I love the smell of yeast and fresh bread baking in the oven. I love watching it puff and rise. What a magical thing to witness. I'd always thought of pit bread as something difficult to make, but this recipe is fairly easy. It involves adding ingredients to a stand mixer and then letting the stand mixer do all the hard work for you. All you really need is some time to kill. This recipe produces the most wonderful soft pockets of goodness.
Add the flour to the yeast mixture and combine with either a wooden spoon, food processor with a dough attachment, or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Do not knead the dough, just mix until all the ingredients are uniformly moistened with no dry patches. The dough should be moist and sticky.
Cover the bowl with saran wrap and then poke it with tiny holes. Let the dough sit covered for 2 hours in a warm draft free area. The dough should double in size. Once it has doubled place it in the fridge until you are ready to use. It can stay in the fridge for up to 14 days or the freezer for 3 months. Do not punch down the dough, it needs to retain as much gas as possible.
When you are ready to make your pizzas, pre-cut and prepare all of your ingredients. They should be located in an easy to reach spot. You want to top your pizza quickly so the dough doesn't stick to the paddle or counter.
Place your cast iron pan on the stove top and preheat on medium for 10 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and place the oven rack on the highest slot.
Working very quickly, generously sprinkle flour or cornmeal on the pizza paddle to prevent it from sticking. Gather a peach size piece of dough by grabbing, twisting then cutting from the larger batch. Cover your hands and the dough in flour, until it is no longer sticky. Put the dough back in the fridge, it is easier to work with when it's cold.
Gently stretch and flatten the dough into a disk by pulling and rotating with your hands. Place the dough onto the pizza paddle and using a rolling pin dusted with flour, roll the dough into its final shape 1/8 inch think. Quickly top the pizza with sauce, then vegetables, and cheese. Drizzle with olive oil.
Slide the pizza into the cast iron pan (you may need a spatula to help give it a little push) and cover with a lid. Cook the pizza for 4 minutes and do not remove the lid until done. Remove the lid, then place the cast iron pan in the oven on the top rack for 3 minutes to brown the cheese. With a spatula, remove the pizza from the pan and place it onto a cutting board. Slice and serve warm.
Don't you love those lazy Sunday afternoons. Lazy Sunday afternoons are a perfect time to make homemade bread. You can spend the whole day lying about, while the yeast does its magic! My lazy Sunday afternoon was spend making North African coriander bread. This recipe has been passed down from my friends mother, and I excited to share it with you.
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, unsalted
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp honey
6 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp coriander
1/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated cloves
1 tbsp grated orange peel
In a saucepan, on low heat, warm the milk, butter, and honey until the butter has melted. Remove from heat and let cool. It is important to let the mixture cool before adding to the yeast, because a high temperature will kill the yeast.
In a separate bow, proof the yeast by mixing 1/2 cup warm water and 1/2 tsp of honey. Let the mixture sit until it starts bubbling and foaming.
In a large bowl, or in a stand mixer bowl, combine the yeast mixture, milk and butter mixture, 3 1/2 cups of flour, eggs, salt, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel. Beat for 2 minutes with either the dough hook for a stand mixer or with a wooden spoon. Gradually add 3 more cups of flour.
Once the ingredients are combined, take the dough and knead it on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, approximately 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in size, approximately one hour.
After one hour, punch the dough down and divide into 3 balls. Place the dough onto a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rise for 10 minutes. Place each dough piece into 3 separate well oiled loaf pans. Brush the tops with melted butter and let rise again for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F and bake for 35 - 40 minutes, or until top has browned.