Garlic/Basil Pizza Dough

One thing we love around here is PIZZA! And, since I became fairly proficient with a few bread recipes, I figured I could probably do the same with pizza dough, right?

I found a good basic crust recipe in a cookbook we picked up along the way, and I had a recipe from my sister-in-law… both were similar, and both were pretty good. But the crust was rather bland. So, I got creative and added a few pizza-ish herbs! Thus was born my Garlic-Basil Pizza Dough!

Ingredients

2 cups warm water (~110ºF)
2 packets of yeast (3 1/2 tsp)
4 Tbps Olive Oil (I use mild)
2 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
5-6 Cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, then add the rest of the ingredients. I generally do five cups of flour first, and then mix in the final cup (or less) till the dough is the perfect consistency. Put a little olive oil in the base of your mixing bowl, cover, and let the dough rise for around an hour in a warm place. I preheat the oven on the lowest temperature while making the dough, then turn it off and let it rise inside the oven.

This amount makes enough dough for two large cookie-sheet pizzas.

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies!These cookies are fairly quick and easy, and are a delicious treat! (I know this because they don’t last much longer than it takes to cool them off! They are a hit in the Campbell home!)

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker’s 40th Anniversary Cookbook

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 350ºF. (Recipe says 375ºF, but I have found 350ºF to work better with my oven.)

Mix the first six ingredients together until smooth and then add the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Optional extra ingredients include chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. (And whatever else you might want to throw in!)

The recipe says to chill, but I’ve never found that to be necessary. Roll teaspoon size balls of dough and place on a cookie sheet. Press down to about 1/4″ thick with a fork (making crisscross marks by turning the for 90º) or with any sort of styled press for even more fun-looking cookies! Sprinkle each cookie with white sugar and bake for 9-10 minutes, or until cookies look dry and you can see a slight browning around the bottom edge.

Let them cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet, and then remove to a baking rack to cool more thoroughly.

Recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Fantastic French Bread

INGREDIENTS:
4 Tbps Butter (softened)
2 1/4 Cups Water (warm, ~110ºF)
3 1/2 tsp yeast
7 Cups flour
1 Tbps Salt
2 Tbps Sugar

Preheat oven just enough that it’s a nice warm place for rising.  (Make sure it’s not too hot!)  I like to even put my mixing bowl in the oven for a few minutes to make sure it’s warm, too.  Dissolve yeast in warm water.  Add butter.  Add flour, salt, sugar.  Mix with bread hook until dough is removed from the side of the mixing bowl.  Should be not too sticky, not too dry.

Remove dough from bowl and add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to the bottom of the bowl the dough will rise in.  Roll the dough in the oil until it is sufficiently covered, then cover the bowl with a towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.

Punch down the dough, and half.  Spread each half out on a floured surface and roll tightly into a long roll, tucking the ends in.  Cut small slices in the top of the loaf, 4 or 5 per loaf, 1/4″ deep or so.  Place on a stone (covered with a dusting of corn meal) and place the shaped bread back in the warm oven for 45 minutes to an hour.  (Do not let it rise too much as this will flatten your bread!)

At the end of the second rise, turn oven to 425ºF and bake for 20-25 minutes (depends on your oven).  Watch carefully.  Bread should sound hollow when you tap on it.  Should be a nice golden brown.  An egg wash can also be applied if a crunchier crust is desired.

Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes, then ENJOY!