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Pizza crust - can I reduce the honey without affecting texture?

Thank you so much everyone! Tonight I reduced the honey by one tablespoon and increased the oil with one tablespoon, with no significant difference in texture. I didn't notice the crust being too sweet this time, but then it was the Thai chicken pizza, so if the sweetness was there, I may not have noticed. I had only read the first couple responses at the time I made the dough. Next time I will reduce the honey further and see how it goes. Unfortunately, I can't upgrade my kitchen equipment at this time and in this apartment. :-(

Apr 26, 2014
musicalchef in Home Cooking

Pizza crust - can I reduce the honey without affecting texture?

The California Pizza Kitchen pizza crust recipe is the only one that turns out consistently good for me; others just don't (not sure if it's the altitude, my tiny electric oven, or my sub-par baking equipment). The CPK has a perfect texture; it's just that it is a bit too sweet. Can I reduce the honey without affecting anything else, specifically the texture of the finished product?

Here is the recipe for the crust:

Authentic Pizza Dough:

1 cup Lukewarm (105°f) Water

4 Tbsp Honey

1 Envelope Active Dry Yeast

2 1/2 cups Bread Flour

2 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt

4 Tbsp Extra-virgin Olive Oil

Authentic pizza dough:

1. In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine the water and honey stir to combine and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes. If the yeast doesn’t “proof” (get “foamy”) pour it out and start again it is important to have a live yeast mixture.

2. Meanwhile place the flour and the salt into a sifter and sift it into the medium bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the olive oil and the “proofed” yeast mixture. Turn the mixer, fitted with dough hooks, to knead and turn on. Continue kneading (mixing) until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball around the dough hooks (scrap the sides of the bowl to move flour into the path of the hooks as needed).

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky (add flour gradually as needed to reach the slightly tacky state), 3 to 5 minutes.

4. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl with about 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil the ball on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap cloth and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

5. After the dough has doubled in size, remove the dough from the bowl and form it into a 12-inch log. Divide the log in half and form each half into equally sized dough balls. Lightly oil a 2 large mixing bowl with about 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place each dough ball into its own bowl and turn to oil the ball on all sides. Cover each bowl with plastic and set in a warm, draft-free place until the nearly double in size again, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Found at this website: http://restaurant.betterrecipes.com/b...

Apr 26, 2014
musicalchef in Home Cooking

Electric oven - heat from above, below, or both?

Thanks! I saw hidden in the instructions that it does say "convection." Does that make a difference?

I'm just used to the "normal" big kitchen ovens.

Jun 30, 2013
musicalchef in Cookware

Electric oven - heat from above, below, or both?

I just bought a small electric oven, and it has the option of setting it to heat from above, below, or both. Which option should I choose for what?

I baked cupcakes yesterday and selected "below," because I thought that's where the heat came from when I baked in a normal oven (although I'm not sure because I've never thought to pay attention), and they turned out ok.

What if I want to make roasted potato wedges? Steak? Lasagna?

Thanks, and sorry if this is a stupid question!

Jun 29, 2013
musicalchef in Cookware

High-calorie, nutritious meals for Ramadan nights, and tarawih snacks

Salam,

Yes, we're trying to get used to whole grain pasta and brown rice. The peanut noodles sound good, I might have to try that! We're also in the habit of making big batches of whatever we're eating and then having leftovers, so that makes things easier.

Jun 25, 2013
musicalchef in Home Cooking

High-calorie, nutritious meals for Ramadan nights, and tarawih snacks

I'm not much of a soup fan, but that rice porridge with chicken sounds good! I might have to try that some time.

Jun 25, 2013
musicalchef in Home Cooking

High-calorie, nutritious meals for Ramadan nights, and tarawih snacks

For some reason dates stuffed with meat,especially sausage, just don't sound too good to me. I like them stuffed with various nuts, sometimes a bit of citrus zest and/or coconut too.

Jun 25, 2013
musicalchef in Home Cooking

High-calorie, nutritious meals for Ramadan nights, and tarawih snacks

Thanks for all the suggestions! We're getting a used toaster oven soon, so now i can make small pizzas, focaccia, and casseroles.

