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Pie in the Sky

August 10, 2011

Today I was convinced technology hated me.

It took me the longest time to upload pictures because my computer was not cooperating.

There was even a point a time where I thought I wasn’t going to get this post up at all.

That all of my hard work in the kitchen had gone to waste.

So I stepped away from the computer, had a glass of wine, ate dinner and took my mind off of technology by catching up on celebrity gossip.

When I felt somewhat calm again, I returned to my computer and attempted to upload my pictures one last time.

And wouldn’t you know it.  It worked. 🙂

I cooked up a storm today in my kitchen. I made a ton of things that I’m hoping to blog about in the next coming weeks.

One of the projects I was most excited to make was homemade pizza!

That meant dough from scratch!

I used this recipe as guidance, since it was my first time making the dough.  Better safe than sorry right?

So first I dissolved one packet of active dry yeast into 1 1/2 cups warm water.

Then in a separate bowl I mixed together 5 cups all purpose flour and 1 1/2 tsp. salt.

Once mixed, I added the yeast/water mixture to the flour and salt.

I mixed it together until it formed a soft dough ball.

If you follow the recipe above exactly, you’ll need to add a little more water, as the dough is a bit dry.  No biggie though, just add water one spoonful at a time until it comes together.

I floured my countertop and kneaded the dough for about 1o minutes.

  

Man it’s been awhile since I’ve kneaded dough.  It’s a workout in itself!

Once the dough was smooth, I oiled a large bowl, put the dough in it and covered it loosely with a damp dish towel.

  

I stuck it in my oven [that was turned off] for about 2 hours, until it doubled in size.

Woohoo it grew!

I was a little excited at this point.  That means I did something right.

I took the bowl out of the oven and punched the down in the center to deflate it. <–That was fun too

  

Then I transferred the deflated dough onto the countertop and cut it into three pieces.

I formed each piece into a ball and put them in their own [oiled] bowls.

   

I covered them loosely with plastic wrap and put them back in the oven to rest for another hour or so.

Then I wrapped them individually in plastic wrap.  I froze two of them and put the other one in the fridge for later.

Since the oven was now free, I figured I’d get started on some pizza toppings!

I sliced and roasted some butternut squash and potato.

  

I just seasoned them with olive oil, salt and pepper.

I cooked them in a 375 degree oven F until they were tender and took them out to cool.

Once it was close to dinner time, I took out the pizza dough from the fridge and let it come to room temperature.

Then I floured the countertop [again] and rolled out the dough.

I like a somewhat thinner crust so I rolled mine out until I was happy with the thickness and transferred it to a greased sheet pan.

I pricked a few holes in it with a fork and drizzled a little olive oil over top.

I blind baked it in a 350 degree F oven until about halfway cooked through.

I then took it out and let it cool a little.

Then it was time for the toppings!

I used this amazingly creamy ricotta cheese that I made [posting about that soon] as the base.

Then I topped it with the roasted potato, butternut squash, some caramelized red onions [had them in the fridge], Cherokee purple tomato and grated parmigiano reggiano cheese.

I baked it for another few minutes and then turned the oven to broil to really crisp and brown everything.

When it came out I sprinkled a little oregano, fresh parsley and garlic gold nuggets over top.

Then things got crazy and I drizzled some balsamic reduction over it all. Ohhh yeah.

Served with a glass of cheap, Trader Joe’s red wine and I’m a happy girl.

This is a billion times better than any frozen or delivery pizza that I’ve ever had.

Seriously between the homemade crust and ricotta cheese I was dying with how good this was.

I’ve also never had butternut squash on a pizza and you know what?

That was delicious too!  It added a nice bit of sweetness.

I can’t wait for the leftovers tomorrow.

The true test of this pizza will be if it’s just as delicious cold.

Yes I’m a sucker for cold pizza.

So what did we learn today?

– When technology or other life things suck, step away from it for a little and do something else.  More times than not, it will work itself out.

– Make your pizza dough. Seriously go get the flour and yeast and do it now!  You’ll thank me later.

Have a good night!

Vanessa 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget to challenge yourself!

P.S.S.  Charlotte Food Bloggers are meeting up at Chow Down Uptown Food Truck Rally on Thursday 8/18!  A day before I leave on my work trip, yikes!  Hope to see some of you there!

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