(re)capturing the fun & wonder

Category: In the Kitchen (page 1 of 11)

Tomas’ bread & pizza dough recipe


3 cups of water (mix half hot from a kettle and half cold from tap)
1 tbsp active dry yeast
6.5 cups of flour
1.5 tbsp salt

In a large bowl, add the 3 cups of lukewarm water. Stir in 1 tablespoon of yeast. I usually buy the yeast in a jar, most supermarkets have one or two brands in the baking isle. If you have the yeast packets, use two of those.

Now add all the flour and sprinkle the salt on top. Now the fun part. Make a claw with your mixing hand, and dip it right into the middle of the flour, to the bottom. With your fingers spread apart start mixing in circles. It’ll be rather gooey. Continue mixing and scraping the sides with your fingers for about a minute until all the dry flour is incorporated into the liquid, and the dough comes away from the sides. That’s it! You’ll need to scrape the remaining dough off your fingers.


Now wash your hands (cleanliness is next to Godliness) and cover the bowl either with a damp dish towel or plastic wrap. Put bowl in a non-drafty place. Let rise for at least one hour or for as long as you wish.


When you’re ready to bake, if you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven, and pre-heat oven to 450F.


Flour a large cutting board and pour the wet yeast out onto the board.


Sprinkle some more flour on the dough and flatten it. Fold in the sides, flatten again and repeat a few times until it feels a little firmer.


Shape it into a ball or a long loaf.

Cut the dough into two pieces and place on a well floured cutting board or a pizza paddle and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.


After 20-30 mintues, the oven should be pre-heated and the dough should have risen a bit.


Open the oven and slide the dough onto the pizza stone. You can also try to lift the dough with your hands and dump it on, but that can be a bit tricky. If you want you can slice some gashes into the top of the dough at this point, though it’s not necessary. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

You know it’s done when you lift the bread up and knock on the bottom and it makes a thunking sound, like when you bonk the side of your skull. If the bread is getting too dark or burnt, you can cover it with aluminum foil or lower the heat to 350F. Every oven is different.


For Pizza
I just use my bread recipe and sometimes add a tablespoon or two of honey to the dough.

Divide the dough in two, and cover one with the cloth. Now divide the remaining piece into eight, for individual size pizzas. Knead and pinch each one until it forms a little ball. Cover. Repeat with the other half. If you need to save these, you can store them each in plastic wrap that’s twisted shut, in the fridge. When you’re ready to use, just roll them out on a well floured pizza paddle.

That’s it!

Easy chicken curry

DSC_0048.JPGI made this after searching for a recipe for Chicken Tikka Masala. When I went to the store I forgot to bring the recipes I’d found so had to wing it when I got home — this is a combo of maybe three or four different recipes I’d read. I used red wine because it’s what I had on hand to de-glaze my pan, it ended up adding a lovely depth to the dish.

table spoon each of butter & vegetable oil
Boneless chicken thighs
Pint heavy cream
Cup red wine
Garam massala
Curry powder
Tumeric (mostly for the lovely color)
Salt & fresh cracked pepper

How to:
Heat up oil & butter in a heavy bottomed pan (I like cast iron) till hot then add spices to your taste (I do a few dashes of each).
Brown your chicken thighs in batches, setting done pieces aside in a dish
Deglaze your pan with the red wine & reduce until the liquid is syrupy
Return the chicken to the pan and cover in heavy cream
Simmer for about 30 minutes, adding more spices, salt, and pepper to taste. Your cream will have reduced to a nice, rich consistency.
Serve with white rice and a garnish of cilantro if you have any.

Impromptu snow cones

snow, apple, honey

The kids begged and pleaded to make snow cones from the fresh powder that covered the landscape yesterday morning. I hemmed & hawed … we had no syrups in the house & wasn’t snow bad for you?

Well, it probably would have been bad for me in New York City where I grew up, but out here? It was pristine.

So I handed them a squeeze bottle of honey & told them to have at.

They were thrilled, and I had an extra few minutes of quiet to putter about the house.