Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Quick Food Processor Pizza Crust

 Here it is right out of the oven......
It just doesn't get any better than this when your pizza crust never fails.  Kick back, relax and enjoy!!
Talk about quick - no kneading with your food processor doing all the work.  I've been using this recipe for over 30 years and found cooking the crust for 12 minutes before you add your toppings prevents a doughy crust.  This recipe makes a thick crust, so adjust the thickness to your own preference. 

Pizza Dough

1 package active dry yeast (which is 2 1/4 teaspoons if you buy it in bulk)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
Place the ingredients into your food processor and allow the yeast to proof.  If it doesn't bubble, it means it is too old and you need to start over with another package of yeast, water and sugar and proof again.

Add:  2 1/2 cups King Arthur flour
         1 tsp. salt
         1 1/2 tablespoons oil
         2 tablespoons of King Arthur Pizza Dough Flavor (item 1043)
Mix (your food processor may have a dough blade, but the regular blade is fine also) until it is smooth and forms a ball.  If it isn't forming a ball add a teaspoon of water as it is mixing.  If it is too sticky, slowly add more flour.  Your dough is done when it has a smooth, elastic consistency.

Put the dough in a greased bowl and allow to rest.

Cover pan with olive oil and then sprinkle with corn meal.  Stretch the dough onto the pan and allow to rest again. 

Bake the crust at 425 degrees for 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and add your toppings.  Return to the oven to bake an additional 12 minutes.  Leave it in longer if you want to brown the crust or cook the cheese a bit more.

*At home I usually add 2 tablespoons of King Arthur Pizza Dough Flavor   There is nothing out on the market like it and it really does make the crust.  I never tried the pizza dough yeast, so it might have herbs to give it more than a bread flavor. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I'm surprised...

After working on the Frankenstein wall hanging, the turn of the century print that looked like a lace overlay was on my mind.  Did I have more of these kind of prints that I never gave much attention to in the past?

This is the original fabric I called "wild".  As I said, it reminded me of a Battenburg Lace overlay.  

For reference to what I'm saying, this is handmade Battenburg lace.  At one time it graced the collar of a woman's dress.  It is intricate and very beautiful. 

 So a search through some of my vintage fabric produced a piece which measures 35" from selvage to selvage.

Detail of the vintage lace below.

The colors are correct in this image.  Black background with the magenta and ecru lace.

Then I looked through my quilts to find this design style.

After checking out my fabric, I found a print I bought in the 1990's - The Sheryl Roy Collection for South Sea Imports:

Meller and Elffers' in  Textile Designs, categorized this design "Eyelet, Lace, and Netting".  Fabrics of this design suited the copperplate-printing technique allowing for very fine detail and making their mark in the late 19th century.  The design pictured below from the late 19th century looks as though it could have been the inspiration for the South Seas Import piece pictured above.

Image from Textile Designs by Susan Meller and Joost Elffers, page 283.

So I said I was surprised...and I am.  I am surprised more fabric designers haven't picked up on this design sensibility and making a reproduction line to satisfy all the lovers of Steampunk.  

Maybe the original block with the lace design wasn't so "wild" after all, and that I find surprising!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Looking green are we?

AlessandraKathryn on Etsy made this Frankenstein card for me.  My family loves Halloween and this reflects our passion for the holiday perfectly.

Right now, I should be in New York City.  I should be walking through Brooklyn Bridge Park, strolling along the streets in Brooklyn Heights and just enjoying the sights and sounds so different from home.
Unfortunately, our plans were cancelled because my husband looks about as green as Frankenstein.
Now I have an entire weekend free to get busy on some projects I have been setting aside.  My card has been translated into fabric for the center block. 
Here is a Monkey Wrench block from the 1900's.  The half grey mourning print and black novelty print are typical, but the purple with what looks like a Battenburg lace overlay is wild.

This monkey wrench block is a bit tamer, but still the colors look a bit "sickly".   This is definitely the kind of look I'm going for!  Not sure with the light if this is a grey or purple; definitely a half mourning print.  These are just perfect to create a Halloween wall hanging!

Here's the start of it....... I'm sure by the end of the weekend it will have an entirely different look.  

Halloween is here early.  Whatever happened to Mother's Day?  Oh wait, yes, I remember.... every day is Mother's Day!

Not Forgotten

Sometimes there isn't an explanation as to why I have purchased particular quilts over the years.  Often,  the simplicity of the pattern or the colors call to me.  Back in the early 1990's even finding quilts or quilt tops that were reasonably priced was enough of a challenge, but then to like what you could find in your price range was another hurdle. 

