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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Deep Dish Pizza in a Cast Iron Skillet, Pantry Reorganization, and SLT #27

Happy Thursday everybody!
I've been keeping my head above water at work (and over at flickr) and have even managed some Rosie's Best work, including my first repeat order. 

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We got some gorgeous snowfall in big fat snow flakes earlier this week.  It was so quiet that I could hear the them falling.  We've had so little of the white stuff this winter (I typed that as semester the first time. See where my brain is?) so I've appreciated every snowfall.  It helps that I don't have to get into my car to get to work or the grocery store.

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The latter half of this week has brought some seriously chilling temperatures, so we've taken to staying indoors and cleaning up.  I don't know about you, but winter cleaning has proven to be more real in my life than spring cleaning.  In spring, all I want is to be outside to soak up the sunshine.  When the cold hits and we're forced to stay indoors and stare at all the unorganized nooks and crannies of the house I'm much more motivated to clean up.  I completed my yearly ritual of reorganizing the pantry, and I'm even more satisfied this year with the final result.  A tidy pantry is indispensable.  I rely on mine to be there when I have a few fresh ingredients on hand and need to make them really sing with the perfect spices, oils, and vinegars.

Before:
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After:

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My pantry is much deeper than it is wide, so like ingredients are together in the baskets with the most often used things near the front and bottom.  All the spices are on the doors (which I hope to expand later) and on the bottom shelf, while baking supplies are all on the top shelf.  I can see what I have much more easily and actually reach most of it without a chair, so I'm more than happy.  Next step is to add some lighting.

I dug into that pantry for some flour and spices to throw together this simple deep dish pizza.  It's easiest to break the process into two days, one for mixing the dough and the second for baking the pie.

Deep Dish Pizza

The night before (or earlier in the day) mix the crust.

1 lb bread flour
1 tbsp instant yeast
a heavy pinch of salt
1 tbsp honey
1/3 c. olive oil
approximately 1.5 c. water

I used my oxo scale to weigh out a pound of bread flour.  The best part about this scale is the tare button, which lets you measure right into the mixing bowl.

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I use saf instant yeast. It's the best.  Instant yeast is a bazillion times easier than dry active. Just mix it in with the dry.
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 Honey. Mm.
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The olive oil helps tenderize the dough and gives it great flavor.  I use it in my regular pizza crust, too.

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My sister was kind enough to let me try out her dough hook.  Usually I enjoy kneading dough, but I wanted to see how it would turn out if I let the machine do the work.

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Start with a cup of warm water.  You might use more or less depending on your flour.  Add it slowly until the dough comes together.

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Either knead by hand until the dough is soft and warm, around 15 minutes, or let the dough hook do its work for 10.

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It should be smooth, warm, and a little tacky but not at all sticky.

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Coat the bowl and the dough with a thin layer of oil and cover with plastic wrap.

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 Let it proof in the fridge over night, or at room temperature until it doubles in size.  If you proof in the fridge, be sure to pull it out half an hour before you plan to bake to take the chill off.

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 Start with a well-seasoned cast iron skillet.  I used my awesome new cutting board (Linds <3!) to help me figure out how wide to roll out the dough.


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Brush the pan with oil and coat with a light layer of corn meal.

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Get that dough in there.

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I filled it 2/3 full with cheese.  If you're only using cheese, fill it 3/4 of the way.

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Toppings.  We had some pepperoni and hot pork sausage from our Berkshire.

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 Layer on your favorite pizza sauce.  Ours is made from tomatoes from the garden.

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Dust with parm.

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Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the cheese is starting to bubble up.

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 Yum.

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YUM!
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Have with red wine and a crunchy salad.

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Now go make some pizza!
Today is also Simple Lives Thursday, so grab this badge and link up your posts!
p.s. have you noticed how much bigger SLT is getting?! We had 60 posts last week, and might do it again. Link up yours and join the party!




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