Crisp and Zesty

In the Connor quest for the perfect pizza dough, we have seen gummy, cracker-like, thin, chewy, burnt, raw underneath with blackened cheese, but we have yet to come across the perfect crust that is crispy with a nice yeasty (but not-too-yeasty) and chewy upper. I like lots of sauce, my family likes skimpier sauce. We all like lots-o-cheese.

I want to try this recipe and hope to soon. In the meantime, we've been using a Boboli copycat. I like the zest, my husband likes the crisp. All are happy.

Boboli Pizza Crust Clone
1 cup water
1 t minced, dried garlic
1 t salt
1 T sugar
3 cups AP flour
1/2 t Italian seasoning
2 t Parmesan Cheese
2 t active dry yeast
2 t parmesan cheese, to sprinkle

1. mix 1.5 cups of flour, garlic, salt, cheese, italian seasoning in Kitchenaid with wisk
2. Proof water, oil, sugar, and yeast until foamy
3. add water to flour and mix until smooth
4. add 1 1/4 cups flour to mixer bowl and mix until smooth with bread hook
5. Rise 45 minutes
Preheat oven to 450- center rack
6. Roll out onto 2 pans and rise 15 minutes
7. Bake 5 minutes
8. Top with favorite sauce and toppings
9. Bake 6-7 minutes longer

Apple Turnovers

I have wondered why my baked delights always turn out so ugly. Does a baker need to have artisan hands? My breads are pretty. My ice creams are smooth with a perfect texture. Why do my pie crusts shrink and my cake frosting pick up all the loose crumbs?

I wonder if I just need more practice or if I just don't put the effort into it. What do you think?

Anyway- if you could hear the high-pitched squeal that came from my little girl when she ate some of the Apple Turnover I made this week (well, in fact, some of you may have heard it)'d know that ugly is a good thing in my house.

TWD: Chocolate Souffle

Welcome back! School started, we have a refreshing breeze filling the house since the weather cooled off a bit (for this week at least). You know what that means, don't you? Or, maybe you don't since this is the end of my first hot weather baking respite. I just couldn't get anything baked; In fact, I just couldn't do anything this summer.

What's the deal? I've been working, going to school, being a mom and wife, and keeping a blog semi-regularly for a couple years now. Yet, as soon as my schedule empties a bit, I can do nothing more than the bare minimum here around the house. Didn't get any of my summer to-do list done.

But, alas, since I now have 2 or 3 jobs going, school has started up along with piano, scouts, and church activities, I was able to make the souffle for this week. Here it is.
I was able to get a piece, but my daughter really loved this, so we reserved it for her. Yummy. I really liked it chilled. Wish it had some fresh raspberry sauce with it. Ooooohhhhh!

TWD:Honey of a Peach Ice Cream

So, I am sure my one avid reader is asking himself, where has Janet been? A lame-o post 2 weeks ago about my inability to get charged up over baking. Nothing at all last week. I must admit, I have been active in the kitchen and I did make the French Apple Tart last week. In fact I made French Apple, Blueberry, and Cherry tarts. They were okay...just nothing to write home (or blog) about.

I think all the time about writing, but when it comes down to it, I enjoy reading. I love to look at the colorful pictures and to laugh at or scorn the writing of others, but I have found it very difficult to frame my words since grad school ended. I think I need a respite from writing. Instead, the craftsman, who has been smothered and silent inside me, has broken free and is roaming around my house just itching to sew, cook, bake, paint, and create in ways that have gone wayside over the past few years. I just don't really feel the urge to write about it. Maybe if I felt like I could truly contribute to the TWD crowd and fellow bakers out there. But, in reality, I am a novice just enjoying what others have to teach.

Maybe in a few months my fingers will yearn for the keyboard. Until then, I love my TWD time and hope that I can keep up.

As for the ice cream, I liked it. How could I make it better? Leave out the honey and peaches and drop some brownie or cookie dough into it. See what I mean? I just didn't get excited about this recipe. Maybe next week...

Time on my hands...

Welp. I've been off for over a week now. So far, I've spent a weekend in NYC, made a dessert, and enjoyed an evening with a friend. That's about it. Oh, duh, I've mastered Amazing Grace and the Star Spangled Banner on the guitar. Yehaw.

I have big plans, though. I have curtain plans drawn and measured, I have placemats cut out just begging to be sewn. And I'll get to them. But not today.

Speaking of today; it's Tuesday. TWD baking day. The thrill of cinnamon, coffee, and chocolate just hasn't inspired me today. I'll post on my sopapilla experience tomorrow to make up for it. I promise.

TWD Chipster-topped brownies

What is it about chocolate? Is the silky texture when it melts on the tongue? The milkiness or bitterness? The dark color? The way it melts into a gooey puddle? What gives chocolate its power over strong women and men who will yield to it when they know they can't afford the calories? I've read that chocolate releases hormones or endorphins or something in women. So, it's chemistry, maybe?

I am so delighted with how my TWD brownie/chocolate chip goodness came out. I've not yet cut the bar, but I think it's going to be a beautiful thing (if my oven did not deceive me, that is). They look gorgeous and I had no trouble with sinking topping. The topping gently floated on top while I spread it out. Good stuff.

Have cut and eaten a mighty chunk. My kids asked to have this every night for the rest of their lives. Thumbs up all around.

TWD Fresh Mango Bread

Is it still Tuesday? Today has been the loooooooongest Tuesday ever. So long that I thought sure I missed posting on time because certainly it must be at least Thursday by now. Nope. Still Tuesday. Perfect for talking about Dorie's fabuloso mango bread.

Now, I don't like mangoes. Or, at least that's what I thought until yesterday when I ate a few spare spoonfuls of mango. I went to Cuba on a mission trip when I was in college and we ate sliced mango all day long washed down with a pulpy, stringy, thick mango juice (more like smushed mangoes in a cup, I would say). Thinking back, I think the mangoes in Cuba must have been overly ripe because they had a different texture and taste than these delightful guys in my kitchen.

I read the TWD Q&A and followed some others by replacing the raisins with coconut because 1) we don't like raisins and 2) we love coconut. I am so happy with the results. I love this bread and think this should be one of those gifts that you send to a family with a new baby. What better way to celebrate? And, I love that it's better the next day, though Jim says he liked the crisp crust of the loaf fresh out of the oven. He's right. It had a nice sugar crust. Good call, Jim.