Monday, May 01, 2006

Preparing the Ark, and why I like pizza

The Cities is in its fourth straight day of rain, and I am resisting the urge to start rounding up two of every animal. Now, where did I park my Ark? :) This is absolutely crazy weather.

However, it was only overcast on my run tonight with an occasional spritz of a passing raindrop, so it was not entirely unpleasant. I ran my "usual" route, which is a 4.5 mile jaunt past the school and through a quiet neighborhood. There are some older homes with lots of huge trees, and there is a series of "s" curves (my favorite part of the route) that go past a pond where there are usually lots of birds. Not too much activity tonight, but the feathered friends are probably as sick of the rain as I am!

I had a homemade pepperoni and fresh basil pizza for dinner tonight (pictured to the left)! This dish is one of my staples. I typically make a batch of dough on the weekend and keep it in the fridge for easy weeknight meals (the dough keeps well in a Ziploc bag for up to a week). I also like pizza the night before a race, as it is a great source of carbohydrates.

Some time ago, I saw the Food Network's Alton Brown making pizza on his show, "Good Eats," and I have been using his dough recipe ever since. Haven't bought a frozen pizza in years! I follow the recipe closely with some minor alterations. All of the measurements are the same; however, I use regular active dry yeast (as opposed to instant yeast), and I bloom it in the water before mixing it into the dry ingredients. I also us a blend of flour, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, and 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, which I think adds great flavor and texture to the crust. Top it however you like (remembering that less is actually more!), bake on a pizza stone in a 500 degree oven for about 7 minutes, and you are good to go. Give it a try!

Until later,

Jean
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