Buttermilk Bread Loaf

Buttermilk Bread Loaf

If you’re anything like me, you have a few ingredients in your fridge that dictate your menu. As in, if I don’t use this within the next day or so, I’ll have to throw it out. Like wilting spinach or proteins that you may have prematurely defrosted.

For me, that often occurs with produce or dairy items—and almost always, buttermilk. Sure, some would say, “Why don’t you just freeze it?” or “Mix some whole milk with lemon juice instead of buying buttermilk?”. Now the latter would make sense if I ever had whole milk in the fridge (other than when I bake or make ice creams) and freezing an upwards of 2+ cups of buttermilk seems odd to me.

Buttermilk Bread Loaf

So when I do find myself with a quart of buttermilk, I’ll deter to my trusted favorite recipes that call for it. Such as Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Red Velvet Banana Pancakes, Blackberry Muffins, or Cheddar Cheese Biscuits.

And of course, this wonderfully quick and easy Buttermilk Bread Loaf. This is one of my go-to recipes for loaf bread as it’s no knead and doesn’t require anytime to bloom the yeast. Sure, it does take a couple of minutes to warm up the buttermilk but other than that, your stand mixer does all the work. And you don’t even need the dough hook!

It’s quite a forgiving dough–perfect for those who are freaked out about yeast recipes. But the end results in a wonderful exterior crust and light interior crumb. Plus, the buttermilk gives a slight tang to the bread.

Start to finish, you’ll have fresh bread in less than 1.5 hours–and that includes proofing time! Can’t beat that!

Recipe from Elinor Klivans via Leite’s Culinara

Honey Yeast Rolls with Sea Salt

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I’ve had this little number in my queue to try for some time now and with the holidays just around the corner–what better opportunity!

It was pretty simple to come together and were beautiful when proofed and baked. I decided to add to the original recipe by sprinkling the rolls with Maldon Sea Salt flakes before baking. It added a great flavor and texture to the slightly sweet rolls. YUM!

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I made this batch of rolls to accompany a few roasted game hens but they would be great alongside stews/soups, buns for mini sliders or simply slathered with butter. Whichever you choose, I would highly recommend trying them out.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Honey Yeast Rolls with Sea Salt

Ingredients:

2¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1 cup warm water
¼ cup honey, plus 2 tablespoons
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups bread flour
cooking spray
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 tablespoon sea salt flakes

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast and warm water.  Add ¼ cup honey, oil, salt, and egg and mix well.  Add 3 cups of the flour and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass.  Switch to the dough hook and, with the mixer on low speed, incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour.  Continue kneading on low speed for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 30 seconds.  Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes. Punch the dough down and divide into 10-12 equal size pieces.  Shape each piece into a smooth ball and place into a round, lightly greased 9- or 10-inch round baking dish, spacing evenly.  Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Mix together the melted butter and 2 tablespoons honey, and brush the tops of the rolls with the mixture.  Sprinkle the tops of the rolls with the sea salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the rolls are baked through.  Let cool slightly before serving.

Slightly adapted from Annie Eats

Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Bourbon Sauce + King’s Hawaiian GIVEAWAY!!

Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Bourbon Sauce

I am a sucker for Bread Pudding.

There’s something so darn comforting and mouthwatering about a bowl full of this goodness. Rich, sweet–almost sinful.

Drools.

Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Bourbon Sauce

With Autumn finally coming around, it was the perfect time to make an apple version highlighting the warm spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. And the only thing to take it over the top was a decadent drizzle of Caramel flavored by good ol’ Bourbon.

Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Bourbon Sauce

Inspired by my visit with the great o’hana of King’s Hawaiian, I used the slightly sweet Original Hawaiian Sweet Round Bread for the pudding. I also cut back on the amount of sugar in the custard base since the final dessert would be sweet enough from the luscious Caramel Bourbon sauce.

But the awesomeness doesn’t stop here! One of our lucky readers has the chance to win a cornucopia of goodness courtesy of our friends from King’s Hawaiian!

The winner will receive a vast assortment of King’s Hawaiian baked products, King’s Hawaiian coffee, apron and more!! Needless to say, you will be a very HAPPY CAMPER!

