04 October 2013

Current Projects: Dough & Wood Burning

Ta da!

I've been keeping busy with projects lately, both in and out of the kitchen. I guess I should address the later first, projects in the kitchen! I got it in my head a few days ago that I wanted to make my a home made pizza. I've made one pizza from scratch prior, but alas it was years ago. I found the recipe I used back then and decided to give it a go. I was just beginning the process of making my pizza dough, when I started to feel really crummy out of no where so my boyfriend ended up making the dough for me. I wanted a deep dish pizza so I thought to try to use a 9" cake pan, which was not a success. Maybe if I had used less dough it would've been okay, but I used too much dough which led to an extra thick crust which led to an under cooked crust. Operation pizza was a bust. Needless to say when had brownies for dinner that night (shame shame I know).

But I don't give up that easily, and knew I had to try again. So that brings us to today. I set about making my pizza dough, mixing and kneading it myself this time. I don't have much experience making any type of home made dough so I hit up YouTube to attempt to pick up some kind of technique for kneading and stretching the dough. This lady was pretty helpful.This time I used a pizza pan and after kneading the dough for about 5 minutes, I stretched it and formed it to the pan. Topped it with my sauce and ingredients and popped it in the oven. My recipe stated it would take about 20-25 minutes. I left the pizza in for about 30 minutes and the crust still wasn't finished cooking. One thing I did learn is that you'll know your pizza is ready once the bottom of the pizza gets golden brown as opposed to white. Another thing I learned from this pizza experience is that mushrooms will shrink a ton on you once they are cooked! I was happy overall with my pizza creation, but I believe there's always room for tweaking and perfecting, so I'm going to keep on at it!

The recipe I used is below, although I tweaked it and added a couple of my own ingredients. I don't recall where I got the recipe originally as I wrote it in my recipe book a long time ago.

Noonie's Pizza

Prep Time: 15 minutes or so
Bake Time: 45 minutes or so


*Toppings of your choice

                                                Pizza Dough:                                  Pizza Sauce:

                                               *1 T dry yeast                               *1 1/2 Cup tomato sauce
                                               *2 T vegetable oil                          *1/4 t pepper
                                               *1 1/4 Cup warm water                 *1/4 t sugar
                                               *3 1/2 Cup Flour                           *1/2 t chopped onion
                                               *1 t sugar                                       *1/2 t basil     
                                               *1 t salt                                          *1 t oregano
                                                                                                     *1 T garlic
                                                                                                     (I used fresh sauteed garlic)
                                                                                                     *1 t chili powder
                                                                                                     *1 t red pepper flakes


*Dissolve yeast in warm water
*Stir remaining ingredients along with 1/2 of the flour, beat for 5 minutes
*Add remaining flour, stir
*Knead dough on a floured board for 5-10 minutes, transfer to
a lightly greased pizza pan
(After I kneaded my dough I got it partially formed on the board,
then transferred it to the pan)

*Mix all ingredients together
*Top your pizza dough with sauce
and toppings

Mixin' the ingredients

Gettin' the dough kneaded and formed

Adding my toppings

As far as my adventures out of the kitchen I've been staying busy trying new mediums with my art projects! I've always thought wood burnt pieces looked so cool, and I've been wanting to experiment with a wood burning kit for quite a while now. Fortune struck when I found an older wood burning kit in some unpacked boxes from my boyfriend's great grandma's house! It's in great shape and thought it'd be the perfect starting out pen. Took a little trip to my local wood supply store and bought a couple pieces of Birch wood to use for my project. I've been on a mandala kick lately and decided to design one for my first wood burning venture. I got a little carried away with my design and probably should've made it simpler considering it was my first wood burning piece but I'm really diggin' how it's coming out so far! I wanted to experiment using other objects to burn pieces on, so I checked out a couple thrift stores and found a perfect wooden box to use as a wood burning "canvas".

Thrift store find..next wood burning piece

It's a process! Still have a lot
more work to do!

Really excited about my current projects and can't wait to show you the finished products!

Until next time..cheers!