My Thursday Thing: I Love the Smell of Yeast


Earlier this week, I introduced my first Quickie showing you how to proof yeast. So many baking recipes involve the use of yeast which gives dough its amazing rise. I made this video because when I first tried baking with yeast, I failed miserably several times. The dough just didn't rise. Hopefully this video will help you succeed right from the start. And trust me, once you do succeed, there's nothing better than the smell of fresh yeast or a yummy baked goody right out of the oven.


So for My Thursday Thing this week, I figured I would share with you a few of my favorite Pinterest recipes that use yeast along with suggestions for how to enjoy them to the fullest.


Pizza

Yes Pizza! Making your own pizza dough and topping it with your favorite ingredients is not only easy, it's pretty fast because the dough only needs to rise once for about an hour. I've tested a lot of pizza dough recipes, and here's the one I found to be the best tasting for the easiest effort.


Make sure you use bread flour which you can get at any grocery store. It's a little more expensive than regular all purpose flour, but the bread flour has more gluten which gives the dough the elasticity it needs to form the crust and give it its chew. If you are going to use the dough right away, just skip the freezing step in the directions. This recipe should make two 12-14" pizzas. For cooking, get yourself a round pizza stone. They aren't expensive and they really help to get a crispy crust. Place the stone in the middle of your oven and turn on the oven to 500 degrees and allow the oven to stay on for 45 minutes before cooking your pizza.


When the oven is ready, roll the dough out or use your fingertips to stretch it out. Then top with sauce, cheese and meats and/or vegis. Here are a few non-traditional suggestions for how to dress your pie:

  • BBQ sauce, shredded monteray jack, grilled shrimp (seasoned wit jerk seasoning) or pulled pork, pineapple, cilantro (pictured above)

  • Olive oil, chopped garlic, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, shredded mozzarella, ricotta cheese, red pepper flakes

  • Ranch dressing, shredded cheddar, grilled chicken, buffalo sauce, scallion and sour cream (when the pizza comes out of the oven)

I like to assemble my dough on a wood cutting board sprinkled with cornmeal and slide it onto the pizza stone which I also sprinkle with cornmeal. Cook the pizza for about 6-10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is browned.


Donuts

This recipe is a little more work than the pizza dough, but making your own donuts is so satisfying, and you can really impress your family and friends! I recently made this recipe and my kids loved them. I suggest getting yourself a donut cutter (something like this one) to make cutting them super easy and uniform. I have an electric deep fryer which is great because it completely handles managing the oil temperature and there's no risk of burning down your house (as long as you follow the directions for use). I used to deep fry in a deep saucepan and I may have almost burned down my apartment a few times!


As for the recipe, just follow the step by step instructions. For the glaze, I used milk instead of water for a creamier glaze. To spice things up a bit, try changes to the glaze:

  • Chocolate - Add unsweetened cocoa powder or melted chocolate. Add a few pinches of cayenne pepper for a spicy, savory twist.

  • Lemon - Replace the milk with lemon juice and add the zest a lemon.

  • Strawberry - Use water instead of milk and add pureed strawberries.

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