How to Enter:

Leave a comment and tell us what the first thing you’ll make with some of the Kings Hawaiian Bread products

For extra chances to win, leave a separate comment for each indicating which of the below you did:

  1. Subscribe to The Culinary Chronicles & get automatic emails when new posts are published (If you already Subscribe, leave a comment indicating so);
  2. Like the King’s Hawaiian Facebook Fan Page (If you already “Like King’s Hawaiian, leave a comment and let us know); or
  3. Like our Facebook Fan Page (If you already “Like” us, leave a comment indicating so); or
  4. Follow @CulinaryChron on Twitter (If you already Follow us, leave a comment indicating so).

Due to shipping challenges, this Giveaway is limited to those in the continental United States. Sorry! :)

The deadline to enter is Monday, October 8th at 5pm (PST) and the winner will be announced the next day.

Best of luck friends and MAHALOS King’s Hawaiian!!

Pssst! Don’t forget to make this Apple Bread Pudding!

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Apple Bread Pudding with Caramel Bourbon Sauce

Ingredients:

Caramel Bourbon Sauce:
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
¼ Cup Water
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cut into cubes
¼ Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Bourbon
Sea Salt (optional)

Bread Pudding:
2 Large Eggs, beaten
¾ Cup Milk
¾ Cup Heavy Cream
½ Cup Light Brown Sugar
¼ Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
3-4 Pinches Nutmeg
2 Pinches Salt
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
6 Cups Kings Hawaiian Sweet Bread, cubed and toasted (Brioche can be substituted)
1 Cup Apples, cubed (I chose a mix of Granny Smith and Fuji)
Additional Unsalted Butter to grease the pan
Fresh Whipped Cream (optional)

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, dissolve the sugar and water over medium-high heat. Once the liquids begin to bubble, swirl the saucepan around and continue cooking until it reaches an amber color. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the cubes of butter one at a time until fully incorporated. Remove from heat and whisk in the heavy cream. (The liquids will bubble up so be careful!) Stir in the Bourbon and a few pinches of sea salt (optional). Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and thoroughly butter the bottom and sides of an 8×8 inch pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients of the bread pudding. Add in the cubed bread and apples making sure that they have been coated by the custard mixture. Let set for 5 minutes to allow the bread to absorb some of the custard. Pour the entire contents into the greased pan and spread evenly. Take a few spoonfuls of the Caramel Bourbon Sauce and drizzle on the top. Bake the Bread Pudding in the preheated oven for approximately 35-40 minutes until the custard has set and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to slightly cool before cutting. Serve warm with additional sauce drizzled on top and fresh whipped cream.

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

I’m Bananas…..

For Nutella.

Shocking— I know.

Nutella Swirled Banana Bread

So why not add Nutella to Banana Bread? Seemed like a Win-Nguyen Situation to me.

And it sure was :)

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Nutella Swirled Banana Bread
Makes one 9-inch loaf

Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe, soft, darkly speckled large bananas, mashed well
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons Nutella

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C) degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Spoon 1/2 the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Spread 1/2 the Nutella on top and lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife. Do not over mix. Spoon the rest of the batter on top and repeat with Nutella swirls.

Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

Slightly adapted from Cooks Illustrated

American Sandwich Bread

American Sandwich Bread

THIS is what dreams are made of.

Well…..at least MY “carb loving dreams”.

American Sandwich Bread

Inspired to bake sliced bread for my lunchtime sandwiches, I took to Baking Illustrated for their American Sandwich Bread recipe.

The dough came together quite easy and was an absolute dream—beautifully silky and smooth. You do however, need a bit of patience when it comes to mixing the dough but just let your stand mixer do the work for you.

Quick tip: Sometimes when I have my mixer going for a long time, the bowl can get stuck in the stand with all that whirling going on. To prevent that from happening, cover the bottom of your metal mixing bowl with a little bit of cooking spray before twisting it onto the mixing stand.

American Sandwich Bread

The recipe calls from a 9-inch loaf pan but unfortunately my largest metal loaf pan is only 7 inches. I was a bit nervous to see how my glass pan would work out but luckily, it came out quite good. Though note to self: Keep my eyes open for 9-inch metal loaf pans on sale :)

American Sandwich Bread

Baking Illustrated did not lead me astray with this recipe as the bread was really delicious. The pan of water in the oven helped create a wonderful crust for the loaf and the crumb was light and slightly spongy. Not to mention that it made my home smell amazing and the loaf of bread was quite stunning if I do say so myself. In fact, when I brought my turkey sammy in for lunch (using the bread of course), my coworkers wouldn’t believe me that I had baked the bread! What naysayers!

