Friday, August 26, 2011

The best whole wheat pizza crust ever

How have I never made pizza until now?

This pizza crust rocks. Canadian celebrity chef (is that an oxymoron?) Rob Feenie even cooks his on the barbeque to impress his Italian friends. Because our barbeque wasn't big enough, our pizza wasn't this pretty, but it tasted delicious... and moderately healthy.

Laura Leyshon for the Globe and Mail
There's an error in the recipe and I changed a few things, so here's what I did. It makes 4 personal pizzas.

- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp dry yeast (I used one packet)
- 4 tbsp honey
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb whole wheat flour (about 3.5 cups)
- 1 tsp salt

Combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Wait for yeast to activate. Mine took about 7 minutes. It gets foamy; you will definitely know. Mix flour and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add wet to dry and combine with a wooden spoon. The dough will form a ball and release from the side of the bowl. One time, mine was a bit dry, and one time, it was a bit wet. Both were fantastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with a damp towel. Let rest for 1 hour. Punch down dough (this was fun!) and knead for 1 minute on lightly floured surface. Separate dough into four balls. Leave them in the bowl until you are ready for them.

1 398-gram can of plum tomatoes, crushed with your hands (I used half a glass jar of strained tomatoes because apparently there's nasty things in cans)
2.5 tbsp of olive oil
1 bunch of fresh basil
Salt to taste
(I added 1 clove of garlic and 1 pinch of red chili flakes)

Cut the basil into thin ribbons (it's called "chiffonade," apparently). Cook basil in olive oil for 30 seconds and then add everything else. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Building the pizza:
The suggested hand stretching of the dough was difficult, so I alternated hand stretching with rolling with a Costco travel mug. Classy. Spread the sauce almost to the edge of the dough. One time, I didn't do this and the toppings "shunk" towards the centre. Add any toppings you like. Rob recommends proscuitto, basil and bocconcini. He barbeques his pizza for 5 minutes at 350. I baked mine in the oven at 425 for 20 minutes and then broiled it for a few minutes to crisp the crust and the cheese.

Enjoy with red wine and salad. Try to eat it all that night. You'll manage.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

More Wine Tasting

One my favourite parts of summer in British Columbia is our annual trip to the Okanagan for sun, lakes and wine. Here are some pictures from La Stella in Osoyoos. Our lovely tasting lady gave us many interesting details about the winery that I (shockingly) don't recall, but I do remember the beautiful scenery and the fact that these grapes at the bottom are Merlot. 
Although La Stella was beautiful, it wasn't my favourite. Desert Hills has tastier wines and Hester Creek has a beautiful terrace. Now, the wine rack is full and my Scottish skin is a little less pale. Yeah summer rituals!