I am loving this holiday weekend so far, it feels awesome to just be at home with the whole family with none of us working for a day. We had a nice morning at church and then we came home and took our daily walk with Ashley to the subdivision park. We had a lot of old bread lying around, so it seemed like a perfect day to feed the ducks at the lake.
The duck population at the lake has GROWN since I last went! After feeding the dozen or so ducks that were already there, a whole fleet of other ducks and geese followed!
We suddenly had lots of company. Very hungry company.
They ate SO MUCH bread in like 5 minutes, we had no idea that there would be so many or that they could eat that much. These little guys were bold, too! The geese would just flat out walk up to your face looking for bread.
We’re growing to really love these walks. It’s nice to just have some peaceful time together outside.
When we got back to the house I got started on pizza dough for tonight’s dinner! I’ve been making pizza a lot these days so I’ve kind of got it down to a science now. Every time I make it I learn something new that makes the pizza a little better. I’ve recently learned that a double rise makes for an awesome crust texture, but if you don’t have time for that a single rise works just fine. For step-by-step picture directions of how to make pizza in general, check out my post on whole wheat pizza. Here’s the recipe that I absolutely love and never lets me down, it’s actually the same dough I use for my garlic knots:
- 1 package dry yeast
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 T. organic sugar
- 1 T. sea salt
- 4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 c. white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 c. olive oil
-Stir the yeast and sugar into the warm water and set aside to let the yeast activate, about 10 minutes.
-Put the yeast mixture in the bottom of your mixing bowl. Add 3 cups of the all-purpose flour and mix on low until mostly combined. Add the salt, olive oil, and the remaining flours, and mix on medium speed for several minutes. The dough should be smooth and form itself into a ball.
-Add some olive oil over the dough ball and roll the ball around to coat it with oil. Let sit at room temperature in the bowl, covered with a damp towel until the dough doubles in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours).
-Once the dough has doubled, gently punch it down with your hands. Form it into a ball again.
-Cover, and refrigerate until it doubles in bulk again (about 2 hours).
-Deflate and divide into fourths. With each section of dough, roll out in a circular shape on a floured surface until you reach your desired thickness (for me that’s when the pizza is about 16 inches in diameter, the size of a pizza pan). Let the pizza dough rest for 15 minutes.
-Brush the dough with a little olive oil and gently poke holes all over it with a fork.
-Add your sauce and desired toppings. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until the crust and toppings are golden brown. Let cool for a couple minutes before slicing, and enjoy! Makes 4 medium pizzas.
Today I made three types of pizza. I went to the farmer’s market this morning for the ingredients. Getting pepperoni fresh sliced from the deli case is SO worth it, it has a completely different flavor and texture than the pre-packaged kind. I used fresh mozzarella for all the pizzas and made my own pesto for one, but one shortcut I do take is jarred tomato sauce. This one from Kroger is delicious and organic to boot, so I find no reason to go through the extra trouble of making my own sauce.
We had one with mozzarella, pepperoni, italian sausage, and mushrooms:
One with just cheese (fresh mozzarella, havarti, and parmesan):
And one with fresh pesto (instead of marinara), mushrooms, plum tomato slices, and roasted red pepper & feta chicken sausage:
And of course we had a nice big salad for greens, in our extremely appropriate pizza salad bowl that we’ve had for like 20 years.
My favorite was the pesto pizza (actually it was the only one I tried! small appetite over here, people), I think pesto goes with crust even more than red sauce. It’s awesome.
With the 6 of us all home and sitting down for dinner, 2 of these pizzas were completely gone in no time and there’s still about half of the cheese left. But it’s okay that we don’t have many leftovers, we’re planning a feast for the 4th tomorrow! Speaking of which, I should go and start preparing. I have some patriotic cupcakes to make!
Thanks for reading!