Wednesday, January 16, 2008

grinding for pizza

Like I said earlier I got a grain mill for Christmas this year. (mine didn't cost that much either!) I have been really unsure of how to start using it. I've been looking online at different resources. I've ordered some books online. But still, it just sat there.

Yesterday was one of those days where I just couldn't get motivated to do anything. I needed to take the 2 little ones with me to pay our car registrations and I was putting that off. Then I got inspired about a dinner idea. I decided to make some chicken and dumplings and a loaf of bread to go with it. Then I would finally get to use my mill.

Then I realized that my afternoon was not conducive to baking bread. I had to pick Trey up from band at 4, give his friend a ride home, take Trey to guitar lessons, wait that 30 minutes and get home a little after 5. Not a good day to be baking bread.

Then I decided on pizza! I still got to grind some flour to make crust and I had plenty of time to let that dough just sit and rise while I was out and about. I ground extra for pancakes this morning and a loaf of bread to make later today too.

Kathy asked me the other day if I had a whole wheat pizza crust. I realized it had been a while since I'd used it, but I do have one I love. And yesterday I got to try it out with fresh milled flour!

The recipe comes from allrecipes and I have tweaked it a little. It starts by proofing the yeast (1 Tablespoon) in 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 F/45C) and 1 teaspoon honey. That needs to sit for about 10 minutes or until foamy. Then stir in 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and 3 cups whole wheat flour. (Since I milled my own, I used a mixture of hard red wheat and soft white on the medium setting. It really looks like all purpose flour when it's dry, but it looks like a white and wheat mix when I start using it.)

I stirred that together with my stand mixer using speed 2 for about 3 minutes. Then I added another cup of flour. The original recipe only calls for a half cup at that point but mine just still seemed too wet. I let the mixer knead that for about another 6 minutes until it was smooth and away from the sides of the bowl.

I let it rise for just over an hour. Then formed it into 2 rounds, covered it again and let it rise about another 45 minutes.

I used 2 large cookie sheets to pat the dough out on. I pricked the crust all over with a fork and prebaked about 5 minutes at 425. Then I topped the pizzas with home canned sauce (that's why I spent an entire weekend putting up tomatoes after all!) and cheese. And the boys got sausage, onions and peppers and pepperoni on theirs, too.

Putting that through the recipe builder, 8 servings of just the crust is 4 points. I'm all about the sauce for my pizza, so just a little cheese is fine with me. If you like meater toppings, it will be more.

For me, again the awesome part of this is that I made the crust and know exactly what it has in it. I also know from grinding the wheat myself that it still has the most nutrients from the wheat in it too. I'm really excited to learn more about the grinding aspect of it all. The pancakes this morning were awesome too. They were so light and fluffy, not like I would expect ww pancakes to be. Kelli doesn't like "brown" pancakes (her words for my homemade buckwheat pancakes) and she was a little skeptical but ended up loving these pancakes today!

Today is grocery shopping. And I realize that I will probably need to go to 2 stores today. I need a few things from the regular store, but I also really want to go to Sunflower again and get more sugar alternatives. It depends on how cold it really is out there I guess!


Kathy said...

I knew I smelled something good last night!!! Yum! Now, is this the recipe I should copy down or is it still a work in progress?

I'm going through an experimental period of avoiding Splenda to see if my recent headache and allergy symptoms are related. I'm going to try some stevia next time I hit the natural foods market.

Kate said...

Wow, now that sounds wonderful, I'm definitely going to check into getting a mill!

TB--Milwaukee said...

Pizza here tonight was Digorno's. I did not partake as it was WI night.

Wish we had more time to bake and cook around here.

Caroline said...

You're very inspiring with your grain mill! And I can't wait to try your pizza crust recipe since I am a pizza junkie too (hence the Pizza Hut fiasco last night.......)

Lara said...

Hi! I'm visiting from the LargeFamilyRecipes group :) I really want to start grinding my own wheat for bread--I've never considered popcorn! What is your experience with the shelf-life of ground wheat flour and the best way to store it?

Roni said...

I'm making mine again tonight and I think I'll post it if it gets "approval" from the husband!


noelle said...

Lara-I've only done it once and used all that flour within about 18 hours! I think the great thing is that I can grind it as I need it. And the rest can go into the freezer if I don't use it within a couple of days.

Amber said...

Wow thanks for the information. I guess I had never even thought of a grinding mill. Thanks for the recipe as well!

Kate said...

yes! I normally gain 1.2 to 2lbs during TOM, so I guess it was a great weigh in...thanks for the reminder ;)

Swizzlepop said...

I'd never even heard of a grinding mill but it looks really cool. Not sure I'll ever grind my own flour but I have the site bookmarked just in case. Sounds like you had a yummy dinner!