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Archive for March, 2011

The special!? Homemade Deep Dish!

Yeast has always been something I stayed away from while baking. After a few really really dry and not so yummy tea rings, I haven’t baked with the stuff in years. These tea rings, btw, when made by my mother in law are amazing!

At first we were going to try the Lou Malnati’s recipe from the Food Network. We had their pizza when we want to Chicago a few years back and thought it was really good. Our attempt at making it…really bad. The ingredients were listed by weight, and we don’t have a food scale. Google didn’t help us much when trying to convert to cups, tablespoons, etc. My poor KitchenAid never worked so hard in her life! The dough was so dry it wouldn’t even form a ball. The dough ended up in the trash. After a little more research online I finally found something that would work. Here is the recipe I used for the crust:

Deep Dish Pizza Crust (adapted from Pizzeria Uno Chicago recipe on Food.com)

  • 1 cup of warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 1 package of yeast (1/4 oz)
  • 3 cups of bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of cornmeal for the pan

Combine all the ingredients, except for the cornmeal, in your mixer and mix on low until all combined. I used my dough hook. Then increase the speed to medium and let it mix for a few minutes until a nice dough ball forms and its smooth and elastic. I placed my dough in a glass bowl that I had greased with a drizzle of olive oil. I then covered with plastic wrap and let it rise for 45 minutes. It doubled in size.

You can use your favorite toppings.

We went with:

  • Mozzarella
  • Pepperoni
  • Grazianos Sausage (local and delish!)
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Sauce
  • Parmesan

Once your dough is done rising, punch it down in the middle. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Put a drizzle of olive oil in a pan and wipe it all around with a paper towel. Remember to go all the way up the sides. Sprinkle the cornmeal on the grease pan. We actually only used ½ our dough for the pizza.

Once you have your dough pressed into the pan, start layering your toppings. Traditionally I think deep dish pizzas always have the cheese on the bottom, so that’s where we started.

Once that is done, pop it in the oven on the middle rack, bake for about 15 minutes at 450, and then drop temperature down to 400. Ours baked for about 30-35 minutes.

Will we be making it again? For sure! We had a lot of ‘juice’ in ours, we think it was from our mushrooms, so we are thinking about sautéing them a bit before putting in our pizza next time to sweat out some of the liquid. Other than that it was pretty tasty!

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Amazed

I am back! I have Wednesdays off in March to use up some vacation time. So I am all settled in for the night, RELAXING! I can’t wait to sleep in tomorrow. That hour that we ‘spring’ ahead really gets me each year. The weather was wonderful today and it’s still pretty mild, so I have the door open for some cool fresh air.

I have been trying to eat healthier lately. Tonight’s dinner, spaghetti squash spaghetti. I have been reading about spaghetti squash and dying to make it so tonight was the night.

Start by cutting your squash in half the long way. My squash was so large I needed 2 pans to cook it in. Fill each pan with an inch of water and place the squash in the pan, cut side down.

I preheated my oven to 350 degrees and baked it for 1 hour. After the hour I was able to poke a knife in it easily. Take them out of the oven, flip the squash so it’s cut side up, and let it rest for about 10 minutes. While they rested I sautéed some onion and Trader Joe’s Chicken Jalapeno sausage in a little bit of olive oil. Then I added my favorite spaghetti sauce and let it simmer a bit.

While my sauce was simmering I spooned out the seed in the middle of the squash, and then took my fork and starting to scrap inside of the squash. Seriously, I am amazed by this. The more I scraped the more ‘spaghetti’ was created.

I plated up my ‘spaghetti’ and topped it with my sauce, a sprinkle of grated parmesan and red pepper flakes and dinner was served. Verdict?! LOVED it!! Seriously it’s so weird in a good way. I kept reading that it wouldn’t be mushy or soft, but I didn’t really understand that. I mean I cooked it for so long and yet it still had a little crunch to it. Its hard to describe. I guess you will just have to try it.

Off to enjoy the rest of my evening with the hubs and pooch.

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