Sunday, January 15, 2012

52 weeks of baking, Week 2: Mini deep dish pizzas

Just as with the first week of the 52 week cooking challenge, the first week of the 52 week baking challenge was a little 'meh'. The theme was brownies - simple enough, but I made butterscotch brownies, which is one of my dad's favorites that I used to make way back in high school. The recipe came from page 271 of the Betty Crocker cookbook, published in 1978, and although they were insanely delicious, I was pretty busy that day and trying to pack up my kitchen when I made them, resulting in me taking the self-rising flour shortcut plus being about two minutes late to get them out of the oven, so they rose... and fell.

Not only do I suck at photography, but I suck at making butterscotch brownies that don't fall, too!

The second week's theme was miniature, which isn't necessarily difficult to come up with in terms of baking, but it was definitely an issue for me to come up with something creative. I mean, mini-cupcakes are kind of boring. On Thursday, it finally came to me - pizza is baked, too! So, I decided to make mini deep dish pizzas, with the intent of testing out a pizza dough recipe for future use in my dad's pizza oven/smoker/firepit.

By the time 11:30 rolled around and I was ready to start lunch, my mom was also busy in the kitchen, so the idea of a new dough recipe went out the window. However, I always keep Jiffy pizza dough mix on hand - it's very inexpensive, it works very well for deep dish pizzas and breadsticks, and it's super quick. So, I mixed up a couple of batches of dough and pressed them into muffin tins. I pre-baked them for a few minutes, which is important, because this mix rises in the oven, not during a proofing cycle. After 3-4 minutes at 425, I took it out and pressed it back into the muffin tins, then added layers of sauce, pepperoni, and slices of the mozzarella-stuffed meatballs that BB and I made last week. 

More evidence that I'm terrible at the photography thing.

More shredded mozzarella went on top, and it all went back in the oven for about 10 minutes. It came out looking divine, and tasting delicious. Even the Chloe-pup thought so, when I dropped one on the floor and she got to nom away. The biggest complaint came from my dad, who prefers his crust a bit more brown, but I prefer it a little lighter and more bready, so that's not too big of a deal.

Caution: Food in photo is much more tasty than it may appear.

Total prep/cook time: 25 minutes per batch of 8
Family happiness rating: 9/10. Could be a little less saucy and messy, but otherwise these might become a go-to after school snack.

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