Daring Bakers for October!

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It’s time for the October 2008 Daring Bakers challenge! This month we are doing

PIZZA & TOPPINGS!

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This month was originally going to be hosted by Rosa at www.rosas-yummy-yums.blogspot.com, Sher at http://www.whatdidyoueat.typepad.com & Glenna at http://www.afridgefulloffood.typepad.com, but life’s sad events made Rosa stride that horse alone…

I am dedicating this months challenge to Sherry who passed away tragically on the 20th of July2008 after having been struck by a massive heart-attack. Glenna, on her side, decided to quit The Daring Baker’s & to stop her baking adventure for personal reasons. So that’s why Rosa was all alone on hosting this challenge. Prior to Sher’s sudden death (9 days before), she had shared with Rosa her recipe idea for the October challenge that Sher, Glenna and Rosa should have hosted together. When she died, it was clear for that her choice should be respected & her choice was submitted.   ~ Sherry “Sher” Cermak 1948-2008 ~
Thanks to Sheltie Girl (Natalia) at http://www.glutenagogo.blogspot.com (USA) for her precious help & for giving us all the gluten-free version of this recipe!!!

I was yet again, so excited when I saw this challenge. First of all, PIZZA!!! Who doesn’t like pizza! We were able to use whatever sauce & toppings that we wanted to use, but we had to use a sauce & some toppings. We had the option of making these regular or gluten free. I wanted to try the gluten free ones, but I didn’t have a chance. I am planning on making the gluten free version of the pizza & the crackers from last month in my Double Daring Bakers line-up.

Here are some black olives with the pits intact:

img_2852.jpg   Homemade soysage img_2844.jpg

Another part of the challenge was that we had to toss the dough (except the gluten-freers, you should not toss that dough). I had tried this before when my parents owned a Pizza place & was never able to do it. My dad was great at it & I always wished I could do it because he could. Well… I DID IT!!! Yeah! Here it is:

img_2830.jpg    img_2839.jpg Pizza one toss

img_2840.jpg    img_2842.jpg  Pizza 2 toss

 img_2841.jpg  final catch

We could make our pizzas either savory or sweet, I chose to make them all savory, mainly because my hubby doesn’t like fruit desserts. My pizzas had the Pizza Sauce from Vegan with a Vengence, Spicy Italian Soysages (from Julie Hasson http://www.everydaydish.tv/Recipe%20Pages/Spicy_Italian_Vegetarian_Sausage.html), artichoke hearts, black olives, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper & spinach. It was sooooo good! If you have never made your own pizza before, it is so easy you have to try it. It does take some time, mostly inactive time, but it is so worth it. Here is the recipe for you, my changes are in green.

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~ BASIC PIZZA DOUGH ~
Original recipe taken from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart.

Equipment: Stand mixer with paddle and dough hook attachments (optional, see recipe), cooking thermometer, baking sheet, parchment paper, cooking oil, plastic wrap, pizza peel/scraper, pizza stone or pan.

Makes 6 pizza crusts (about 9-12“/23-30 cm in diameter).

4 ½ Cups (20 ¼ oz/607.5 g) Unbleached high-gluten (14%) bread flour or all purpose flour, chilled – <
FOR GF: 4 ½ cups GF Flour Blend with xanthan gum or 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup corn flour, 1 cup oat flour, 1 ½ cup arrowroot, potato or tapioca starch + 2 tsp xanthan or guar gum>
1 ¾ Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Instant yeast – <
FOR GF use 2 tsp>
¼ Cup (2 oz/60g) Olive oil or vegetable oil (both optional, but it’s better with)

I used ¼ cup water mixed with 1 TBSP ground flax seeds
1 ¾ Cups (14 ounces/420g or 420ml) Water, ice cold (40° F/4.5° C)
1 Tb sugar – <FOR GF use agave syrup> I used honey
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting

DAY ONE
1. Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast in a big bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer).

2. Add the oil, sugar and cold water and mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough. On a clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If it is too wet, add a little flour (not too much, though) and if it is too dry add 1 or 2 teaspoons extra water.

NOTE: If you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for the same amount of time.The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour, so that it clears the sides. If, on the contrary, it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a teaspoon or two of cold water.
The finished dough should be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50°-55° F/10°-13° C.


