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Bread Machine Pizza



Before I even got a chance to introduce anyone here to my awesome pizza I discovered an entirely new option. Bread Machine pizza. (For people without a bread machine, I still plan to post my older pizza recipe.)

I've always made my own pizza. Frozen pizzas or delivery were special-occasion treats while homemade pizza is a once- or twice-a-week meal.

  1. Dough. I always make my own dough. I found a recipe that works for me and have stuck with it.  Today I've tried a new one with the bread machine. See below for how that went! I buy the yeast by the jar and keep it in the freezer.
  2. Cheese. Don't buy it already shredded. Buy big bricks and buy them on sale whenever/asoften as possible. You can freeze bricks, or shredded (great if you buy a TON). I used to always use a handheld cheese grater (a good quality one) and shred only enough for what I was making. It kept me from having to freeze the cheese, but added extra prep time.  Now I've been given a food processor which worked GREAT until I broke... something. It just doesn't work so well anymore. :( Entire bricks of cheese can be grated in the food processor and then frozen for later use.
  3. Frozen toppings! I keep chopped onions in my freezer nearly all the time. They're great for adding to pizzas! (Not only does this save time but money as well! In the fall we can get 10lb bags of onions for $1-2, no kidding! So I chop & freeze most of them!)  Also, chopped green pepper, spinach, and pepperonis all freeze quite well. I've not had such luck with ham, however. [On a non-pizza note, celery can be frozen and used later in soups and casseroles - saves from losing half a bunch to wilting!]  

So here's how the bread machine pizza dough worked out. 
(Sorry, didn't get pictures of the sleek new machine at work.)


The dough was a little loose coming out of the machine. I was expecting a nice solid lump of dough, but instead it was soft and airy. I dumped it out onto a floured pan and rolled it around and it easily formed a nice ball. The recipe's instructions said to let it sit another 10 minutes under a bowl.

This was a lot of dough! So after resting I divided the dough into two balls.   This dough was so wonderfully elastic that I could toss it! Like real pizza dough! I didn't realize this until the second ball, so I made the first one the way I would with my usual dough and it came out slightly odd-shaped. 

I topped it with pizza sauce (it really doesn't matter to me what kind, I sometimes even use leftover spaghetti sauce though I prefer not to), some basil, oregano, and parmesan cheese. Then add the toppings (this time it was only pepperoni & cheese - not my usual)! 




Bake it (350 is fine) until the cheese looks yummy and the crust looks toasty!
 
Yums! I am *definitely* making this again.


I topped the second pizza and popped it in the freezer. Cooked it up a couple of days later and it was great! Unfortunately, I forgot to grease the pan so the frozen one REAALLY stuck. And the dough was a bit too thick on that one. But it froze well!

Um. The end! 

Bread Machine


So, in another attempt to save money this summer (and beyond) we've decided to invest in a bread machine. We've had our eye on a Breadman for a couple of months but they are probably the most expensive brand. But they've had the best reviews and seemed the best option for us.  We finally found a good sale - 40% off at Canadian Tire. So we scooped one up!

Each week we typically would buy a two-pack of D'Italiano or Vilaggio which are typically around $5.50.  That's $2.75 a loaf!  This bread machine cost us $80.  In 4 months it will be entirely paid for. Well, not accounting for the cost of the flour - all of this I will calculate at a later date (after our usual bread recipe & routine have been established).

This machine makes a variety of breads, doughs, and even jams. At first I made dough for dinner rolls and french baguettes.  For both of these I had neither the proper yeast (I had "pizza dough" yeast) or flour (I had to mix all-purpose and bread flour), but they turned out great!  Since then we've made several loaves of basic white bread, 1.lb and 2lb, but never with the correct flour (but proper "bread machine" yeast). Yet they've all turned out delicious (we've used all-purpose and blending flour mixes - a certain someone accidently bought blending flour instead of bread flour).

I finally tried making a loaf exactly by the recipe (and with the proper bread flour) and it was a near disaster! The dough rose so high that it squished up against the viewing window and I had to open it up and punch it down. Any larger and there could've been a big mess (and I was making a medium sized loaf)!  The bread tasted fine, baked fine, but it was a little flimsy standing up.  I tried again today with half blending and half bread-flour. This time it didn't rise up to the window, but it still produced a large loaf (when I wanted a medium) and it's flimsy and airy. 

Currently, I'm trying the pizza dough. Pictures & more to come!

(PS: I realized that if I wait until a post is "perfect" I will never post anything - so expect lots more half-thoughts and pictureless ramblings in the near future!)
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Boxee Box


We've rid ourselves of the Bundled Bill Bungle. No more cable/satellite for us! With two little couch-potato-tots what are we gonna do? I'll tell ya: Boxee.

It's this neat little box that connects to our tv (a new one - Christmas gift for hubster). This box has a web browser, built-in apps, connects to our pc, can read USB keys and hard drives (via USB).  Basically, we can watch any tv or movies that we can find online or on our computer.  No subscription needed, just a one-time purchase. (Or, apparently, you can "make your own" by connecting your laptop to the tv....) However, since online television content in Canada is pretty sad, we've added NetFlix. Even NetFlix in Canada is pretty sad, but at least the kids can get their Dora/Diego/George shows.  (BONUS: No commercials!) For those in the US there are a lot more options for streaming television (such as Hulu - we don't get that in Canada).  Plus your NetFlix is awesome.

So, while I'm going to seriously miss my Law & Order, the kids get their favorites on demand and commercial free, hubby gets his movies, and I can still watch new episodes of House/Fringe/30Rock on their Canadian broadasters websites. 

The Boxee Box in Canada cost almost $200, NetFlix is $8/month, but we're saving $80/month by cancelling our satellite subscription. 

http://www.boxee.tv/
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