I always thought that one of the strangest, but most fun parts of planning a wedding was when you and your bride-to-be got a chance to create a registry for your wedding shower. Upon arriving at a kitchen department store, you are given a laser gun to zap your future kitchen into shape. Fine china dishes that you’ll use once a year, zap and they’re yours. Espresso maker...zap, zap! Quesadilla machine...zap, zap, zap! Don’t mind if we do.
But then the honeymoon is over and you start to unpack your loot. Practicality comes into play and gifts that seemed so necessary at the time begin to lose their appeal. Sure, you’ve used your waffle maker a few times for Sunday morning breakfast, but then you realize how messy these appliances can get. Quickly, every appetizer apparatus and gastro-gizmo are stripped of their prime, kitchen counter real estate, and exiled to a far away cabinet, basement shelf, or garage attic awaiting the next yard sale.
Is that any way to treat a new friend?
So, give a second chance to the machines of the kitchen by harnessing the power of your mixer, blender, juicer, and food processor. These cook-room workhorses can do everything from making a speedy, homemade pizza or naan dough, to squeezing out fresh cilantro, leek, and avocado green goddess to add to your next fish dish or salad. Sure, you didn’t really need that space filling quesadilla machine, but don’t punish the others for it. Take ‘em out, find a place for them within arms reach, and get ‘em dirty. In 2015, it’s time for the Rise of the Machines.
Quick Pizza Dough (enough for 3 medium pizzas)
- 4 cups bread flour (all-purpose flour can be used as substitute)
- 1/2 cup wheat flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 envelope of dry yeast
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 3/4 cup or more of hot water
In your mixer bowl, add all of the dry ingredients in order. Most of the measurements can be adjusted based on preference, but since this dough is rising so quickly, make sure you add the sugar. Sugar will help the yeast to react with the dough. Use the dough hook blade on your mixer and turn the machine on low.
Let the dry ingredients mix for a few minutes and then add the olive oil. Next, add the hot water, a little at a time, occasionally stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the machine to a medium setting and continue to add water until the dough forms into a manageable and slightly sticky ball.
If the dough is too dry, add a few drops of water; too wet, a few pinches of flour.
Next, remove the dough from the machine and place on lightly floured surface. Knead into a ball. Take the ball and add to an oiled bowl at least three times the size of the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot for about 1 hour. At this point, the dough should at least double in size.
Lastly, put the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into three equal pieces. Gently shape each into a ball and cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Let the pizza making begin!