Happy Fall Everyone! I am just loving the crisp low humidity days were are having. Too bad we only have about 3 of those a year down here in the swamps! LOL. Perfect days to fire up the ovens for some baking for fun.
My beautiful friend Jacque has inspired me to join a monthly baking group called The Daring Bakers. Every month someone hosts the challenge and picks a recipe. Everyone in the club bakes that same recipe some time during the month, and then on the designated "reveal" day, everyone blogs about it, as well as posting in the Daring Bakers forum. I have been hooked on reading baking blogs as of late, and it looked like so much fun, I decided to join. I needed something else anyway to fill all of this free time I have on my hands (wink). OK, OK, I will fess up. One of my real motivations was that if I fill up my schedule with other very important commitments such as this, then I have a really legitimate excuse not to get to the housework and laundry (which BTW I loathe.) To make up for the dirty house and lack of clean clothes, my family gets to taste test lots of great new recipes. And if those perks are not enough, I also get a chance to practice my new mad photography skills. (Because you see, taking great photos of the food is just as important as the food itself in the blogging world.) So I see it as a win/win for everyone involved. ( Sharon <----- big grin)
I have to admit that I was a tad disappointed when I read that my first challenge would be a savory recipe of pizza dough. I am not a cook by any stretch of the imagination. I am into sweets. Period. End of discussion. But, we love pizza in this house, so I embraced the challenge and gave it my all. In the end, I had a ball with the pizza variations and the photo taking. You would have thought the Food Network was in my kitchen with all the light stands and tripods set up in there. Of course I had no clue what I was doing, but it was fun anyway.
This month's challenge was hosted by Rosa of Rosa's Yummy Yums. You can find the dough recipe on her blog. The rules stated that we had to try to toss the pizza dough; which I did and failed miserably; hence no photos of that. But I took a couple of hundred shots of everything else! (Don't get nervous; I am not going to post them all.) But almost all, tee hee.
I made one long rectangular pizza for hubby and I to share. His section was pepperoni, black forest ham, green and black olives with red sauce and mozzarella. My side was Canadian bacon, black olives and pineapple.
I baked it on the back of a cookie sheet at 500 degrees as the recipe stated, but found that temperature to be too high. The top was cooking too fast and drying out, while the center of the dough was not fully cooked. It could have used a few more minutes in the oven.
That being said, it was still really delicious, and a very easy dough to make. You do have to make it the day before so it can ferment, but it took no time at all to do. My pizza was just as yummy reheated in the oven the next day.
Little chef hands at work.
His was cheesy and oozy and gorgeous.
Then I also saved 2 portions of dough to make dessert pizzas with. J wanted chocolate chip like they serve at Sicily's Pizza. Do you guys have Sicily's? If not, too bad cuz it's yummy. I made a crumble for the top out of flour, sugar and butter.
This time I baked the dessert pizzas at 350 and let them go a while longer, and the crust and top baked up better that way. It was good, although personally I would have preferred a thin layer of peanut butter under the chocolate chips. J dusted the top with powdered sugar and went to town on it, so I think it was a thumbs up.
Here are two of my artsy foody photographer wanna be pics:
For hubby I made a blueberry crumble pizza:
I use canned blueberry pie filling (gasp!) and made a crumble topping from flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter.
I overcompensated for the undercooked dough in the savory pizza by keeping this one in the oven a tad too long. But it really only affected the very outer crust, so all was fine.
So, all in all I would say my first Daring Baker's Challenge was a success. And really a lot of fun. My friend Heather has joined also, and I am trying to convince my sister to join too. (Come on Barb, you know you want to.) I am looking forward to next month already. If you would like to see what other Bakers did this month, check out the blogroll.
Happy Baking Everyone!