This is a utility quilt that I purchased from a home in Marathon, New York in the 90's.   This bow tie variation has all the charm of a turn of the century quilt with the blue/white/red/black coloration.  The backing fabric is a coarse cloth and there is minimal quilting just outlining some of the piecing.  The batting is not well distributed and has shifted - probably due to the minimal quilting.

From the backing the minimal quilting in the grid pattern is visible.

It isn't a spectacular quilt. Why did I take it home?  It spent many years folded, protected and forgotten.  Certainly I had other quilts I felt were more worthy to display and use to decorate during the different seasons.

Several years ago, the quilt was pulled out and studied so I could somehow incorporate this early 20th century pattern into a quilt I was working on at the time.  Suddenly there was a need to use this quilt as inspiration - there was a purpose for it all along!

My husband wanted me to make him a baseball quilt and to incorporate signatures from Negro League players he had collected.  I had a pile of salesman samples of shirting fabrics and some 1930's prints.  I used a black mourning print for the border because it was the closest fabric that I could find that looked like a flannel.   The shirting fabrics were to give a masculine touch, the 30's fabrics to give a look of the era they played ball.  I hand quilted it in a ocean wave pattern; a utility pattern that would give the look of movement in the air.

I changed the bow tie portion enlarging the square inside the block.  I love the reproduction prints I found to go in the quilt.

Here are some of the woven shirting fabrics that found their way into the blocks.

I created baseball blocks to alternate with the bow tie blocks.  I photo transferred the signatures onto muslin.  I went to my machine and added the red feather stitching design.  I cut a circle for the ball and then machine sewed it from the wrong side of the fabric to give it the look of hand applique.  The seams were pressed towards the "ball" to give it a little dimension.

I used a black mourning reproduction print on the last border because it was the closest fabric I could find that gave the look of a flannel without actually using flannel.  The Negro League player's uniforms were made of flannel rather than the wool of the "professional" teams of the day.

My husband really loves the quilt.  He had spent several years collecting signatures from these athletes who were then in their "golden years."  They were grateful they were not forgotten and could retell their stories to a new generation.

Not forgotten; people aren't so different from quilts.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Maryetta's Oatmeal Bread

I guess the joke for this April Fool's Day is the price of bread!  While I understand slightly the economics of flour production, I'm still amazed when I go to the store and find a loaf of bread around $4.  Furthermore, I'm never sure of all the added ingredients. 

So,  its time to pull out the cook book and whip up a few loaves.  I want to share with you a family favorite for oatmeal bread.  What makes it so great is the probability you will have everything to make it in your cupboard.  The recipe, Maryetta's Oatmeal Bread, is from a 1974 cookbook, Beard on Bread (Alfred A. Knopf, New York).  If you can find this cookbook at a garage sale, snatch it up.  It has the best assortment of recipes and even includes a yeast pancake recipe (some of you may know them as flappers).

This recipe will produce three loaves.

Maryetta's Oatmeal Bread from Beard on Bread, page 106

3 cups rolled oats
7 1/2 - 8 cups all-purpose flour (I use King Arthur Flour)
2 packages active dry yeast (I use 4 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast)
2 tablespoons salt (I use very little...maybe 1 teaspoon)
4 tablespoons salad oil
1/2 cup molasses

Pour the boiling water over the oatmeal in a large bowl and leave to cool.  Then stir in 2 cups of flour and the yeast.  Place in a warm, draft-free spot and allow to rise, uncovered, until double in bulk.  Punch down and work in the salt, salad oil, molasses, and enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough.  Turn out on a floured board and knead, adding extra flour if necessary, to make a smooth, pliable, firm dough - about 10 minutes, but you cannot knead too much.  Divide the dough into three equal pieces, and form into loaves to fit three buttered 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf tins.  Allow to rise again, uncovered, until doubled in bulk.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven 40-60 minutes, or until the bread sounds hollow when removed from the tins and rapped on top and bottom.  Cool on racks before slicing.

Beard noted that this bread is great for toasting and it is essential to leave the dough UNCOVERED while rising.  

I am too lazy to make the bread as Beard did with kneading by hand.  Instead, I put my oatmeal and water in the bowl of my Kitchen Aid mixer.  The mixing is all done with the dough hook and the only exertion of energy to make the bread is measuring the ingredients and greasing the bread tins.  I knead the dough  about 5 - 7 minutes and I find I use less flour (7 1/4 cups).  I do use parchment paper to line my pans after greasing. 

The molasses is a wonderful addition and gives the bread a beautiful appearance as well as sweet fragrance when baking.  

A great bread which gets sliced up and eaten quickly in my house.