Pizza Bread

I’m a terrible blogger. I know, I know…..

Pizza Bread

This is a recipe I recently made for my meal swap group. The above photo features meatballs, but for my meal swap group we did pepperoni.

SUPER easy and tasty!
You basically take my grandmother-in-laws pizza dough recipe, double it, slice the dough into 6 pieces, roll the dough out, pour on some sauce, put the pepperoni, add the cheese and roll it up (carefully!!!)
For the bread:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Package active dry years
  • 3/4 cup very warm water
  • 2 TBSP Olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour

DIRECTIONS:

1. Add the package of yeast to the water. let sit for 5 minutes as the yeast does its thing. The water should be hot, but not TOO hot – you don’t want to kill the yeast!

2. Add the sugar, salt and oil to the water.

3. Mix in flour. You can either use a mixer (I use my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer) or you can knead by hand, for about 5 minutes.

OPTIONAL: The dough is ESPECIALLY good if you add in some pizza herbs and seasoning! I like to add garlic powder, onion powder, Italian Seasoning, Basil, Oregano, etc. SO yum!
For the sauce I use the recipe here.

Cut the dough

Cut the dough

Putting together the pizza bread!

Putting together the pizza bread!

ASSEMBLING THE BREAD:

1. Divide the dough. Shape it into a nice round (or square) lump and cut in half, then cut each half into thirds. These are just guidelines, you can really make as many or as few as you want. What I like about making them small is that each person can have their own roll, plus when the bread is smaller it cooks quicker!

I have an actual dough cutter (I believe it’s Food Network brand? From Kohl’s?) and I LOVE it! It cuts through the dough SO well and scraps any dough left on the counter right off! You can also use a knife if you don’t have a dough cutter/scraper.

2. Spread out one of the little rolls of dough you cut in the previous step. Spread as THIN as you can without tearing any holes. If you do get a hole you can kind of fold the dough back over and try again. You want it thin though because it’s going to rise a LOT when you bake it!

3. Spread the sauce across the dough. Careful you don’t get too close to the edges or you’ll have a HUGE mess when you go to roll it up!!! If you’re like me and LOVE sauce, you’re going to have to hold yourself back. You can NOT put a lot of sauce in these! You can certainly DIP the bread in some sauce once it’s baked though!

4. Add your toppings. In this case, pepperoni. You can add whatever you want though. Meatballs, onion, peppers, olives, etc.

5. Add the cheese! You can probably even put more than I put on in the photo!

6. Now the messy part! ROLLING the bread! Start at one end and instead of actually ROLLING the bread over, it’s best to sort of FOLD it. I find what’s easiest is to fold it, pinch the edges, fold, pinch, etc. Then at the end you need to seal the edges. Pinch them shut and kind of smooth them over with your finger.

7. Finally you’re ready to bake and eat your creations!

Preheat the oven to 425* and bake for 10-15 minutes. The bake time is going to depend on the size you end up making your bread and your oven. My oven is ancient and terrible so I ALWAYS check the food at the halfway point. Since these times are based on MY oven, keep a close eye on your food!

8. Enjoy! Allow the bread to cool down a bit. When we make it for the kids we always cut it open first to let the inside cool off so they don’t burn their little mouths. I like to heat up some sauce as well to dip mine in because, as I said above, I’m a sauce lover!

FREEZING: I froze these for the meal swap group. I put 3 each in the gallon sized ziplocks. Each person got 6 bread rolls. Thaw completely prior to baking.

Roll the dough! This is a bad example... I had a bit too much sauce, did not pinch the edges as I rolled AND forgot the cheese!!! #FAIL

Roll the dough! This is a bad example… I had a bit too much sauce, did not pinch the edges as I rolled AND forgot the cheese!!! #FAIL

Seal and smooth those edges!

Seal and smooth those edges!

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Mini-Pot Pies

I love this recipe!!!

I found it on Pinterest as part of a collection of recipes using muffin tins: 24 Awesome Muffin Tin Recipes.  There are a bunch of recipes on here that I plan on trying, but I ended up going for the Chicken Pot Pies first. You can find the original recipe over at Quick Dish.

This is what the recipe says you need, followed by what I actually used.

  • 1 Chicken breast, poached and diced (I just used a can of chicken chunks, found next to the tuna at the grocery store.)
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup (they say 14.5 oz, but as far as I know they only sell the 10.5 oz size and it worked just fine.)
  • 1 cup frozen mixed veggies (I used carrots, peas and beans.)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
  • 1 tbs Herbs De Provence (I didn’t have this so I just mixed 1/4 tsp of the following dried herbs that I already had in my spice rack: Savory, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Basil, Marjoram, then measured out 1 tbs out of that mixture. I’ll hang onto the rest and use it later for more of this, or something else!)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt (Not powder! Salt! There’s a HUGE difference! If you use powder it’s going to be WAY more garlicy vs using the salt!)
  • 2 (10 oz) cans Pillsbury biscuits. (I can’t bring myself to spend the money on something like this, when I can easily make it myself! I ended up using this recipe I found over at Pinch My Salt – I’ll go over that at the end!)