Or

<
2.
FOR GF: Add the oil, sugar or agave syrup and cold water, then mix well (with the help of a large wooden spoon or with the paddle attachment, on low speed) in order to form a sticky ball of dough.>

3. Flour a work surface or counter. Line a jelly pan with baking paper/parchment. Lightly oil the paper.

4. With the help of a metal or plastic dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (or larger if you want to make larger pizzas).
NOTE:
To avoid the dough from sticking to the scraper, dip the scraper into water between cuts.

5. Sprinkle some flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them.  Gently round each piece into a ball.
NOTE:
If the dough sticks to your hands, then dip your hands into the flour again.

6. Transfer the dough balls to the lined jelly pan and mist them generously with spray oil. Slip the pan into plastic bag or enclose in plastic food wrap.

7. Put the pan into the refrigerator and let the dough rest overnight or for up to thee days.

NOTE: You can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag if you want to save some of the dough for any future baking. In that case, pour some oil(a few tablespooons only) in a medium bowl and dip each dough ball into the oil, so that it is completely covered in oil. Then put each ball into a separate bag. Store the bags in the freezer for no longer than 3 months. The day before you plan to make pizza, remember to transfer the dough balls from the freezer to the refrigerator.
img_2843.jpg before topping 

DAY TWO
8. On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator. Dust the counter with flour and spray lightly with oil. Place the dough balls on a floured surface and sprinkle them with flour. Dust your hands with flour and delicately press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch/1.3 cm thick and 5 inches/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle with flour and mist with oil. Loosely cover the dough rounds with plastic wrap and then allow to rest for 2 hours.

Or

<
8.
FOR GF: On the day you plan to eat pizza, exactly 2 hours before you make it, remove the number of desired dough balls from the refrigerator. Place on a sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a gluten free flour. Delicately press the dough into disks about ½ inch/1.3 cm thick and 5“/12.7 cm in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil. Lightly cover the dough round with a sheet of parchment paper and allow to rest for 2 hours.>

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C).

NOTE: If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a jelly pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands (palms, backs and knuckles). Take 1 piece of dough by lifting it with a pastry scraper. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.

Or

<
10.
FOR GF: Press the dough into the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter – for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough).>

NOTE: Make only one pizza at a time.
During the tossing process, if the dough tends to stick to your hands, lay it down on the floured counter and reflour your hands, then continue the tossing and shaping.
In case you would be having trouble tossing the dough or if the dough never wants to expand and always springs back, let it rest for approximately 5-20 minutes in order for the gluten to relax fully,then try again.
You can also resort to using a rolling pin, although it isn’t as effective as the toss method.

the sauce:

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11. When the dough has the shape you want (about 9-12 inches/23-30 cm in diameter – for a 6 ounces/180g piece of dough), place it on the back of the jelly pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.

Or

<
11.
FOR GF: Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.>

12. Lightly top it with sweet or savory toppings of your choice.

Or

<
12.
FOR GF: Place the garnished pizza on the parchment paper onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.>

NOTE: Remember that the best pizzas are topped not too generously. No more than 3 or 4 toppings (including sauce and cheese) are sufficient.
Onions, red & green tomatoes added:

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13. Slide the garnished pizza onto the stone in the oven or bake directly on the jelly pan. Close the door and bake for about 5-8 minutes.

Or

13.
FOR GF: Follow the notes for this step.

NOTE: After 2 minutes baking, take a peek. For an even baking, rotate 180°.
If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone or jelly pane to a lower shelf before the next round. On the contrary, if the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone or jelly.

14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. In order to allow the cheese to set a little, wait 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving.
 The rest of the toppings added:

img_2855.jpg    img_2856.jpg
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NOTE ON SAUCE:
Your sauce should not be too thick as it will thicken in the hot oven. Less is more but make the less truly more by using quality ingredients.

SAUCE IDEAS: Pestos, white or brown sauce, tomato sauce, Bolognese sauce, etc…

***************
TOPPING IDEAS: Nuts, tofu, veggies (tomatoes, bell peppers, artichokes, hearts of palm, zucchinis, pumpkin, red onions, etc…), herbs (mixes, fresh or dried), spices (garlic, gourmet salt, pepper, curry, berbere, ras-el-hanout, za’atar, etc…), nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashew nuts, Brasil nuts, macadamia nuts, etc…)….

