Bread and Pizza, Brunch, Uncategorized

Thank you and a homemade pizza

Thank you so much to all of you, my over 200 followers, for taking the time to stop by and following my blog.

Thank you for your comments but also for all your posts that inspire me daily.

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This week, I had a¬†couple of days off, so called a short vacation that I needed it so much. My mind and body were crying for some time off. When I was asked what my plans were, I said that I just wanted to relax. Now I believe we are all different and we relax in our own way. Usually, when I relax means, I want to be equally productive and physically active and just at the end of the day, lazy. ūüôā¬†I really like exuberance and happiness I feel after a good and thoroughly¬†house cleaning or after a five-kilometer ( or more ) walk.

I just wanted to share with you what a day off means to me. I woke up at 06:00 AM instead of 05:00 AM. I started as usual with coffee and getting the breakfast ready. Becuase there was no rush I decided to make a frittata with feta cheese and fresh dill.

fritatta

Around 06:50 hubby and daughter left for work and college, so there were only my babies left in the house and me. After a few coffee sips, I put my furry boys in the crate on the balcony so they can enjoy the warm¬†morning, so I started to clean the house. By 08:30 I finished two laundry loads and by 09:30 the cleaning was done. The cleaning included the windows as well. ūüėČ

After a quick shower, I could finally enjoy the fresh scent of a clean house and my second cup of coffee while browsing the internet for lunch ideas. Homemade pizza was the winner. I decided for a Three Cheese¬†Tuna- Crab Meat Pizza. I have to admit it turned out delicious. My daughter said: “I have no idea what you do or put on your pizza that makes it always the best pizza comparing with ¬†the takeout ones ;)”

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 2 1/4 cups of whole-wheat flour ( I used 1/4 cup when kneading the dough )
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
  • the juice of one lemon

For the pizza topping:

  • sweet basil tomato sauce
  • 100 gr mozzarella
  • 100 gr feta cheese
  • 50 gr of Parmigiano ¬†petals
  • 1 large tuna in water ( no drain one )
  • 1 can of crab meat ( well drained )
  • 1/2 of a large organic¬†white onion
  • green olives

Combine the flour, salt,  turmeric and chia seeds if using.

Put the yeast in a cup of warm water. When it start to bubble, pour the mixture over the flour. Add the olive oil and lemon juice and mix all together.  Once combined, knead by hand for about 5 to 10 minutes. The dough is ready when it feels soft, springy and elastic.  Place the dough in a clean, oiled bowl, cover it and set it in a warm place.

In about an hour the dough should triple the size and be ready for the pizza. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Oil a work surface and roll the dough into a rectangle shape. Rol the dough in half and place it on the baking tray and start topping it.

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Using a ladle add the sauce and using the back of the spoon swirl it all over the top of the dough. Top it with tuna, crab meat, thin slices of onion and green olives. Crumble the feta cheese and sprinkle shredded mozzarella and Parmigiano petals.

Cook in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes.

 

pizza 1

 

pizza 2

It feels like I’ve been making pizza since I was young. I started by using the ready made dough, but once I learned to make the dough, it became so natural to have a homemade pizza a few times a month.

Some people might think that is time-consuming, but I like it because while the dough is getting ready, I have the time to prepare the topping. While the pizza is in the oven, I got ready and left to wait for my daughter so we could enjoy 3 kilometers walk back home. We kept hydrated with lemon infused water. It was a good exercise that made us hungry, so when we reached home, we were so eager to enjoy that pizza and watch our favorite show: The Bridge.

 

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In the evening I didn’t do much but watched some videos on Youtube, planning my new knitting – crochet projects ūüôā when I did not play with my furry babies ūüėČ

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast, Brunch

Green Olives Focaccia

Focaccia is flat bread that is oven-baked. Focaccia dough is pretty similar to pizza doughs.

You can serve Focaccia as an appetizer, snack or just table bread. Focaccia can be topped with herbs, onion, and cheese or even meet. Focaccia with Rosemary is a common focaccia style in Italian cuisine.

The main difference between pizza dough and Focaccia dough is that focaccia contain a higher quantity of yeast causing the dough to rise significantly. Also this higher quantity of yeast permits the dough to absorb a large amount of oil.

After you rolled out the dough, you need to dot the dough by creating multiple wells in the bread just by using your fingers. Spread olive oil on top either by hand or with a pastry brush before rising and baking.

Ingredients for about 10-12 servings

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour plus more for
  • 5 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, some extra for the top
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion (this time I used onion flakes)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (I had only dry one handy)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh oregano leaves
  • 4 tbsp. of green olives (I used stuffed ones)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a medium bowl. Wait a few minutes for the yeast to proofing. Add the yeast mixture and two tbsp. of olive oil to the flour and start working the dough. Add more flour if needed. Work the dough for about 5-10 minutes until is coming off your hands.

Transfer the dough to a oiled bowl. Cover loosely (with plastic wrap) and let stand in a warm area until dough has almost doubled in size. (approximately an hour)

Lined a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush it with 2 Tbsp. oil. Stretch and press dough on sheet into a rectangle slightly smaller than the sheet. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil.

Preheat the oven to 475. Remove plastic wrap and dot the dough with your fingertips. Scatter onion flakes, rosemary, and oregano and stuffed mushrooms over dough; season with salt and pepper.

