Sunday, February 20, 2011

More Cold Weather Comfort

Leaning tower of pizza
Just look at that snow! See it? It's that white stuff on the roof of the pool house, the benches along the deck and all over the ground.

OK, I know. It's not as much as you got. I'm good with that. At least our snow is all melted now.

Today the temperature is a balmy 70 degrees, quite a change from a couple of weeks ago when we dipped down into the single digits ... and the snow drifted in ... again! We've had the white stuff several times this winter, more than enough to remind us emphatically of our four season climate.

OK, we get it. Next season, please!

When it is so cold outside though, I do like to peer through my window ... my oven window. And that's just what I did during the last snow. I made up a big batch of dough and pre-baked the leaning tower of pizza crusts. Sixteen to be exact!

Nothing says lovin' like a pizza in the oven, and a stash of homemade crusts in the freezer means pizza is just a 500 degree pre-heated oven away - anytime.

I'm keeping doubly warm this winter, thank you, because I've got another stash going too. :D

Inspiration at a moment's notice

So now I can knit all day and still have dinner ready in no time. No going out in the cold and no big tips for the poor guy who braves the elements to deliver pizza to me before the cheese seizes from the cold.

Instead, I grab a crust from the freezer, crank up the oven to 500 degrees and cruise the fridge for something good to go on top of that ready-made crust. Presto! Homemade hot, crispy, gooey goodness ready in a flash.

And should I need to venture outside when the cold weather returns, I'll be wrapped up all snuggly warm in one of my many hand knit scarves.

Two stashes are way better than one!

And, yes, I do believe the cold weather will be back before this winter is over. This is just the hope of spring, not the real thing.

I don't care what that furry rodent, Phil, says. It is not spring yet!

But by the time Phil is finished resting on his laurels and finally drags his furry butt out of hibernation, I'll be using a crust from my stash for pizza on the grill ... with a light and airy hand knit scarf thrown around my shoulders. Something in a nice light blue, perhaps.

Stashing all the way ...

1 tsp. yeast
1/2 c. + 1 tbsp. warm water
2 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. olive oil for coating
cornmeal or flour for coating pizza peel

Sprinkle yeast in mixing bowl. Add water and sugar and stir. Let it sit for a couple of minutes. Add flour, salt and olive oil (1tbsp.) mix with rubber spatula until dough hold together. Dough will be very wobbly. With remaining oil (1 tsp.) coat the inside of a glass bowl or casserole dish and place the dough ball inside and roll to coat in oil. Cover with a cloth dish towel, or plastic wrap, and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour. Place dough on a flour covered surface and dust top with flour. Rub flour on rolling pin and roll dough out until very thin - should make one 12-inch crust. Gently fold crust into quarters and lay on a cornmeal covered pizza peel and roll with spiked wheel to make holes. Transfer dough to pizza stone in a preheated 500 degree oven and pre-bake just until edges begin to brown. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Place cooled crusts in ziploc bags in the freezer. No need to thaw before making pizzas.

1 comment:

Becky said...

Now I have made the dough ahead of time and frozen it, but never the prebaked crust. What a great idea!!! I'm thinking I will do some individual crusts as DD#2 is about to start rehearsals for the spring play. These will be handy for her.