The cooked pizza with a side salad:
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End of October Food Days

4th week of October is National Chicken Soup for the Soul Week – try an Udon Miso Soup instead

October 22nd is National Nut Day – 1/4 of a cup of nuts a day keeps you healthy and strong.  Good fats, protein, vitamins, and so many to choose from!

October 23rd is National Boston Cream Pie Day – again, sub tofu and its much better for you

October 23rd is National Canning Day – my mil is canning tomatoes from the plenty of her garden.

October 23rd National Banana Cream Pie Day – how about a banana tofu pie instead, much healthier

October 24th is National Bologna Day – also, totally passing on this one.

October 24th is Good & Plenty Day – got licorice?

October 25th is National Greasy Foods Day – yeah, I’ll totally pass on this one, good-bye heartburn

October 26th is Pumpkin Day – there are so many ways to eat a pumpkin!  I will post a pot pie soon!

October 26th is Pretzel Day – YUM!  I love pretzels

October 26th is Mince Meat Pie Day – I know there are people that like it, but I’ll pass

October 27th is National Potato Day – potatoes are so versatile, try this potato salad from Veganomicon

October 28th is National Chocolate Day – go for a dark/bittersweet chocolate & just a 2oz piece if you are going to celebrate.  Just remember that chocolate contains saturated fat, so go easy.

October 28th is Wild Foods Day – get wilk & buy a fruit or vegetable from the produce department that you have never tried before.

October 29th is National Oatmeal Day – YUM & extremely good for you, especially if you have high cholesterol.

October 30th Buy a Doughnut Day – why not make your own instead!

October 30th is National Candy Corn Day – Each piece has about 6 calories (& no fat).

October 31st is National Candy Apple Day

October 31st is Trick or Treat for UNICEF Day – UNICEF is a good organization, it’s worth your time to check it out.

Third Week of October

3rd week of October is National Kraut Sandwich Week – go sauerkraut!!

3rd week of October is National Pickled Peppers Week – more brine! Love pickles!

3rd Saturday of October is Sweetest Day – ahhhh

October 15th is National Mushroom Day – such a versatile ingredient, and so good for you too.

October 15th is National Roast Pheasant Day – no thank you.

October 16th is World Food Day!

October 16th is National Liqueur Day

October 17th is National Pasta Day

October 17th is Four Prunes Day – soooo good for you, full of fiber.

October 18th is National Chocolate Cupcake Day

October 20th is National Brandied Fruit Day

October 21st is Apple Day – also full of fiber, antioxidants and vitamins for a healthy body

October 21st is National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day – a recipe will be coming for this one.

October 21st is Caramel Apple Day

Jamaican Jerk Burgers

I ate dinner at Red Robin a while back and found that they can make any of their burgers using Boca burgers, which is pretty cool.  Well, I was all excited to try this Jamaican Jerk Burger that they had, but they were out of Boca burgers that day.  I was pretty bummed, and just ordered their veggie stir fry instead.  I decided to write down their description of the burger and made it at home instead.  Now, I can’t compare it to the original, because I didn’t get to try it, but hit the spot with me.  Here it is:

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Jamaican Jerk Burgers

Boca Burger with Jerk Seasoning

grilled pineapple, mango mayo, lettuce, tomato

jalapeno cornmeal kaiser roll (or other burger bun)

  1. Press the jerk seasoning into the boca burgers (or other veggie burger) and heat.

  2. Spread the mango mayo onto your bun and add the rest of the ingredients.

  3. Enjoy! This is good with a side salad or some oven fries.

img_2768.jpg  burger with seasoning

Mango Mayonnaise
1/4 cup nayonnaise (or other vegan mayo)
1/2 diced ripe mango
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

dash chili flakes, to taste (opt)

img_2771.jpg  the grilled pineapple really adds a lot of flavor to the burger, so don’t skip it!

Jerk Seasonings

4 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tsp ground red pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt
1 crushed scotch bonnet pepper
¼ teaspoon black pepper

¼ tsp sugar

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

  1. Combine together and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.

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I’ll post a great sesame seed bun recipe next week.

