I like to think of cooking as an extension of crafting. Crafting that you can eat. We’ve definitely stepped up the cooking at home since we’ve move to Sweden and my skillz have improved with practice. I rely heavily on my Everyday Food cookbooks, Everyday Food + Everyday Food Light. But then I start tweaking things, making notes in the margins or switching out main ingredients to create whole new dishes. No recipe is sacred in my kitchen!
Lately, I’ve been cooking from my recipe board on Pinterest, and found some wonderful food bloggers in the process. My fav to read right now is My Name Is Yeh. She has a wonderful voice, beautiful pictures (which is not easy, people!) and a clean site. Her recipes are easy to follow and I love that she notes the preparation as “clues”. Like she knows tweaking is an important part of the cooking experience and just wants to help you along.
I don’t think of Carole + Ellie as a “food blog” at all, but maybe we can expand the definition of crafting to include food? I have a few basic recipes, all of which can be built upon to make dinner, and a few recipes I’ve tweaked to some success. I thought I would share them with you here.
Let’s start with one of my favorite staples, my basic thick pizza crust. One of the things I miss the most about America is Pizza Hut (and all my family and friends of course! But also, Pizza Hut). Fast, warm, butter filled pizza right to your door in 30 minutes for pennies! What’s not to love? But alas, all we have found for take out here is flat, crispy Italian style pizza. Also good, but not what I crave. I tried so many recipes for pizza dough, but for the longest time I couldn’t figure out how to make the dough rise. I mean I used yeast and everything, but nothing doing.
Then, I found Carlsbad Cravings’ Perfect Pizza Crust and smacked myself on the forehead. Just don’t roll the dough out as much! And pinch up the crust to make it big and dough-y. And cook the crust a little first. Genius. Then, I tweaked everything. Here is my version of the perfect pizza dough.
BASICS: Pizza Crust
prep: 1 1/2 hour | cook: 10 minutes
yield: 2 pizza crusts (12” each)
1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil + more to coat the bowl
4 cups all-purpose flour + more for working dough
2 tablespoons butter
+ pizza toppings
In the large bowl of your stand mixer, combine water, sugar + yeast. Let stand 5 minutes till yeast is foamy across the surface.
Using your mixer’s hook attachment, mix in olive oil, salt + 1 1/2 cups flour till combined. Gradually mix in remaining flour till dough pulls away from bowl (you may not need all the flour). Knead by hand or on med-low speed for 5 minutes.
Coat a large bowl with olive oil. Shape dough into a ball and place in bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap + let rise for 1 hour or till doubled in size.
While you wait, place pizza stone in oven + preheat to 475 degrees for 30-60 minutes.
Remove dough + knead a couple of times on floured surface. Divide into two equal parts (freeze or refrigerate one now, if you would like). Remove pizza stone and butter surface with 1 tablespoon butter. Roll dough out to 12” round and about 1/4” thick. Pinch up dough around the edge to create a crust.
Transfer to pizza stone and prick with a fork several times. Bake dough for 4 minutes. Remove, brush crust edge with remaining butter. Prep and add toppings. Bake for 8 more minutes or until cheese bubbles and crust is golden.
// That second pizza crust can be made up to three days later, if you popped it in fridge, and three months later, if it’s in the freezer. Just leave it over night in the fridge (if frozen), then out on the counter for about 30 minutes to warm up.