The Newbie Cook
- 19,838 forkfuls since 16.Oct.10
Making everything for the first time
This was inspired by Subway’s flatizza. Besides, someone has to use the pita bread that we have sitting in the fridge after I got over my fish taco phase.
My husband loves this dish. He asks me to make it often and I’m happy to oblige because it’s (1) easy, (2) quick, and (3) quite healthy even with the cheese. I do try to cut down on the cheese by putting much less on “my half” of the pizza. This has almost all of my favorite vegetables, which makes me very happy. 🙂
You can modify this recipe according to your preference — change the vegetables or add some meats like ham, pepperoni or crispy bacon bits.
I do need to mention the pizza stone. I bought this for baking bread but I also noticed that this pita pizza is a lot crispier and better if I use the stone over a regular pan. But the stone is not a must have, a regular pan is fine.
This is the second time I made this recipe. But I don’t really count the first because it was Chris who was really making it according to my suggestions and instructions while I was cooking pasta with meatballs.
Our trainer, Christine, was going back to Batavia after our training period so our batch thought that it would be a great idea to surprise her with a potluck lunch and a small gift. Someone else was bringing the pasta so I volunteered to bring the garlic bread.
Just to warn health nuts who might be reading this: this is NOT a healthy recipe. I like using butter and cheese only in moderation but, in this case, moderation isn’t the way to go about making garlic bread. The bread is coated with butter and topped with copious amount of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. All in all, it’s very simple, straightforward and won’t require a long prep and cooking time.
A lot of people like to use French bread for this. I recommend using a Long Italian instead. (Don’t you just love the name?) French bread is too hard and stiff and should only be used if there is no other alternative. A Long Italian has a crisp crust but is soft in the center.
I was craving for French toast for days. And I had to do something with the two packs of fresh strawberries C and I bought a few days ago. And I figured he could use a little cheering up.
I made the honey-wheat bread myself using Danielle’s recipe. I haven’t perfected it yet so that will be a whole post of its own sometime in the near future when I feel more confident and have photographic evidence. 😛 I’m sure most of us already have our own recipes for French toast but I added mine here for those who do not.
This is quite heavy so we had this for brunch and skipped lunch altogether. Have fun with your own stay-at-home date!
Here’s my husband’s deconstructed toast:
My friend, Kim, a first-time baker who wants to learn how to cook, joined me last Wednesday in Apartment #2’s kitchen. We chose to make caramel apple bread instead of the originally-planned pumpkin cinnamon rolls because I forgot to buy any pumpkins. Donna Currie has a lip-smacking recipe in SE’s Bread Baking and it didn’t look too complicated (er… hopefully).
We made a few minor mistakes like peeling and grating the apples before they were supposed to be mixed into the dough, which made them turn brown very fast. The biggest mistake was putting twice the amount of apples into the dough. By the time we realized that half was supposed to go into the filling it was too late. My bad! It was me who was reading the recipe. *headesks*
Me: Um, Kim… @_@ I think half of that was supposed to go into the filling.
Kim: Oh no! ^o^
Me: No wonder it’s so wet.
The wet dough refused to rise. It was just my third try at making bread so I didn’t yet understand the physics between yeast and dough yet so we wasted a lot of fruitless hours waiting for it to rise. In the end, we just added a lot of flour. We even called a friend (Jovett) and asked for more flour.
We didn’t have a fancy stand mixer so we kneaded it pioneer woman style: with our (very clean) hands. By this time, we had enough dough for 3 loaves of bread so I made extra filling. As usual, we had to use a substitute for an ingredient. In this case, we couldn’t find dulce de leche so we used commercial condensed milk instead.
To kill time while the dough was rising, we watched movies in Jovett’s apartment. We might as well since we already stole her flour and some of her apples. But we were nice and helped her cook dinner. 🙂
Kim was afraid that the bread would be a total failure. But after an hour of baking, I took the bread out of the oven, ran back to Jovett’s apartment with one loaf and two oven mitts (ignoring weird looks from the girls at the poolside) and sat down to have a late but very filling dinner with the girls.
It was certainly a nice, quiet night. And, yes, the bread turned out very well. The 6 hours of kneading, waiting, mixing, more waiting and more kneading did pay off! We even had enough to bring to Kim’s mom and my dad.
I’ve been wanting to try the pumpkin rolls from The Kitchn ever since I saw the recipe last week. I’ve never made bread before and I figured I may as well start with yummy cinnamon rolls with a vegetable mixed in.
I had a lot of time in my other kitchen (I live in 2 apartments) after I did the laundry. I didn’t have pumpkin so I used butternut squash. The recipe calls for canned pumpkin puree but I don’t think we have that in Saudi Arabia, or at least not where I go food shopping, so I just peeled, chopped, boiled and pureed the squash. I wished I had roasted pecans but I would have to add that the next time I make this. The amount of butter and sugar required to make this made me feel guilty so I substituted around half of of the flour with whole-wheat flour and added a bit more squash.
There was a minor incident with regard to the yeast. I used active dry yeast and though I’ve seen my mom use this ingredient so often in the past, I never paid attention. After one hour, the dough refused to rise as promised so I Skyped my mother and asked her.
Mom: Did you use lukwarm water?
Me: Er… very hot water.
Mom: You killed the yeast! It’s ok, the dough can be salvaged. Just add the yeast again. Mix it in a cup of lukewarm water first and if it rises in the cup, work it into your dough.
I did exactly what she said, added more whole-wheat flour, and covered the dough. I had enough time to go to the gym and clean up. After an hour an half, the dough had doubled. The rolling pin was in my other kitchen so I just beat the dough with my well-floured fists into a rectangle over a clean, floured counter. I thought 2 tablespoons of cinnamon wasn’t enough so I added more cinnamon and used less sugar for the filling. Rolling the dough into a cylinder was harder than I thought as the dough was so sticky!
After around 25-30 minutes, the rolls were fragrant and ready. I left a tray to my roommate and a couple of friends and brought the other tray to my father. They all liked them, especially with tea or coffee, but Dad felt bad we didn’t have pecans. All I had were the leftover chopped almonds from the cake that morning so I used that instead.
The original recipe used sugary drizzle but I opted not to. For the sake of those who want to risk the calories, I’ll include the drizzle recipe here.