Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy late Valentines!

I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day! We ate at our favorite place…the Cottage. We do go out on occasion but the more we cook the more we find we are less impressed with the food we get when doing so. Dessert was fantastic, so I’ll share a photo and the super easy recipe:

Fried dough with strawberries and ice cream Yes, you can make fried dough at home and it’s easy. You might be wishing I hadn’t told you that. It’s pizza dough that you fry. Simple as that.

Here’s the recipe we use for the dough: (buy the pizza yeast if you can find it.  Much less yeasty)

1-3/4 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope Fleischmann's® Pizza Crust Yeast
OR Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup very warm water (120 to 130°F)*                     

Combine 1 cup flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Add very warm water and oil; mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Dough should form a ball and will be slightly sticky. Knead** on a floured surface, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes.  (If using RapidRise Yeast, let dough rest at this point for 10 minutes.)

*If you don't have a thermometer, water should feel very warm to the touch.

**To knead the dough, add just enough flour to the dough and your hands to keep the dough from sticking.  Flatten dough and fold it toward you.Using the heels of your hands, push the dough away with a rolling motion.  Rotate dough a quarter turn and repeat the "fold, push and turn" steps.  Keep kneading dough until it is smooth and elastic.  Use a little more flour if dough becomes too sticky, always working the flour into the ball of dough.

The strawberry topping is equally easy:
Cut strawberries into small pieces. We used frozen organic since our garden didn’t give us enough to keep this past summer. We’re moving them this coming spring, it seems like they get too much shade.
Sprinkle with sugar to taste. You don’t need a lot. I used about a ½ teaspoon for 5-6 berries. Microwave for 1-2 minutes (I was close to 2 minutes because ours were frozen)
You can add a little corn starch to thicken the juice, but you don’t need to. I didn’t.

We bought the ice cream. We’ll be venturing into the realm of homemade ice cream soon. Too many “natural flavors” in everything anymore. I imagine whatever they are, they aren’t good or they would listed as what they actually are.

Once your dough has proofed and risen, roll it out. You can leave it in a single big piece (size to fit your fryer so that it is all in the oil at once) or cut into smaller pieces. Heat your fryer oil to frying temperature. We don’t have a thermometer so I can’t say how hot it is. If you don’t have a fryer, you can use a pan-we use a deep cast iron pan as a fryer. Drop the dough into the oil carefully-don’t splash yourself with the oil, it’s hot! Let it cook to medium brown on each side-it doesn’t take long to cook so watch carefully. We use a pair of tongs to flip it. It only takes about a minute total to cook so you aren’t going to want to walk away from it!

Remove the fried dough from the heat and put on a plate. We sprinkled a little powdered sugar on ours, then poured on the strawberries and added a couple scoops of ice cream. YUM!

We only used half of the dough for fried dough. You can store it for a few days in the fridge, but we made a pizza with the other half of the dough. We made it in a standard size cast iron frying pan.

 Here’s the pizza:

As you might have noticed, we’ve been cooking a lot lately. Well, it’s cold. Still. Sunday AM it was -4 air temp. Right now as I type this at about 9:30 pm on Monday it's -7. AIR temp.  I don't want to look at wind chill.  -7 is cold enough.  That pretty much puts a damper on anything outdoors. About all that’s been happening outside is plowing snow and bringing in wood. I should post some pics of that. We have a little Ford 120 tractor to plow the snow. I’ve also been using a flying saucer (sled) to bring the wood to the house. There’s enough snow that it’s easier than tramping through it carrying it. Plus I can bring more per trip!

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