Second week of October

2nd week of October is American Beer Week

2nd week of October is National Food Bank Week – If you have never volunteered at one, I highly recommend it. It is very rewarding work & bring a few friends along with you, it can be very fun.

2nd week of October is National School Lunch Week – celebrate by bringing your own!

2nd week of October is National Pasta Week

October 8th is National Fluffernutter Day – whoo hoo for peanut butter & marshmallows

October 9th is Moldy Cheese Day – eewwuu

October 9th is Submarine-Hoagy-Hero-Grinder Day – I guess they couldn’t choose just one

October 9th is National Dessert Day

October 10th is National Angel Food Cake Day – low if fat, but full of sugar & egg whites

October 11th is National Sausage Pizza Day

2nd Tuesday of October is National Dessert Day

October 12th is National Gumbo Day

October 13th is National Yorkshire Pudding Day

October 13th is the National Pumpkin Festival

October 14th is National Chocolate-Covered Insects Day – anyone?

The first week of October

 1st week of October is No Salt Week – go low sodium & be kind to your heart

1st week of October is National Chili Week – check out this one

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day – celebrate all month

October 1st Pudding Season Begins – yummy!

October 1st is Homemade Cookies Day – try these out

October 3rd is National Caramel Custard Day

October 4th is National Taco Day

October 4th is National Vodka Day

October 4th is Cinnamon Roll Day (Sweden) – try these ones, yummy!

October 5th is National Apple Betty Day

October 6th is National Noodle Day – make some pasta today

October 7th is National Frappe Day

National Food Days for the month of October

October is National Dessert Month – yummy, but don’t go overboard

October is Eat Better, Eat Healthier Month!

October is Eat Country Ham Month – please don’t, it just really isn’t good for you.

October is National Applejack Month – is this the cereal or the alchocolic beverage?

October is National Caramel Month

October is National Chili Month – check out my chili here

October is National Cookie Month – check out my Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

October is National Pickled Peppers Month – yum

October is National Pizza Festival Month

October is National Pretzel Month – try making some yourself!

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month – try some meatless meals this month

October is International Microwave Month. Um, to be perfectly honest, we’re not exactly sure how to celebrate this one, or if anyone really should.

October is National Apple Month. Apples are low in calories, contain lots of vitamins, & are high in fiber. Eat them! Apples can potentially reduce the risk of heart disease & cancer & they taste GREAT!

October is National Popcorn Popping Month – try air popping your own, its a great low fat & low cal treat, avoid movie theatre popcorn which can contain over 1,000 calories per bag!

Recipes To Rival Challenge #4

I was so excited when I saw the 4th challenge for Recipes to Rival. This is another dish that I have a hard time finding versions that I can eat. What was this wonderful challenge? Shrimp Dumplings!  Hot from the steamer:

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These are sometimes made with dough that has eggs in it, so I usually avoid them. Trying to make them at home with pre-bought wrappers doesn’t work either, because they are all made with eggs, at least where I live. I have never really thought about making the dough myself at home, so I was so excited to find out that the only requirement of this challenge was to make the dough from scratch, no store bought allowed!

We could play with the filling a little, which was good because it contained shrimp and ground turkey. I basically stuck to the recipe, except that I replaced the meat with super firm tofu that I mashed up to resemble ground meat. I also left out the dark sesame oil. I did up the mushrooms a little too. I also left out the sesame oil from the dipping sauce as well.

img_2729.jpg The filling

img_2727.jpg The dough

img_2731.jpg Rolled out, ready for cutting

I really need some practice with my pleating of the dough, but they still tasted great! I did make some little purse style dumplings and just some crescents.

img_2732.jpg Pre-Steaming

img_2730.jpg Dipping Sauce

The verdict: These were so good! For some reason, I ended up with a ton of dough. I only filled about 24 of them which we had for dinner that night. I finished them off for lunch the next 2 days. I have the rest of the dough in the freezer so I can make them again. I figured I could use these to make some baked egg rolls too. Thank you so much to our hosts: Heather B from: and Temperance from:

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Make sure that you check out the recipe here: http://recipestorival.blogspot.com/2008/09/chinese-dumplings.html

Check out everyone’s efforts here: http://recipestorival.blogspot.com/

If you like dumplings at all, you have to try this recipe out! Fantastic! Very Tasty!