But one thing is for sure, with bread so delicious and easy, there really is no need for me to buy my once beloved supermarket-sliced-bread again :)

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American Sandwich Bread

Ingredients:

3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 cup warm whole milk (about 110°)
1/3 cup warm water (about 110°)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp. honey
1 envelope (about 2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast

Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 200°.  Once the oven temperature reaches 200°, maintain the heat for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven.

Mix 3 ½ cups of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Mix the milk, water, butter, honey and yeast in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup.  Turn the machine to low and slowly add the liquid.  When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and satiny, stopping the machine two or three times to scrape dough from the hook, if necessary, about 10 minutes.  (After 5 minutes of kneading, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time and up to ¼ cup total, until the dough is no longer sticky.)  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.

Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl, rubbing the dough around the bowl to coat lightly.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough has doubled in size, about 40-50 minutes.

On a floured work surface, gently press the dough into a rectangle 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches.  With a long side facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself.  Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed.  Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan.  Cover with plastic wrap; set aside in a warm spot until the dough almost doubles in size, 20-30 minutes.

Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 350°.  Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack.  Bring two cups of water to boil in a small saucepan.  Pour the boiling water into the empty pan on the bottom rack and set the loaf onto the middle rack.  Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim into the center of the loaf reads 195°, 40-50 minutes.  Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.  Slice and serve.

From Baking Illustrated

Peter Reinhart’s Rich Man’s Brioche

Peter Reinhart's Rich Man's Brioche

One pound of butter is in this brioche.

Yep. You read correctly. One POUND!

And worth every calorie.

Peter Reinhart's Rich Man's Brioche

With that in mind, it’s no wonder why Peter Reinhart named this the Rich Man’s Brioche in  The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. Moist and quite frankly, downright buttery. Did I mention, 1 POUND of butter?? :)

With the family together last weekend, I was inspired to bake up some brioche for a decadent morning bite. For the sponge and proofing time, you need to get this project started early on—in my case, the night before. We didn’t’ have those cute fluted brioche molds on hand and resorted to baking 2 loaves with the dough instead. Per my sis’ suggestion, I formed the brioche into 4 “logs” per pan to make “pull apart loaves”. You can find the recipe here.

Peter Reinhart's Rich Man's Brioche

The brioche came out a lovely color with a great crust and beautiful crumb. However next time, I think I’ll add an additional tablespoon of granulated sugar into the dough for just a tad more sweetness. Serve warm with a bit of preserves (homemade olallieberry in our case) and a steaming cup of joe and you’ll be in a very happy place!

 

And stop by on Monday to check out our birthday celebration for a very special little gal. :)

Jalapeño-Cheddar Skillet Cornbread

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

I love Bread. I love Corn. But I’ve never really LOVED cornbread.

Odd, I know.

I think it’s because most of the cornbreads I’ve sampled always had some major flaws…..either too dry, too sweet—or, just lacked flavor.

But there have been some times that I’ve tasted different versions and I’ve thought—-huh, that’s not bad at all. When it comes down to it, I prefer the ones that aren’t overly sweet but have a lot of good corn flavor. I also like the ones that have nice crispy edges.

Turkey and Bean Chili

So when I made a big ol’ pot of chili for some friends the other weekend for the big game, it just seemed right to serve it with cornbread. They go hand in hand, right?

My take below is still a work in progress but I think it’s almost there. The key components are lots of Jalapeños , whole corn kernels, cheese—and of course, the crispy edges from the cast iron skillet. Yummers.

There’s definitely still room to tweak this cornbread to make it the ultimate real deal but I barely had enough time to snap a few pictures of it before my friends inhaled it. And I mean all of it! :)

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Jalapeño-Cheddar Skillet Cornbread

Ingredients:

1 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
1½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Cup Buttermilk
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
5 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled, divided
3-4 Jalapeño Peppers, seeded and minced
¼ Cup Scallions, chopped
1 Cup Corn Kernels

Place a 9 inch cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the cheese and gently toss.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and 4 tablespoons of butter.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, stirring until all items are well incorporated. Fold in the jalapeños , scallions, and corn.

