zucchini and sausage pizza

14. Heat a small nonstick pan and saute the sausage, breaking it into small crumbles with your spatula until it is cooked through.

15. Brush the crust with garlic infused olive oil and top with zucchini slices, chopped garlic,  cut figs and sausage pieces. Top with parmesan (or other cheese), sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle the remaining olive oil over all.

16. Slide the pizza onto the hot baking stone. Bake for about 14 minutes each (if your oven is at 450F), or until the crust is brown and crisp and the cheese is bubbly.

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