Thursday, January 26, 2017

Brainy Baker is Bakin Bread!

How is this recipe brainy? It is the same recipe used for homemade  pizza dough. You see, bread dough is bread dough thick or thin and pizza dough is just real thin...

All in all, this is what it means to be brainy and frugal. Like many Italian home cooks, they use and reuse what they have and know what to make with it. They know that a good dough is many things including a great Focaccia.

The recipe for homemade bread/pizza dough makes a lot of dough. So, if you don't plan on making 3-4 med pizzas, then set aside any or all the dough for a near future dinner. Remember, this dough can be used for a few days as long as it is kept properly refrigerated.

So, let's say you prepared the dough ahead of time and did not use it for pizza. All that is left to be done is to preheat the oven to 425F, take the remaining dough and plop it down on a prepared pizza pan (oiled and sprinkled with dry bread crumbs). Also drizzle olive oil over the top of the dough along with a generous sprinkle of fresh dried herbs before baking. When it is crusty brown and the kitchen full of a splendid aroma, its done.

Bread/Pizza Dough Recipe ~ Prepare ahead of time!

7 cups of flour
4 tsp sea salt – fine
2 and 1/4 tsp dry yeast= 1 packet
3 cups water (100 degree temperature)

In a six quart bowl, mix the warm water with the yeast and salt. Using warm water allows the dough to rise quickly and to the right height.

Next, measure and mix in the flour.  Use the “scoop and sweep” method.  This is done by reaching into the flour container with a cup and scooping up a full measure all at once sweeping the top of the cup level with a knife. Mix in the flour with a wooden spoon. Do not knead the dough!

Allow the Dough to Rise. Cover the dough with a light weight dish towel or piece of wax paper. Allow the dough to rise at room temperature until it begins to flatten on the top (approximately 2 hours, depending on the room’s temperature). Do not punch down the dough, do not play with it.  With this method, you are trying to retain as much gas in the dough as possible and punching it down knocks out gas. The gas allows bubbles to remain which create a light and crispy crust.

Refrigerate until ready to use dough. It will keep (refrigerated) no more than 5 days. When you are ready to bake, just cut off as much of the dough as you think you will need to either make a small round or elongated focaccia bread or med. pizza. Bake for the first ten minutes at 425, then reduce heat to 375 for the last 20-30 min.

*You can expect to get at least 3 small breads or 3-4 med. pizzas.

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