Carefully remove the hot skillet from the oven. Pour the remaining butter into the bottom of the skillet and swirl around to cover the pan. Be careful as butter may splatter. Pour the batter into the skillet. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the center is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

Whole Wheat Pizza with White Garlic Sauce

Whole Wheat Pizza with White Garlic Sauce

You’ll never hear me saying that I’m a “healthy eater“.

But I do like to believe that I’m a “balanced eater“.

Need some clarification?

Well, let’s say I stop by Fatburger for lunch (which, incidentally, is one of my FAVES!) and inhale a Baby Fat Burger with Bacon and an Egg. I’ll enjoy every bite and morsel without guilt because I know that night, I’ll fix up some type of grilled fish and veggies for dinner.

Balanced Eating.

Well, in my book at least.

And that’s how I see this pizza. I made a rich, creamy white sauce packed with roasted garlic and smothered it on top of a whole wheat pizza dough.

Balanced.

Or Delusional. Same difference, really. :)

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Whole Wheat Pizza with White Garlic Sauce
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Dough (From Cooking Thin with Chef Kathleen):
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 packages dry active yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 lukewarm water from the tap
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Flour for the work surface
Sprinkling of  cornmeal

White Garlic Sauce:
1/2 cup roasted garlic
3/4 cup milk, warmed
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 pinches dried oregano
2-3 pinches cayenne pepper, to preference
kosher salt

Toppings:
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1/2 cup caramelized onions
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade
whole basil leaves
parmesan cheese
red Chili Flakes

Prepare pizza dough. Place flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. While mixer is running, gradually add water and knead on low speed until dough is firm and smooth, about ten minutes. Turn machine off. Pour oil down inside of bowl. Turn on low once more for 15 seconds to coat inside of bowl and all surfaces of dough with the oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm spot until doubled in bulk, about two hours.

Preheat your oven to highest setting, 500° or 550°F. If using a pizza stone, place stone in oven on bottom rack, preheat oven one hour ahead.

When dough is nearly risen, begin making the sauce. In a pan, melt the butter into the olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle in the flour—combine and cook for a 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the heated milk, careful to not let any lumps form. Continue cooking and whisking for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened to desire consistency. Remove from heat and stir in oregano, cayenne, parmesan cheese, and roasted garlic. Taste and add salt as needed. Set sauce aside.

Punch pizza dough down, cut in half. On generously floured work surface, place one half of dough. By hand, form dough loosely into a ball, stretch into a circle or desired shape. Once the oven reaches its temperature, pull the baking stone/baking sheet out of the oven, and sprinkle cornmeal on the surface. Carefully slide the formed dough on top and bake for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is lightly golden. Remove the crust from the oven and spread the sauce evenly over the dough, leaving a ½ -inch border around the perimeter. Top with the caramelized onions, sliced mozzarella and the chiffonade of basil. Return the pizza back to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until all the cheese has melted and pizza is golden brown. Serve the pizza with additional fresh basil leaves, parmesan cheese and red chili flakes.

Garlic Bagels

Garlic Bagels

As much as I enjoyed the Homemade Plain Bagels from a few weeks ago, I still felt there was much room for exploration as far as bagels were concerned.

Especially since I was fixated on creating a Garlic Bagel.

Garlic Bagels

When I came across a recipe from Ultimate Bread, I just knew it would be great to adapt into a garlic version. Especially since it didn’t require a sponge. Score!

On half of the bagels, I sprinkled sea salt on the tops and on the other half I brushed on a garlic-olive oil mixture. At the end of the day, the latter won in flavor. Deliciously garlicky with a yummy crunch created by the olive oil. YUM!

Garlic Bagels

The texture of these bagels were perfect—a wonderful balance of soft and chewy. As for the garlic flavor—it was exactly what I was looking for. Almost like a breakfast garlic bread :)

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Garlic Bagels
Adapted From Ultimate Bread
Makes 8 Bagels

2 Teaspoon Dry Yeast
1½ Tablespoon Sugar
½ Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1¼ Cups Warm Water
3½ Cups Unbleached flour, plus extra for kneading
1½ Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Garlic, finely minced
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Corn Meal
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
Vegetable Oil

Sprinkle the yeast and sugar into 1/2 cup of the water in a small bowl. Leave for 5 minutes and then stir to dissolve. In a large bowl, mix the flour, garlic powder and salt together. Form a well in the center and pour in the dissolved yeast.

