Book Update: I checked out the “Cooking Light: Way to Bake” from the library. The photos are very pretty. I hope the recipes are just as delicious! I will try a few and have to report back. The pumpkin honey beer bread looks sooooo good.
Recipe Update: This is another one I pulled from my vault of recipes I have made over and over and forgot to post. It is one of those recipes you can change and add what you like. You could add pepperoni or substitute pepperoni for sausage. Or you could change the cheeses. Or you could use ricotta and make it more like a calzone. Definitely something more fun than our average pizza and in addition – it wins the “two kid approval” award. Additionally, the leftovers are also nice if you have any. Next time I will make several of these at once. It wouldn’t be hard and the leftovers are great for reheating and eating on the go.
1 lb. premade pizza dough, whole wheat pizza dough, Dewey’s Pizza Dough, or my quick recipe below
1 lb. sausage (or any mix of ingredients. Green bell peppers, onions, etc.)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tsp. Italian seasoning (or blend of parsley, basil and oregano)
salt and pepper
1 Tb. olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook your sausage until done in a skillet. Put that on some paper towels to drain away the fat.
2. Mix cooked sausage with the cheeses, seasonings and egg. You could even do this part ahead of time. Add your salt and pepper to taste depending on what kind of sausage you purchased.
3. Let the pizza dough rest and sit out for about 20 minutes. Now on a floured surface, parchment or silicone mat, roll out your pizza dough into a rectangle. I tried to fill my silicone mat. Parchment or silicone is highly recommended because this item would be difficult to transport onto a cookie sheet. Possible… but easier if you just make it directly on the sheet itself.
4. Cut 3″ slits on both sides of the dough about 1 ” apart.
5. Put the sausage filling in the center of the braid. Now, pull each braid over the center, alternating sides . I pull the top and bottom over. Brush oil on top. (or you could use an egg wash which is 1 egg and 1T of water)
6. Put the braid on a cookie sheet – or keep it on the silicone mat and just slide it all onto the cookie sheet. Bake 35 minutes.
**To Freeze: I would flash freeze this in plastic wrap several times. Thaw in the fridge later and bake! Great gift or meal to bring someone.
Quick Pizza Dough
1 large pizza
1 and 1/2 cups warm water (105-110 degrees)
1 T yeast
1 tsp. sugar
2 and 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tb. olive oil
1. Mix your water, yeast and sugar in a measuring cup. Wait 5 minutes . There should be foam on top from the yeast . If there is no activity, the yeast is dead and try again with a different batch. This step takes more time – but worth testing your yeast!
2. In a great big bowl, mix your bread flour, salt and olive oil. Add the yeast/water mixture to the middle and stir until a dough is formed. I knead the dough in the same bowl for 5 minutes. You can: a) use it immediately, b) let it rise 1 hour and use it, c) let it rise and an hour and then stick it in the fridge until you want it back, d) seal it up in plastic and freeze it.
Remember: more kneading is more gluten. But it is possible to over-knead. Also, the longer it sits in the fridge, the more yeasty flavor you get. I like a 2 day cold rise. If you do that, decrease your amount of yeast though. There is a lot of yeast in this quick dough recipe because the yeast doesn’t have a lot of time to do their thing.