Authentic Napton Pizza

I got this recipe from Forno Bravo. The real Napton pizza recipe. We finally got the real flour the other day, so now we are trying to get the perfect Pizza Napoletana. We've tried it twice now and the first time did the dough pretty well, and the second time got the sauce. Now we just need to get them both to turn out at the same time. We have enough flour for about 200 pizzas, so we should be able to get it right at some point! I learned (even though it actually says IN the recipe not to use a rolling pin) that you don't want to use a rolling pin. It really makes it come out wrong. And I also learned that having a pizza peel is a VERY helpful thing with an oven this hot. Good luck!

500 gr Molino Caputo Tipo 00 flour
325 gr warm water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp active dry yeast

1 can (28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp of salt
1 tsp of oregano

Mix water and yeast together in large mixing bowl. Let proof 10 minutes. Add salt and flour. Mix slowly for 2 minutes, fast for 5 minutes and slow again for 2 minutes.

Cover dough and let rise 1½ -2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch down, knead out bubbles and cut into 4-5 portions. Form into balls and let rest for 1 hour.

Flip dough over so soft bottom faces up. Gently shape the ball into a flat disk, then pull and stretch with fingers. Try to keep working in a circle to keep the thickness of the dough consistent, avoiding thick and thin spots. At the point where it cannot get thinner without making a hole, put your pizza on a floured work surface, and use your fingertips to work out the thick spots by pushing the dough to the outside. Make dough about as thick as a credit card and about 10" in diameter. (The more you handle the dough, the tougher it becomes. Don't use a rolling pin, which is hard on the dough and will give you a thin, but tough pizza. By not being over-handled, the pizza will be both crisp and delicate.)

Preheat oven to highest setting (525º-550º). Place pizza stone in oven while heating. In a saucepan, mash tomatoes with potato masher. Add remaining sauce ingredients, mix until combined and heat until heated through. Place pizza dough on a flour-dusted pizza peel. Spread just enough sauce to lightly cover base (dough should show through), a handful of chopped, fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of olive oil in circular pattern.

Place in oven. Turn pizza 180º after about 90 seconds. Bake another 45-90 seconds. The perfect pizza is bubbling on top with completely melted (and possibly slightly browned) cheese, has a brown outer crust. The crust is crunchy on the outside and soft and delicate on the inside. Throw on some fresh basil and sprinkle with more olive oil.


Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

I know this isn't a dessert, but I've been looking for a good sandwich bread recipe and this is it so I had to share!! I've had issues with wheat bread not rising well and being very dense. I wanted something that was light and fluffy and didn't crumble. This bread has a soft center and the crust is crusty. If you don't like the crust that way, just bake it at 375° for 25-30 minutes. Initially baking at 400° gives it a harder crust. I used 4½ teaspoons of active dry yeast and had to let it rise longer (the first time for 1½ hours and the second time for an hour). I think I will try the rapid rise next time to see if it makes it rise any higher/faster. I brushed honey butter on the tops, which was delicious, but you may just want to do butter. The honey definitely gives the bread a sweeter flavor that may not taste good with sandwiches. Brushing it with butter also softens the crust a bit.

This recipe make 3 loaves. While I was able to do most of the mixing in my 6qt KitchenAid Mixer, I ended up kneading the last cup of white flour in by hand. I also put the dough in a large greased bowl, covered with a damp towel, in the oven and heat to 120° with a smaller bowl of water on the lower rack. Turn the oven off and let it rise until doubled in bulk. The low heat and humidity help it rise better and stay soft. I know that's a lot of information, but I've been trying several recipes to get it right. Anyway, this is the best bread ever! I don't think I will be buying store bought bread anymore! It's perfect!

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 packages yeast (rapid rise)
3 cups milk
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
4-5 cups all-purpose flour

Combine the 3 cups whole wheat flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. In a saucepan over low heat, combine milk, honey and oil. Heat until about 110°. Pour into flour mixture and blend well until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Add the 1 cup of wheat flour and 4-5 cups of all-purpose flour one cup at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead dough about 8-10 times and place in a large greased bowl. Cover with damp cloth and let rise for 45-60 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough and divide into 3 sections. Knead each section 4-5 times before shaping into a loaf and placing into greased loaf pans. Cover pans with a damp cloth and let rise for another 45-60 minutes, until doubled.

Place pans in a COLD oven. Set temperature to 400° and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375° and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans. Brush tops with butter while warm, if desired.


Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

I got a Martha Stewart Cookies cookbook today for Mother's Day. These cookies looked really good, so I had to try them! It is an interesting combination of gingersnaps and chocolate chocolate chip cookies. Think chocolate covered ginger... They are delicious! I didn't have fresh ginger, but they turned out great. I think that if I did add the ginger, it would have given the cookies a better flavor and taken to a whole new level. They are slightly crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle. Just how I love them! Enjoy!

Makes 2 dozen

7 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate (I just used chocolate chips)
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1¼ teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
½ cup dark-brown sugar, packed
½ cup unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons hot water
¼ cup granulated sugar

Chop chocolate into ¼-inch chunks; set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and cocoa.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and grated ginger until whitened, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar; beat until combined. Add molasses; beat until combined.

In a small bowl, dissolve baking soda in water. Beat half of flour mixture into butter mixture. Beat in baking soda mixture, then remaining half of flour mixture. Mix in chocolate; turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Pat dough out to about 1 inch thick; seal with wrap. Refrigerate until firm (2 hours or more).

Heat oven to 325°. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Roll dough into 1½-inch balls; place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Roll in granulated sugar. Bake until the surfaces crack slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Best Ever Brownies

These are usually gone within hours! They are delicious fudgy brownies. Our favorite!

½ cup butter
6 tbsp cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter and cocoa in medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat.

Add sugar beating well. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each. Stir in flour, baking powder, and vanilla.

Pour into greased 8”x8” pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
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