Thursday, April 10, 2008

In record time!

The clock says 5:15 (pm). I haven't thought about dinner yet. It is high time I do so. Sometimes the whole "what should I make tonight" for a daily meal becomes a chore. Unless I am "creating" or "playing" or totally craving something in particular. So I ask Danielle from time to time what she thinks. Last night she said "pizza!!!" Like I had to ask! 95% of the time she would say pizza. I didn't think we needed to call the "pizza man". I didn't want a frozen one (I usually buy a frozen one for tired days or days when I get a chance to break away and have time to myself). Nicholas was still napping. He went down really really late (not totally unusual for my kids- we have a late schedule). Could I.... No... Not enough time for rising... But maybe.... ???

I run up to the computer and using the handy dandy Food Blog Search designed by Ximena of Lobstersquad, I type in "pizza dough". I get a list of Google searched blogs. I quickly give them a once over. Click on a few and speed down to rising time. Too long. Nope not this one, too long. I check out 3 or 4 and then... THERE IT IS! 20 minutes! YES! Andrea's Recipes had it. Do I have all the ingredients? Quick scan. Okay. No wheat flour. So what. I have bread flour. I use Andrea's recipe to the T guys! EXCEPT I just used 2 cups of bread flour (the higher gluten content helps the elasticity of the dough) instead of the wheat flour and all-purpose flour.

I ran downstairs with a post-it of ingredients and began throwing it in the mixer. My helper was all too pleased to help find and hand things off to me. The ball came together quickly and after a few minutes of needing, we let it "take a quick resty in order to grow up to be a big dough." It is 6:00 pm.

Pull out the sauce pot and can of chopped tomatoes. Dump in a little of this and a little of that. Quick quick. My helper begins a sad but faithful job of shredding cheese. I finish up for her. We finish in record time. But Nicholas still sleeps. The longer both he and the dough rest the better. We might as well clean up quickly.

It is 6:45. The oven is now at 450ยบ. The pizza stone is hot. We roll out the dough.

It stretches nicely and easily rolls out into a thin disc. We like thin crust in our house. I slap it onto the paddle, brush a little olive oil and slide it onto the stone. Nicholas still sleeps.

About 5-7 minutes later, I quickly and carefully flip the dough and brush the other side with oil and cook for another 5 minutes.

Pull that baby out and slop on some sauce. Douse with a ton of cheese and throw it back in. Nicholas is still asleep. Better wake him. He doesn't like it but perks up at the smell of food and a fresh sippy cup of milk.

About 10 minutes later I pull out this beauty! Just as I set it on the counter, we hear the door open. Huh??? "Daddy!!!!!!!!!" the kids yell. Home from work surprisingly early. "Oh my favorite and I am hungry."

Well I had no idea I could pull this off so quickly. I have made plenty of pizzas before. But at this speed? No way. It was incredible and quite a rush. I cannot say that it is the best pizza I have ever had or made. But it was a long way off from the worst! It was rather tasty if I do say so myself! The four of us nearly polished off the whole thing. Andrea likens the dough to Trader Joe's prepared dough. I actually found it a little better but not my very favorite of doughs.

But wait! I am NOT done yet!

Emboldened by this brazen and yet pretty successful act, I pick up the extra dough that I purposely set aside. "Time to help mommy make doughnuts, Danielle!"

I had made Giada De Laurentiis's Italian doughnuts on one other occasion and decided to do so again. Why not? I was on a roll. They are so easy too. The dough is already made.

Heat the oil. Plop them in. Giada makes doughnut shapes (circles with holes in the middle) but really it doesn't matter. Danielle wanted hearts. Hearts are always good. I cut out a few holes too. Got lazy about that. Stopped putting holes in the center and some puffed up so cute and fluffy.

After cooling just a bit but still warm, roll them in some cinnamon sugar.

Giada also suggests making a chocolate glaze. I had some heavy whipping cream but not much and no milk chocolate. OH WELL! Dump the cream in a pot add some dark chocolate and a sprinkling of sugar. Good enough I imagine.

It didn't really set up that well though. And it was very rich.

And really just okay looking.

But the doughnuts with just the cinnamon sugar were so sweet and when warm, quite tasty too. They really hit the spot and are fun and easy. I do suggest eating them right away, however. After an hour or more, they seem limp and soggy and not worth it. The next day? Forget it!


RecipeGirl said...

Such an energetic post! I'm exhausted just reading it. Can't believe you pulled that all together! The pizza looks great, and I agree that donuts aren't worth eating unless they are warm and freshly made!

Lisa Conmara said...

The pizza looks great - your oven must be HUGE!!! Lucky you! As for those donuts... i'm dribbling...

Isn't it true that once you make your own pizza dough you can never go back!!!

We spend most of our summers in Italy and they have brilliant Tipo 00 flour which works brilliantly, you can get it here but it never tastes as nice!

deLa said...

good job!!! dinner and dessert in one quick step!

and that pizza looks amazing!

Helene said...

I love to make pizza. My all time favorite is the recipe from Cook's Illustrated. So good and quick to make. Love those doughnuts.

Kate said...

I think I read this entire entry with my mouth hanging open in awe. Absolutely amazing!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Aww, look at that sweet pea making pizza! It's the ultimate fun food (at least in my opinion). I saw your question on my blog, and I use a Nikon D80.

Betty C. said...

The pizza looks great -- I don't make enough homemade pizza, even though I have a break machine that can simplify making the dough.

Thanks for your visit to my blog.

Emily said...

I am very impressed at how speedy your pizza was! You can also oil the dough and place it in a bowl over just boiled water to make it rise faster. sort of like a sweat lodge. Hehe don't feel bad the 80's weren't that long ago but i see what you mean by it haveing become a party theme. the party was great and everyone really got into the whole 80's thing and went all out with their costumes. we are thinking that the next ones theme should be disco!

Nicole said...

Recipe Girl- Ha ha... I was hoping to capture the fervor and adrenaline I felt during the process. Plus I was tired and in a hurry to go to bed but had the whole post in my mind and I just had to get it out! You are right about the doughnuts--only good when warm and fresh!

Lisa- The oven is just the standard size for here in the US... some people have bigger ovens and older homes smaller. Maybe it just looks big. You are so lucky to spend your summers in Italy. How amazing. I can't wait to hear about it next time you go.

Thanks, Dela!

Helene- Welcome to my blog! So glad you stopped by. I will have to look for the Cook's Illustrated recipe.

Kate- He he he! Happy to have inspired awe. Hopefully I will do so again tomorrow night after I create and write about the brunch I intend to do for you recipe challenge!

Susan- Welcome to the site. I am so glad you stopped by. Thank you for telling me about your camera.

Betty- If you like pizza, you should make it. It is the easiest of the yeast doughs I think. I am glad you stopped by. I will keep your blog handy to get my fix of French life.

Emily- That is a great tip. I will definitely remember your "sweat lodge" technique for next time. Glad the 80's party was fun. Let me know about the disco one if you do it.

Lulu said...

So cute and so delicious looking. Pizza is a favorite in our house as well but without that faster dough rising recipe it's torture waiting for yummy pizza. Between this post and the cinnamon roll one it is definitely time for some lunch!!