Sunday, March 27, 2011

Deep-Dish Pizza

Source: The New Best Recipe Cookbook (America's Test Kitchen)

Serves: 4


  • 1 medium baking potato, peeled and quartered (this sounds really weird, but the dough was amazing! Don't skip this ingredient!!)
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl
  1. Bring 1 quart of water and the potato to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until the potato is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the potato and cool until it can be handled comfortably.
  2. Press through the fine disk on a potato ricer or grate on the large holes of a box grater. (The grater worked perfectly for me.) Measure 1 1/3 cups lightly packed potato; discard the remaining potato. (I saved the remaining potato to make hash browns the next morning.)
  3. Adjust one oven rack to the highest position and the other rack to the lowest position. Heat the oven to 200°. Once the temperature reaches 200°, maintain the heat for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  4. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. With the motor running, add the water and process until the dough comes together in a shaggy ball. 
  5. Add the potato and process for several seconds, then add 2 tablespoons of the oil and process several more seconds, until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky.
  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled medium bowl, turn to coat with oil, and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the warmed oven until the dough is soft and spongy and doubled in size (approximately 30-35 minutes).
  7. Oil the bottom of a 14-inch deep-dish pizza pan (**see the note at the bottom if you don't have a deep-dish pizza pan, or need to make 2 smaller pizzas, like I did.) with the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
  8. Remove the dough from the oven and gently punch down; tun the dough onto a clean, dry work surface and pat into a 12-inch round. Transfer the round to the oiled pan, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest until the dough no longer resists shaping, about 10 minutes.
  9. Place a pizza stone or rimless baking sheet on the lowest oven rack (do not use an insulated cookie sheet. If you don't have either of these, turn a regular cookie sheet upside down) and preheat the oven to 500°. 
  10. Uncover the dough and pull it to the edges and up the sides of the pan to form a 1-inch high lip. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  11. Uncover the dough and prick generously with a fork. Reduce the oven temperature to 425° and bake on the heated stone or baking sheet until the crust is dry and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. 
  12. Add the desired toppings. (We used diced tomatoes, browned hamburger with Italian seasoning and Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese (cheese only on one pizza).)
  13.  Bake on the stone/sheet until the cheese melts, 10 to 15 minutes.
  14. Move the pizza to the top rack and bake until the cheese is golden brown in spots, about 5 minutes longer. To make sure the crust is done, use a spatula to lift up the crust - it should be nicely browned underneath. 
  15. Let cool for 5 minutes, then, holding the pizza pan at an angle with one hand, use a wide spatula to slide the pizza from the pan to a cutting board. Cut into wedges and serve.

 **If you don't have a deep-dish pizza pan or need to make two smaller pizzas**

I used two 9-inch cake pans. Prepare everything according to the above directions, splitting up the ingredients as necessary (ie. half the dough in each pan, half of the olive oil to grease each pan, half of the toppings on each pizza, etc.). Instead of patting each half into 12-inch rounds, make 8-inch rounds. Decrease the cook time on the lower rack to 5-10 minutes, though this seemed a little long for mine. The crust was a little browner on the bottom than I would have liked. I did 6 minutes on the lower rack and 6 minutes on the upper. Next time I will probably do 6 minutes on the bottom and 4 on the top.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Baked Chicken with Peaches


Serves: 4


  • 4 skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 peaches, sliced (I used one can of sliced peaches)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 ground cloves (I used nutmeg)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° and lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan.
  2. Place chicken in the baking pan and sprinkle with half of the brown sugar. Place the peach slices on top of the chicken and sprinkle the other half of the brown sugar on top. Then sprinkle the ginger, cloves and lemon juice over that.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes.