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Friday, June 1, 2012

The Bestest Bread - Part 3

With the basic bread recipe (see post dated May 30th), we've made bread, cheese bread, rolls, breadsticks, cinnamon rolls and pizza rolls.  Today we'll use the dough to make pizza and soft pretzels.

Pizza - makes 2 very large pizzas
 1/2 recipe bread dough
Pizza or spaghetti sauce,  homemade or bought
2 lbs. mozzarella cheese, more or less depending on how cheesy you like your pizzas
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
pizza fixings of your choice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Set oven rack on one of the lower settings.
After dough has risen for the first time, punch down and divide dough in half.  For each blob, roll very thin on lightly floured counter.  Place on pizza screen or pizza pan.  I like the pizza screen because it makes a crisper crust.  Spread pizza sauce onto dough.  Sprinkle cheeses over sauce.  Top with pizza fixings. 
Bake for about 10 minutes, or until crust is brown on the bottom and cheese is bubbly on top.  The time will vary based on the amount of toppings you have on your pizza.

Soft pretzels - 1/4 basic bread dough recipe will make 8 pretzels

 After dough has risen for the first time, punch down and divide dough into 8 pieces.  With each piece, twist, pull and roll into long rope, 18-20 inches long and about 1/2" in diameter.  Form into a pretzel shape and place on lightly floured baking sheet.  Let rest for about 30 minutes.  While pretzels are resting, prepare a water bath.  Take a large pot and fill it about 2/3 full with water.   Add 2 t. baking soda.  Bring to a boil.  When the pretzels have finished resting, carefully lower one pretzel at at time into the boiling water, cooking for 30 seconds on each side.  Remove from water and place on greased baking sheet.  Sprinkle each pretzel with coarse salt.  When all 8 have had their bath, bake in 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.  Eat warm with mustard.  A true Philadelphia treat!

I hope you've enjoyed this series of things you can make with a basic bread dough recipe.  There are many  cinnamon pull-aparts, apple turnovers, meat turnovers, calzones... Be creative!  Let the kids join you in making their own treat! 


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