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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Worlds Easiest Home-Made Pizza Dough

People at work keep asking me for this recipe, so I thought I'd share it. Trust me, this makes the best pizza crust ever, and requires surprisingly little work, compared to most other pizza doughs, which require several hours of rising time.

1 envelope fast rising active dry yeast
1/4 cup H2O
1+1/4 tsp sugar
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/8tsp baking soda
3 cups all purpose flour
  1. dissolve sugar in warm water
  2. add yeast, stir and let stand 10 minutes (till bubbly)
  3. combine milk and salt in saucepan
  4. heat over low-heat until lukewarm (40-46C)
  5. pour milk, baking soda & yeast mixture into large bowl
  6. add 1+1/2 cup flour and mix until smooth (dough will be sticky)
  7. stir in enough flour to make batter stiff
  8. press dough into oiled pizza pan (coat hands with flour so you don't wear the dough!)
  9. brush dough with oil
  10. let rise 10 minutes
  11. top pizza
  12. bake at 400F/200C for 20-25 minutes

I rarely follow the recipe exactly. Here are a few shortcuts and tips:
  • You can just microwave the milk, to speed up step 3.
  • If you use a seasoned pizza stone, you do not need to use any oil in step 8.
  • You can skip oiling the dough in step 9. It's not strictly necessary, but it is nice on the crusts, if small amounts are used.
  • If you're slow about topping the pizza, it'll rise while you top it. Alternately, if you skip this step, you'll get a nice thin crust pizza, which is also decent.
  • You can use brown sugar instead of white sugar, for slightly different flavour.
  • By varying the amount of milk and flour you use, you can make the dough more or less bread-like. This gives you lots of options for deep dish pizza, rolled crusts or thin pizzas (just like Nat's Pizza on Broadway and Stevens - Best pizza in Vancouver.)
  • Rolling out the dough instead of pressing it down will give you a thinner, more even pizza dough. (I find this is much easier, with a pizza stone.)
I've made hundreds of pizza from this recipe, and tried to change pretty much all of the ingredients at one point or another, and yet none of the pizzas have turned out badly. You really can't make a bad pizza crust with this recipe. Bon appetit!


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Pan Fried salmon with Blueberry-maple sauce

I love playing with my food, and today I came up with something worth sharing: Pan fried salmon with blueberry-maple sauce. The ingredients:

  • Salmon Fillet - big enough for two

  • one tablespoon of corn oil

  • about a quarter cup of blueberries

  • one tablespoon of maple syrup

  • one teaspoon of soy sauce (Dark)

  • one half teaspoon of sesame oil

  • a piece of fresh ginger

It's a simple recipe, really. Use the table spoon of corn oil to coat the bottom of a pan. Put it aside. Prepare the fresh ginger (it should be a reasonable size - maybe 1-2cm^3) by chopping it finely. Throw it in the food processor, along with the blueberries, maple syrup, soy sauce and sesame oil. Blend it for a couple seconds, till it forms a smooth sauce.

Next, preheat the frying pan (with the oil in it) over medium heat. Once the oil is warm, and covers the bottom of the pan, throw in the salmon, and spread a tablespoon of the blueberry mixture over the top - try not to get any onto the bottom of the frying pan, though - it'll burn. Cook covered for about 8 minutes - depending on the thickness of the fillet. Once it's done, serve the fish hot, and spoon the remaining blueberry mixture over top.

Voila, a fresh summer recipe! For a nice alternative, you could do the same recipe on the BBQ.

I had to make it again, but with a few changes. Replace the Sesame oil with Cherry-Balsamic Glaze, and it gives it a lighter and fruitier flavour.

Yes, dinner at my house always looks this good: