October 29, 2008

Daring Bakers - Pizza & Toppings

Another month brings us to another Daring Baker's challenge. In some respects, I failed; in others, I did okay.

For October, Rosa, from Rosa's Yummy Yums chose an easy to follow recipe for “Pizza Napoletana” from Peter Reinhart's “The Bread Baker's Apprentice” which yields a beautifully tasty, thin, crispy, yet chewy pizza crust.

In her announcement post, she said, "I’m sure you’re going to like (well, I hope…)" We loved it.

Because of the need to have a photographer present while making the crust, I decided that pizza-making would be a great activity for the family to do while my mom was in town. Saturday evening was chosen as our special day.

On Friday night I began the process by making the dough and putting it in the fridge to rest. The next day we made 6 rounds from the risen dough. When they were ready, it was time to try tossing. This is where I failed. I wasn't in a great mood to begin with, but as a prepared my dough, it kept stretching and as I started to toss, holes would form immediately. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong and how to fix it.

Julia, on the other hand, picked up a piece of dough and tossed perfectly:

Doughs ready to be topped.

We didn't go wild on the toppings this time. Four pizzas gave us four opportunities to mix flavors.

Green bean, onion, tomato, chicken.

Chicken, tomato, onion, mushroom.

Here Lisa is explaining the soggy issue with the crust being too thin. It happened on every crust that was tossed. We plan to divide the dough into four sections instead of six next time to see if the increased amount of dough will help us achieve a slightly thicker crust.

The final product, minus the plain cheese version.
October 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Kyah!

It's Kyah's 3rd birthday and she requested a Snow White cake. I had hoped to try a 'barbie doll' cake, but time and supplies were limited. Instead, I created a color-flow image of Snow White, complete with Mickey head/Disney stamp.
White cake, plain BC.
October 01, 2008

Happy Birthday, Melanie

It's Melanie's birthday on Monday so it's time for another birthday cake. Last year Melanie got a cute little white cake with raspberry filling just like almost everyone else did. She loved it and didn't share any, but I know her favorite kind of cake is carrot cake. My mom shared a recipe for carrot cake that came from the mother of one of her good old recipe that is wonderful.
She gave me the recipe last year for Melanie's birthday but I didn't have time to bother with trying a new recipe at that time. This year I made time. I have never been a fan of carrot cake, but tonight I changed my mind. This is a very dense and moist cake. It has carrots, pineapple, coconut, and walnuts in it. I am not a fan of cooked raisins (no, I never order the cheese and raisin ravioli at Bona Casa). The icing is simply cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar.

The cake is an individual size again this year, but torted and filled, then topped with cream cheese icing, I can't imagine Melanie eating this one alone--it would do her in. I wouldn't blame her, though, if she attempted it. It is definitely a cake worth keeping to herself.