We usually break our fast on dates, and something I do every once in awhile for a treat is to stuff the dates (these should be "plump" dates like medjools) with roasted almonds and saute them on medium heat with a little oil for a few minutes, just until the skins are smooth and they are nice and hot. Then, sprinkle them with a little sea salt and maybe a bit of lime juice, and eat them while they're still hot. Very tasty, and kind of an impressive presentation if you have guests!

High-calorie, nutritious meals for Ramadan nights, and tarawih snacks

I'm all for adding nuts to absolutely anything! Thanks.

Jun 25, 2013
musicalchef in Home Cooking

High-calorie, nutritious meals for Ramadan nights, and tarawih snacks

Where I live, the fasting day is 18-19 hours long this year, so I'm looking for some good ideas for meals that can keep up my energy level during the day. Also, I'm still breastfeeding, though not exclusively (baby is 10 months old and eats a few small solid meals per day). Before anyone, Muslim or non-Muslim asks, yes, I am allowed to break my fast if it affects my milk supply, or if there are any symptoms of dehydration, or if I'm dizzy, and yes, I will do so.

Also, we're temporarily overseas in a bare-bones one-room apartment with no oven, only a cooker (but feel free to post "oven" ideas for others' benefit!). Iftar (the time we break the fast at sunset) is right at the baby's current bedtime, so I want meals I can eat quickly and then put her to bed. We're not big meat eaters in our family, but we have meat sometimes. So far I'm thinking wrap sandwiches (can supplement with snacks later); pastas with tomato, cheese, and vegetable sauces; beef stroganoff; biscuits and gravy; plov (my Tajik husband's national dish - made from rice, carrots, and meat).

Also looking for small snack ideas to eat during the night (without waking up the baby), especially between tarawih cycles (special prayers during the night in Ramadan). So far I'm thinking of cheese; leftover salad from iftar; trail mixes; Greek yogurt; cereal; chicken salad (I already eat a lot of fruit when I break my fast). If there are no healthy snacks available in the house, I will eat junk food, which I don't want to do.

For suhur (pre-dawn meal, last food before the fasting day), I usually eat whole wheat bread with peanut butter and/or cheese, some fruit (usually a banana), a boiled egg, a glass of whole milk, and water.

Thanks in advance!

Jun 25, 2013
musicalchef in Home Cooking

Is the anything GOOD in Fort Myers!!??

This thread's pretty old now, but my favorite places in Fort Myers are Starz Pizza and Doc Ford's. I loved Shells, but it closed a few years ago.

Jun 24, 2013
musicalchef in Florida

Preparing raw-ish pistachios

Earlier this year, my in-laws in Tajikistan sent us some walnuts and pistachios, some of the best I'd ever tasted. The pistachios were dried and salted to mouth-watering perfection, derailing my journey into last year's jeans.

We recently got another bag, and they're a bit too soft, and could use a bit of salt. I'm not sure if it's a problem of not having been prepared well, or of having been stored improperly (the shells are a bit dark and smudged, if that's a clue to anyone). Is there a way for me to fix them up to taste like the others, or will I risk screwing them up further? My husband says they used to dry them in the sun, but we're in the middle of a Prague Winter - no sun for awhile.

Jan 14, 2013
musicalchef in General Topics

Is the anything GOOD in Fort Myers!!??

I second the recommendation for Doc Fords! Their Panko-crusted fish sandwich is excellent. I live on Sanibel so I usually go to that one, but I like the one on Fort Myers beach better because of the view.

I think someone mentioned Pincher's crab shack, it's pretty good. I liked their peel and eat shrimp because they weren't served in a messy sauce; they just gave some butter and old bay for dipping.

If you want pizza, Starz (on McGregor and John Morris) is really good. They use really fresh ingredients and are always busy! I like their stromboli the best.

