Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Whole Wheat-Honey Bread/Brocccoli-Onion Pizza

Had the day off today and felt like having pizza...looked in the fridge and found some tomato sauce, broccoli, and cheese. Had a few onions, too. When making dough it's just as easy to make enough for two things as it is one, so I made enough to bake a loaf of bread as well. The basic recipe is so easy. Here's the recipe:

In a small bowl mix together 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups room temperature water, and two teaspoons instant yeast. Cover the bowl with a plate or plastic wrap and set aside for 1 to 12 hours. It makes a sort of paste, this will later turn into what is called a "sponge" (or what the French refer to as a "poolish"), here's what it initally looked like:

This is what it looks like after 2 hours. The difference in size is easily visible, but if you look close (click on the photo for a larger picture) you can see that it is full of bubbles too. The yeast is fully activated and it is in the process of fermenting the flour.

Now transfer the sponge to an upright mixer that is fitted with a dough hook. Add about 2 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour, a couple tablespoons of honey, a couple tablespoons of olive oil, two more teaspoons of yeast, and a couple teaspoons of salt.

Run the mixer on low until the ingredients are mixed together, then turn it to medium and knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes.
Shut the mixer off, dust the dough with a little flour (so it's easy to handle), remove it from the mixing bowl, give it a few quick kneads on a countertop, shape it into a ball, and place it in a bowl that has been lightly oiled.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid to keep it moist (I use a clear lid from a pot...it fits the bowl pretty good and I can see its progress.

Leave the dough to rest and ferment for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, until it is doubled in size. Here it is pressing against the lid (should have used a larger bowl).

At this point the dough should be light and airy. When you (gently) fress a finger into the dough the indentation should remain. If it springs back it means the dough is still "too young" (aka, not risen enough).

This is enough dough for two small loaves of bread or one small loaf and a 12-inch pizza. So at this point flour a work surface and gently turn the dough out of the bowl (try not to entirely deflate it). And then cut it into two pieces.

Shape one piece into a loaf and place it in an oiled loaf pan, and place the other piece on an oiled pizza pan and gently push and form it to the pan. Cover the bread dough with plastic wrap and set aside to rise. At this point you should also preheat an oven to 450F.

Spread tomato sauce across the pizza dough.

Then add cheese, broccoli, and sliced onion.










Place it in the preheated oven, initially on the pan, then after 10 minutes remove it from the pan and place it directly on the pizza stone (if you have one). If you don't have a pizza stone just leave it on the pan. Here it is at 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and twenty minutes. Yum! It was/is delicious.










And let's not forget about the bread. Buy now that should be fully risen. Turn the oven down to 425F and bake the bread for about 20 minutes, or until it is dark golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped with an index finger.

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