This Christmas Eve I made homemade pizzas…
I served it with, the usual, Halibut Stew ( due to my vestibular problem, Mark made the stew–and he overcooked it. We forgave him and moved on) . I usually make foccacia bread to go with, but this year I was craving fresh pizza. Everybody seemed to enjoy it.
UPDATED WITH RECIPES HERE:
½ c warm water (110 degrees)
1 envelope or 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1 ¼ c water room temperature
2 Tbsp x tra virgin olive oil
4 cups (22 ounces) bread flour plus more for dusting work surface and hands NOTE: I prefer to weigh the flour
1 ½ tsp salt
Olive oil or non stick cooking spray
Pizza stone –preheat in oven
1. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in yeast and let stand until dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
2. Process the flour and salt in a large food processor, pulsing to combine. Continue pulsing while pouring the liquid ingredients (holding back a few Tbsps.) through the feed tube. If the dough does not readily form into a ball, add the remaining liquid and continue to pulse until a ball forms. Process until the dough is smooth and elastic about 30 seconds longer.
3. The dough will be a bit tacky, so use a rubber spatula to turn it out onto your lightly floured work surface.. Knead by hand for a few strokes to form a smooth, round ball. Put the dough in a deep oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 ½ to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate. It is now ready to use.
Divide ball into 3 pieces and Flatten pieces into a disk.
This should make enough dough for approx. 3- 12″ pizza crusts
NOTES: when working your dough, do not stretch. Use your fingertips to press it out from the center into the shape of your pan or stone. Press it out until its about ½” thick.
Place pizza stone in lower third of oven. Heat oven and stone to 500 degrees for about 30 minutes. Then dust stone with cornmeal.
Lightly brush your prepared crust with olive oil.
Layer on pizza sauce and toppings as you like.
Bake 8-12 minutes Cut and serve immediately.
Angelnina’s Tomato Sauce (Adapted from New best Recipe)
1 -28 ounce can whole tomatoes, Italian preferable san marzano
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
½ tsp or more crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon greek oregano, dried and crushed between your palms
½ tsp sweet basil, dried and crushed between your palms
Process tomatoes in food processor pulse 1 second pulses about 8 times or more till smooth.
Heat oil add chopped garlic and crushed red pepper, don’t let it burn or turn color! Just give it a good 30 seconds or less to release the aroma of garlic. Immediately stir in tomatoes, add all seasonings and cook uncovered until thickens a bit to cover a wooden spoon.
NOTE: I use dried herbs because they better suit this sauce. You may add your fresh basil to the pizza and it will taste even better!
I made Ina Garten’s Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake for dessert. MAN OH MAN, Ina got it right with this recipe!
It tastes just like Christmas Eve.
For the cake:
Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake
1/2 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup grated orange zest (4 large oranges)
3 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups good semisweet chocolate chunks
For the syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
For the ganache
8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.
2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, then the orange zest.
3. Sift together 3 cups flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, combine the orange juice, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately in thirds to the creamed butter, beginning and ending with the flour. Toss the chocolate chunks with 2 tablespoons flour and add to the batter. Pour into the pan, smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, cook the sugar with the orange juice until the sugar dissolves. Remove the cake from the pan, set it on a rack over a tray, and spoon the orange syrup over the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.
5. For the ganache, melt the chocolate, heavy cream, and coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Drizzle over the top of the cake.
Christmas was lovely this year. My son, Sean, and his girlfriend, Olivia, stayed the night at our home. Sean hasn’t spent the night at home since he moved out, more three years ago.
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