I'm still lamenting the loss of Shells :-(

Aug 31, 2011
musicalchef in Florida

Healthy Vegetarian Recipes that Freeze Well

What about falafel? I mean if I form the little balls, freeze them, bag them, and then when I want to serve them, defrost, roll in a bit of flour, and fry? Do you think it would turn out well? Yeah, I know they're not exactly light and healthy, but I'd like to try it out. I'm making that eggplant and chickpea stew tomorrow and freezing it as well.

I've frozen mole before, but I'm living in Amman, Jordan, and can't get all the stuff for it here. When I'm in the States I make a big batch from Rick Bayless' recipe and it freezes (and reheats) really well!

May 03, 2008
musicalchef in Home Cooking

Healthy Vegetarian Recipes that Freeze Well

The potatos and lentils would both be cooked (the potatos not all the way but mostly cooked) but not baked yet. I probably won't do it, mostly because I only have one baking dish that size and will need to use it often, so it can't be sitting in the freezer!

Apr 29, 2008
musicalchef in Home Cooking

Healthy Vegetarian Recipes that Freeze Well

These all sound good; thanks! Do potatoes freeze ok? I have a good potato lentil casserole recipe from a food blog called Almost Turkish Recipes [http://almostturkish.blogspot.com/200...] . By the way I've gotten several good recipes from that blog.

I think I may try that eggplant stew, and I'll look up the Ethiopian dal too.

Apr 29, 2008
musicalchef in Home Cooking

I never eat _______ out because nobody makes it right but me.

Key lime pie. Actually the problem is that i DON'T make it right; I add some cream cheese, but I guess I just don't like the "authentic" version of it with only keylime juice, egg yolks, and condensed milk. It's too sweet and tastes a bit gritty to me.

Also lobster. I refuse to pay an arm and a leg for overcooked shellfish when I can get fresh ones (my mom lives in Florida) and cook them myself just the way I like them. I don't even like shrimp in many restaurants. Somehow many Chinese places seem to get them right, but that's about it.

Frappuccinos and other expensive coffee drinks. I can make a better one at home for about a tenth of the cost.

Apr 29, 2008
musicalchef in Home Cooking

Freezing Homemade Gnocchi

Thanks! I'll make it this week.

Apr 29, 2008
musicalchef in Home Cooking

Freezing Homemade Gnocchi

Hi,

Has anyone frozen homemade gnocchi before? I want to make a big batch and freeze some for later. I was going to use Giada de Laurentiis' recipe (unless anyone has a really good one I can try), and probably freeze some marinara sauce alongside it.

If I can freeze it, do I do so before or after boiling the gnocchi? And when I want to eat it, do I just throw it into the boiling water straight from the freezer or do I defrost it first?

Thanks so much!!

Apr 28, 2008
musicalchef in Home Cooking

Healthy Vegetarian Recipes that Freeze Well

Hi all,

I'm expecting some house guests in a couple weeks, and am looking for some healthy, light, preferably vegetarian recipes that I can make ahead of time and freeze. They're visiting for a wedding, and I know we'll be having fatty food all week, so I want to keep the food I serve them at home on the light side. Does anyone have any recipes like this that freeze well? It's a plus if they are Indian/Pakistani or Middle Eastern dishes, but any other recipes would be welcome too.

Thanks!

Apr 28, 2008
musicalchef in Home Cooking

Can I swirl peanut butter into a brownie mix?

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone!

I ended up just dropping softened globs of PB on top and swirling it in, and it turned out pretty good. Next time I'll try some of the other suggestions. And thanks for the link to the older post about brownie mixes, some of those sound really good!

Mar 31, 2008
musicalchef in Home Cooking

Can I swirl peanut butter into a brownie mix?

Hi,

I often "cheat" by using brownie mixes (usually betty crocker) and mixing my own stuff in there (coffee, various nuts and chips, fresh mint). Could I swirl some peanut butter into the batter? Would I have to adjust the baking temp/time or mix something into the peanut butter before attempting this?

Thanks!

Mar 28, 2008
musicalchef in Home Cooking

Tell me about Amman

I'm currently living in Amman, so let me know if you still have questions.