Sourdough Pizza Crust–Next time try…..

A few weeks ago I noticed a pizza stone on the “75% off” clearance table at the grocery store.  The stone is about an inch thick, 13 inches in diameter and is very heavy.  There were no chips or cracks in it, so I bought it.  I think I paid $5 for it.

Today was the scheduled day to feed my sourdough starter and while doing that, I got the idea to try making a sourdough pizza crust.

The recipe I tried was simple.    Instead of dumping the sourdough starter to be discarded into the sink, I poured it into a bowl and then fed the starter.  I didn’t want the starter to be left “going hungry”, so first things first.

Back to the bowl.  To the starter, I added a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of olive oil (someone at a deli suggested the olive oil) and started adding flour while kneading it…..add flour, knead a minute, add flour, knead a minute, etc….. until the dough was *VERY* stiff and almost dry.  I had about 1 1/2 cups of starter and used slightly more than 1 1/2 cups of flour.

I then let the dough sit in the bowl while I went to the store to get the pizza toppings.  This was such an unplanned thing that I had not prepared the toppings ahead of time.

I don’t have a pizza peel, so I dusted the “bottom” of an upside down metal pizza pan with corn meal* and stretched the dough out it until it was approximately round and then slid the dough on the hot stone.  Since the stone had been heating for half an hour at as high a temperature as the oven could manage, the dough instantly started cooking even before I hurriedly added the toppings.

The dough got a bit misshapen during the transfer to the stone, but that’s OK.  I’m not going to be entering the pizza in a contest, nor am I going to sell it.  🙂

I then let the pizza cook until the dough started to get very brown on the edges.  This took about 10 minutes, but I expect this will likely vary quite a bit.

The crust was amazing.  There was definitely a sourdough taste in the crust and since I had so much dough, this was a very thick crust pizza.  But, even though it was thick, the crust was “light and airy”.

Next time, I’ll see if I can find a pizza peel and make up the pizza before sliding it onto the stone.   I will also add quite a bit more “stuff” on the pizza.

When I was in college, recipes would be tried and notes would be put in the margins of the recipe….If I were still in college, the note would be “Next time use more sauce & more cheese.  Crust good as is.”

 

*When I bake round sourdough loaves, the corn starch keeps the dough from sticking and that’s why I used it here.

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Pie Crust

crust

The two “leftover from Thanksgiving” small pie pumpkins were starting to get slightly soft,  so I decided to make a pumpkin pie while I still could.

I didn’t get a chance to get started early enough to get it all done in one day, so tonight, I baked the two pumpkins and made a pie crust.    The crust recipe I followed is here.

After adding the cold coconut oil “flakes” to the flour and mixing it, the flour still looked too “powdery”.  So, I added another teaspoon of the coconut oil flakes, mixed it, found it still not quite right and then added yet another teaspoon of the coconut oil flakes.  I stopped when the mixed flour looked like grains of sand.

The need for the additional oil doesn’t surprise me.  I had to scrape the block of solid coconut oil into flakes and when I was measuring it, even though I packed it tightly into the measuring cup, there was likely a lot of air spaces between the coconut oil flakes.

I also had to add a few extra tablespoons of water to get the dough to pass the “will it make a ball” test.  I live where the relative humidity is very low and I have to add extra water to my bread dough, so needing extra water for the pie crust was expected.

I rolled the dough out between two pieces of wax paper, pulled one piece of wax paper off of the dough, flipped the dough into the pie dish and then carefully removed the remaining piece of wax paper.  As I removed the second piece of wax paper, the crust settled into place and I had to do only a slight amount of “massaging” to get it perfect.

Normally I have a difficult time getting the crust into the dish without it tearing.  This crust was easy to work.  However, “the proof of the pudding…err..pie crust..” will be how it turns out after I take the pie out of the oven.

Cutting the Cable

Last month’s cable TV bill for our basic TV service included a note that the rates would be going up…again…bringing the monthly bill to $145.27 per month.

I have been wanting to get rid of the cable TV service for quite awhile, but my wife wasn’t sure how much she would miss it.  Now that our lifestyle has adjusted to our both being retired, she discovered how little she watches TV and she gave the go ahead to switch to over the air TV.

Today I bought an outside TV antenna and everything else needed to correctly (and safely) install the outside TV antenna…..total cost $71.

After getting everything except the coax installed, I went into the attic and crawled to the far corner of the house (somewhere I haven’t bothered to go to before) to pull the coax cable across the attic….and I discovered an already installed TV antenna….sigh….

It took me about 30 minutes to find the cable from the hidden antenna and when I hooked it up to the TV, I discovered we have a choice of 91 over the air channels (one HDTV signal can have multiple sub-channels).

Bye-bye cable TV and its associated expense.

 

Recipes

Our daughter is experimenting with veganism.  I’m OK with this because she wants to do this, because it seems to have improved her health and because it gave me a reason to explore new recipes.

For Thanksgiving dinner, many of the dishes–the stuffed butternut squash, sourdough dinner rolls, glazed carrots, caramelized onion gravy, garlic mashed potatoes, guacamole, pumpkin pie, enchiladas and lentil soup–were all vegan recipes.

The only things that were not vegan were the turkey, turkey gravy and the sour cream-coconut-crushed pineapple-mandarin orange “salad”.

We thought the results were quite good, but we did not tell my mother in law about the experiment until after she announced how wonderful everything tasted and had taken “seconds”.

typewriter So, tonight, I typed up the recipes on the Hermes typewriter and added them to the little red notebook.

As I’ve probably mentioned before, typewriter ribbon ink and heavy archival bond paper stands up well to the inevitable drips and splashes that happen in a kitchen.

Thanksgiving

For the past couple of days, I’ve been preparing the “can be made ahead of time” items for Thanksgiving dinner.

I’ve made a stuffed butternut squash  and a caramelized onion gravy.  These will be heated up tomorrow and served them.

I’m working on the sourdough dinner rolls and a pumpkin pie (home made pie crust and home made filling).

Tomorrow is the turkey, the garlic mashed potatoes, finishing the dinner rolls and glazed carrots.  The guacamole and chips, along with a shrimp appetizer, both of which take 15-20 minutes to make, will be done tomorrow morning.

Enchiladas and a spicy red lentil stew are also on the menu to make a nice southwest and Cajun addition to the traditional Thanksgiving fare.

I even have the makings for a salad course.

I’m not making a huge amount of any one item.  So, it will be like I did in college…a sneakers, T-shirt and blue jeans, full course meal.

Thank you, God, for my family and my health.