The pot pies were SO easy to make!

1. Preheat oven to 400. 

2. In a medium sized bowl, dump in everything except the biscuits (obviously.) Mix well.

3. Lightly grease your muffin tin and press the biscuits in. I kind of pressed in with my fingers and pulled it around the side.

Push them in even more than this. I forgot to take a photo when I was done pressing them in. Whoops?

4. Spoon the mixture into each biscuit, filling a lot. 

Fill ’em up! Then keep going!

5. Bake for 15 minutes. My oven is ancient and I don’t trust it, so I usually check at 7 minutes and go from there.

6. Let cool a few minutes and enjoy! You should be able to pop these out with your fingers, but if that doesn’t work you can always slide a knife along the side to get some leverage.

Enjoy! I cut the kids in half to make it easier for them to take bites out of, but I kept mine whole and enjoyed it just like a cupcake!

After everyone had eaten we had 2 biscuits remaining (I believe this made 9 pot pies… using the non-pre-packaged biscuits) – I froze the left-overs and I’m hoping they re-heat well!

Part 2: Biscuits

As I mentioned above, I got my biscuit recipe from Pinch My Salt. I don’t see the point in buying biscuits from the grocery store when they’re SO easy to make!

The following is Pinch My Salt’s recipe, with my minor changes next to it.

  • 1 & 1/4 cup cake flour (I didn’t want to shell out the extra cash for cake flour, so the internet taught me that for each cup of All-Purpose flour simply remove 2 TBSP of the flour and replace with 2 TBSP of corn starch. I did that for the first cup of flour, then for the 1/4 cup I filled my 1/2 TBSP measuring spoon half full (do they even MAKE 1/4 TBSP measuring spoons???) and then filled the rest of the way with all purpose flour.)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour.
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder.
  • 1/2 tsp salt.
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut into small chunks.
  • 3/4 Cup buttermilk (I don’t buy my own. I just took 1 tbsp of lemon juice – or you can use white vinegar – let sit for at least 5 minutes, I stirred mine but I don’t know if you actually have to… and ta-da! Buttermilk! I froze in an ice cube tray the left-over. 1 TBSP in each cube.)

To cook the biscuits on their own, the recipe says to bake at 500*. In my recipe above, they cooked just fine as the pot pie base cooking at around 400* but if I make them again as just biscuits, I’ll bake at 500*.

Here are the steps to making the biscuits: (Her works, not mine, I’ll ask my notes in parentheses.)

1. Cut butter into small chunks, place in bowl and return to fridge.

2. Measure out buttermilk and set aside.

3. Sprinkle flour on a work surface and have extra flour nearby for your hands and biscuit cutter. Have biscuit cutter and an ungreased baking sheet handy.

4. Mix dough: In a medium-large bowl, wisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well blended. (I used a fork.)

Feel free to delegate your mixing! Allison was happy to help with both pouring in the ingredients and mixing!

5. Add butter and cut into flour using a pastry blender, two knives or your fingertips, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (I found my fingers to work best. I have never used a pastry blender, but I’ve used forks in the past and it was terrible! I’m using my hands from now on!)

6. Pour in buttermilk and stir lightly until dough comes together in a ball.

7. Dump dough mixture onto well floured work surface. With floured hands, lightly knead dough a few times until it is fairly well blended. Pat into a circle, 3/4-1 inch thick (I didn’t measure mine, I guesstimated.)

8. Dip cutter into flour and cut biscuits without twisting the cuter. (Yeah… I don’t have a cutter…. I searched the kitchen for an object that was roughly the same size as the muffin tin openings and came up with the lid for a kid’s cup from Olive Garden. I pressed it in pretty hard, then tore around the “perforated” circle.)

My make-shift biscuit cutter. Thanks Olive Garden! It worked out perfectly!

Removed the lid and tore the dough from around the circle. Worked great!

9. Once I’d cut everything out, I re-rolled the scraps and cut again. The small remaining piece of dough I just made into a ball and placed in an open muffin slot and baked as a tiny biscuit. (For the pot pies above.)

10. Bake biscuits: place baking sheet in the middle of a preheated 500 degree oven and bake 8-10 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove biscuits to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes. Enjoy!

Home Made Blueberry Streusel Muffins!

Today I’m trying my hand at home made blueberry muffins!
I found this absolutely adorable lady on YouTube who does baking videos. I have not had a chance to check out her other videos yet, but I’m excited to see how these turn out!!!

They are currently in the oven and I’ve got my fingers crossed. I tried one of the blueberries and it did not taste so great. I’m afraid they may have gone bad. Hopefully baking them will improve the taste!

Here’s the before!

Ready to go into the oven!

I’ll let you know how they turn out when all is said and done!

Here’s the video I worked from!