Pour half of the remaining water into the well. Mix in the flour and stir in the reserved water as needed, forming a firm and moist dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Gradually work in as much additional flour as possible while comfortably kneading to form a stiff and firm dough.

Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it. Cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch down and let the dough rest 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball – cup between your hands and press the bottoms together between your palms. Press down to get rid of air bubbles and roll the dough between your palm and the work surface to form a smooth ball. Coat a finger in flour and press it through each ball to form a ring.

Work the rest of your fingers into the hole, stretching the ring and widening the hole to about 1/3 of the bagel’s diameter. Place the bagels on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 10 minutes and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a small bowl, mix olive oil and garlic together. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Carefully sprinkle in the baking soda. Use a perforated skimmer to lower the bagels into the water in batches of 2-3. Boil, uncovered, until they rise to the surface, about 1 minute. Turn them over once. Then remove from the pan, letting the water drain, and transfer to a lightly oiled baking sheet that has been sprinkled with corn meal. Bake 12-15 minutes. Remove bagels from oven. Using a brush, coat the bagels with the olive oil-garlic mixture. Return back to oven and back until golden—about 5 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Bagels can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

If you were to ask me, “What do you want on your pizza?”———–I will almost always say, Sausage and Mushrooms.

You just can’t go wrong with this delish combo.

I do, however, like to add a few special touches when I make my Sausage and Mushroom Pizzas. And those little extras comes in the form of roasted garlic and grape tomatoes. I try to squeeze in my veggies anyway I can.

Wait a second. Can I really consider garlic a “vegetable”?

Eh…… Sure, why not!? :)

Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

For this pizza, I tried out the dough from Cooks Illustrated. I’m happy to report that it came together really easily—especially since I used my KitchenAid Stand Mixer with the dough hook attachment for the kneading. The dough came out beautifully silky before baking and had a wonderful texture when it was done. I definitely recommend it!

Stay tuned for Friday’s post where I take a spin on one of my all time favorite desserts :)

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Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

Dough (From Cooks Illustrated):
½ cup warm water (for yeast)
2½ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ cups water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface and hands
1½ teaspoon salt
olive oil for oiling the bowl
*Makes enough for 4 medium sized crusts

Toppings:
1 cup spicy Italian sausage, browned
1 cup Crimini mushrooms, sliced
1½ cups marinara sauce (more if you like it saucier)
1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup grape tomatoes, diced
¼ roasted garlic
¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
¼ cup yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons olive oil

Prepare pizza dough. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add room temperature water and oil and stir to combine. Combine the salt and half the flour in a deep bowl. Add the liquid ingredients and use a wooden spoon to combine. Add the remaining flour, stirring until a cohesive mass forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 7 to 8 minutes, using a little dusting flour as possible while kneading. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until it doubles in size, about 2 hours.

Place pizza stone or large baking sheet in the middle rack and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly dust your surface area with flour. Divide the dough into quarters. Take one of the pieces and roll/toss/stretch the dough into your desired shape. Once the oven reaches its temperature, pull the baking stone/baking sheet out of the oven, and sprinkle cornmeal on the surface. Carefully slide the dough on top and bake for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is lightly golden. Remove the crust from the oven and brush with olive oil over top. Spread the roasted garlic all over the crust. Cover the crust with an even layer of marinara sauce. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella evenly over the dough, leaving a ½ -inch border around the perimeter. Top with the grape tomatoes, sausage, and mushrooms. Return the pizza back to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until all the cheese has melted and pizza is golden brown. Sprinkle the pizza with Italian parsley and serve with additional parmesan cheese and red chili flakes.

Note: If you aren’t planning to use the extra dough right away, there are a few options for you. First, you can shape each piece and parbake them. Wrap them up tightly in plastic wrap and foil—then, throw into the freezer. Another option is to oil the inside of a Ziploc bag with cooking spray. Throw in one ball of dough per oiled bag and remove any excess air before sealing and place it in the freezer. Transfer it to the fridge the night before you want to use it. Then place it on the counter to get it to room temperature for 1-2 hours before you bake it.