Bake focaccia until golden brown, 10‚Äď15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before slicing it and enjoy it ūüôā

 

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Breakfast, Brunch, Muffins and other sweets

Savory muffins

After we ‘overloaded’ on the Overloaded Muffins I was just craving for some savory ones for a change. Personally, I love both. These goodies are called Grab and Go Muffins. I had two for breakfast and two for lunch at work. I could have another two for dinner, no problem if I wouldn’t have to share them ūüôā

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 chicken breast¬†cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 4 free run eggs
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan flakes ( save a few cheese flakes for the muffin’s top )
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup cashew milk ( you can use any milk of your choice )
  • 3 strings green onion ( I would say that green onion is highly recommended ¬†in savory muffins. However, ¬†I had no green onions handy so I substitute them with 1/4 red onion diced )
  • Himalayan ¬†salt
  • pinch of sweet paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lined a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin papers.

In a on stick skillet saute the onion, spinach and mushrooms for a few minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside to cool down.

In a small bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Not too much as you have already seasoned for salt the veggies.

In a large bowl mix together the eggs and the milk. Add the chicken, red pepper, Parmesan cheese  and  veggies mix. Stir until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients over the wet ones and stir gently until well combined.

Scoop the mixture in the prepared tray. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown on top. Let it cool in the tray for about 5 minutes and than place the muffins of a cooling rack and just enjoy them ūüėČ

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Brunch

Sweet and Savory Bread Puddings

I don’t know what you do when you have too much bread or ¬†stale bread in your kitchen but I would always come with a bread pudding version: sweet or savory depending on what else is there in the fridge or cupboards.

Bread pudding is a bread-based dessert popular in many countries’ cuisines . As you might know the main ingredients are stale bread and milk or cream, eggs and some ¬†form of fat: butter or suet. If you choose a sweet bread pudding version you also need sugar, dried fruits, nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, bourbon or rum extract. ¬†If you choose a savory variation you can also add cheese, mushroom, spinach, olives depending on your inspiration.

I  think no matter what kind you choose they both are a great choice for brunch.

Savory puddings can also be used as meal.

Sweet bread pudding:

dried prunes, cinnamon and dried prunes bread pudding 

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apples and cinnamon bread pudding 

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Savory bread puddings:

cheddar, feta and green olives bread pudding 

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Spinach and cheese bread pudding: 

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Spinach and goat cheese whole wheat bread pudding

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I hope that whatever your choice will be you enjoy ¬†the bread pudding ūüôā

Muffins and other sweets

No Butter Cinnamon Raisins Buns

As you might know, the main ingredients in a cinnamon roll are flour, cinnamon, sugar and butter. So you might ¬†think why no butter ? It’s not because I don’t like butter; I love butter. I love it too much and sometimes I prefer not to buy it so I can stay away from it

But who can stay away from cinnamon buns ?!? If you don’t use butter you can substitute with olive oil ( any oil of your choice it works ) ¬†and believe me there was almost no difference ūüėČ

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp instant traditional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large run free egg
  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of 1% lactose free milk

Heat the milk but never reach boiling point.

In a bowl add 1/2 cup of warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 2 tbsp instant yeast. Let it activate for about 10-15 minutes.

In a large bowl add the flour, salt sugar and mix. Make an indentation, add the egg lightly beaten, milk and the yeast mixture. Start kneading until the dough is coming from your hands and it’s no sticky. ¬†You might have to add a bit of all-purpose flour. Knead for about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a clean, oily bowl and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic foil. Let it rise for about 1 hour in a warm place.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a thin rectangle. Brush with 3 Tbsp of olive oil ( you could also use grape seeds oil ). Top the dough with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 – 1 Tbsp cinnamon (to taste).

Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough. Cut the dough into 2 inch pieces. Add the pieces in a square or round pan lined with oily baking paper. Brush the rolls with olive oil for a reach golden color. Cover them with plastic wrap and let them stend on the top of your preheat oven ( 375 F ) for about 30 more minutes.

Bake the rolls for about 25 – 35m minutes until nice and golden on top. While fresh from the oven brush them with some honey ( optional )

Let them cool for a few minutes and then serve and enjoy them ūüôā

 

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                  ♥

 

 

Brunch, Muffins and other sweets

Pesto swirls /Black olive pate swirls

Today in Toronto ( and all Southern Ontario ) was a red cold weather alert with temperature that went between minus 30 to minus 40 last night.

So I asked myself…what could I do during such weather? If you know me, by now, I think you already know the answer.

I decided to bake.

I ¬†took a peek in the fridge and I saw I have some pesto and black olive pate; I didn’t need ¬†more than a few seconds to come to a decision: buns … savory buns !!!

What do you need:

  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of white flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry east
  • 1 teaspoon organic chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon organic golden flex seeds (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 3 teaspoons of pesto
  • 3 teaspoons of black olives pate

Combine the flour ( both types ) turmeric and the seeds if using.

Make a hollow in the flour and add the yeast and one cup of warm water.

When it start to bubble add the olive oil, sprinkle the salt and the rest of the water and

mix all together. Once combined, knead by hand for about 5 to 10 minutes. The dough is

ready when it feels soft, springy and elastic.  Place the dough in a clean oiled bowl and set

aside covered in a warm place.

In about an hour and 30 minutes the dough should triple the size and to be ready for the buns.

Line a muffin tray with baking paper liners. The dough is a bit oily so there is no need to oil the tray or the liners.

Oil a work surface and roll the dough in a rectangle shape.

Spread the pesto on half of the dough and the olives pate on the other half.

VARIATION: If you really want and have handy ( I did not ) you can add some more cheese on top; like shredded  mozzarella.

Roll the dough in a long sausage and cut it in about about a inch wide buns.

Place them in the muffin tray. If some buns are smaller ( the ends ) you could add two buns in one liner ūüôā

Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the oven.

What can I say more ??? ¬†I couldn’t stop at just one piece ! Delicious !

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