 

[EDIT]

Well, the muffin’s turned out OK. I think they taste a little funny because, like I said, the blueberries were starting to go bad apparently. The crumbly top was delish! Next time though, I think I’ll put more on the muffins! The muffin itself tasted a little off, too. Like it was missing something. I’m wondering if the recipe needed vanilla or something. I’ll try another recipe next time, but still use the crumbly top 🙂

Here’s the finished product!

 

 

 

Bread and Chicken

Tonight we had Crockpot Sweet and Sour Chicken for dinner.
It was not great. Not sure if it was me or the recipe to blame!
I didn’t write down where I got the recipe, but I’ll share it here anyway!

Crockpot Sweet & Sour Chicken… EASY!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Number of servings:
4

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 1 1/2 pounds chicken, boneless, cut into one inch, bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Recipe Secrets mix

Directions:

  • Mix the orange marmalade with the dry soup mix. Toss chicken pieces with marmalade mixture and place all in slow-cooker or crock pot for 1 1/2 to 2 hours (or longer) until chicken is cooked.
  • Serve over cooked rice.
  • *I like to double up on the marmalade & add in some grated carrot, onions,
  • green pepper and about a teaspoon of thai chili sauce

First of all, the bottom notes were from the original recipe – not mine! And well, what happened with ours was, first of all, I didn’t plan ahead so the chicken was still frozen when we started. We couldn’t get it apart so we let it sit out for a while until my husband could get the pieces apart. Then we had to let it sit out longer so I could get a knife through to cut into pieces! Finally when that was all done I put the chicken in first – oops? Then added the marmalade and onion mix. However, I put a whole 18 oz jar of the marmalade in :p  I think that may have overpowered the onion mix making it too sweet and not sour enough (and really, to me, it was just kind of bland!)

Toward the end, my husband dumped in a bag of the frozen veggies I had prepared. I’m not sure a whole bag is what I wanted in there, but oh well. He also added water chestnuts – again, didn’t really want to add a whole can but I didn’t tell him until it was too late!!!

My husband also cooked some rice because, while I don’t care, he feels that a meal like this needs to be served on rice!

In the end, it looked pretty!

Allison really liked it as well! Check out how she’s chowing down in the background!!!

In other domestic news, yesterday I spent 8 hours at my in-laws house. We baked bread! It was so much fun! I’m getting the hang of it and I’m hoping to bake some of my own bread this week. The only trouble with baking bread, aside from the fact that it takes quite some time to actually do, is the fact that once it’s baked it’s only good for a few days! There are perks to the preservative filled grocery store bread – but it just doesn’t taste as good! (Mmm…. I’m thinking a turkey sandwich on my bread is in the cards for tonight!)

Anyway, I took some photos from the day to share!

Savana (my sister-in-law's BFF) making cinnamon bread! Spreading the butter around the dough with her hands. (She's a riot! She makes this face in nearly every photo!) Oh yeah, and that's my mother in law on the left.

Rolling up the cinnamon dough into a loaf. You have to be careful not to tear holes in the thin dough or risk your cinnamon spilling out! See the butter still coating her hands? That's used to slather around the outside of the bread after it is rolled up and "sealed" shut.

Jennifer (my sister-in-law) is scraping the sticky dough off the counter so that we can begin our next bread project!

One of the bread loaves that Jennifer made was Wild Rice. Looks like bugs to me! I didn't get a chance to try a slice of this bread. 😦

After the bread has spent about an hour rising comes the best part! Punching the dough! Because I'm such a nice mommy, I let Allison do the punching for me. Grandma helped her while I took the photo. (She was going for her second punch when I took this particular photo)

Ta-Da! Fresh bread! The left is basic white bread. On the right is my cinnamon bread. I went for the fancy "S" shape (literally, fold the dough into an S shape when you put it in the bread pan!) Because the kitchen was so warm and we were baking so much the dough rose an insane amount! So delish though! (Next time I plan on attempting to make braided cinnamon bread!)

In addition to the loaves of bread, my mother in law helped me make a batch of pizza dough and we made personal pizzas with home made sauce!

Yum! Here is my finished pizza! Because I like thick crust I used the smaller pan and made mine more of a deep dish pizza. It's mostly just cheese (Mozarella/provolone mix with a bit of cheddar.) The top section has a bit of green bell pepper and onion. It was soooo good now I want another.... Maybe we'll make pizzas for dinner again later this week!

And that was my day of bread! In the end I ended up with a loaf of white bread and a loaf of cinnamon. Jennifer had her wild rice bread as well as, I believe, Swedish Dill Bread. I wish I could have tried hers but I had to leave. Savana had a loaf of white and cinnamon. We all ended up with personal pizzas, most of Allison’s came home with us!

If you’re looking for a good book on bread making, the one I have that I purchased on the recommendation of my mother-in-law is:


There is another book simly titled “Bread” which is the exact same book, just with a different cover. You can find it here:

Until next time! 😉