With the influx of gifts from the wedding, our apartment has been packed with stuff for months. This week, caught in the backwash lull of finished work (for Dana, TAing a summer course, for me finishing my thesis) we decided to gather up all the extra junk we've been tossing in our guest room for months and host (along with Eisha) our very first yard sale.
Even though typing that sentence took me literally two hours with all of the web browsing, it was still much easier said than done. We have been working way more than full time all week trying to gather, clean, and price everything we own and don't need. Ultimately it was totally worth it, we made a few hundred dollars and some considerable progress in making our apartment livable again, but the whole process left us little time and even less energy. We've been dragging since the sale ended Saturday afternoon and way off our normal food schedule. Seven minute dinner so we can catch a 10pm movie? Definitely. (Don't see Pineapple Express, by the way. You can thank me later.) Starting to cook breakfast around noon while we flip back and forth between beach volleyball and regular volleyball? You bet. This is one of the wonderful imbalances that teaching allows, I guess, that you can have these sorts of breaks intermittently where you have to concentrate for forty-five seconds to recall what day of the week it is. It's like all the joy of a kid's summer vacation but with the ability to drive thrown in.
All that was just to say that our long weekend living has really been more autopilot than gourmand this time around. Breakfast this morning was a super simple waffle made with whole wheat flour and spotted with sliced peaches, sugar free maple syrup, and lowfat vanilla yogurt. All healthy-like, which I guess makes up for the fact that it was pizza for dinner once again. Granted it was on a partially wheat crust, and mostly veggie, but still. There's something about really cleaning up the apartment that makes me want to clean up my diet a bit, too. Maybe time to head back to the gym?
On that sour note, here's the recipe for my super secret medium-thin crust pizza dough that I've developed in the last couple of years from the fantastic bases of Peter Reinhart's American Pie (which I highly recommend if you're at all interested in pizza as a serious form of study)
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp active dry yeast
1.5 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp honey
1.5 cups water (110-115 degrees)
2 tsp kosher salt
(Note: for a wheat dough, I sub in a cup of the all-purpose for whole wheat flour. That's as much as I find I can safely use before I need to add oil and water to counter the tendency of wheat flour to dry out the dough ball.)
The process is simple but takes a little bit of time. Add everything but the water and yeast together in your Kitchenaid (it is red, right? You don't want to mess this up) and sift a bit with a whisk (though when making a wheat dough I find actually sifting the flour as I add it helps the texture). Meanwhile, proof the yeast in the water until it's bubbly (about ten minutes) then dump that in as well. Using the dough hook attachment, mix on medium-low speed for three minutes then shut off the mixer and leave the dough for at least five minutes. When you get back from checking your email, mix on medium-high for another three minutes then pull the dough ball out and split into three equal pieces. Oil them all and cover with a damp cloth or loose plastic wrap. Leave for like two hours. Take a shower, maybe see a movie, DO NOT eat a burrito. I'm serious, you will regret it later. When you come back, punch all three of the balls down and toss two in oiled bags in the fridge or the freezer. The one that's left you can mash down and stretch into a round, brush the round with a smidge more olive oil, top, and bake.
Oh before that, set your oven to its hottest setting. Whatever it is, it's not nearly hot enough, by like three hundred degrees. This is the losing proposition of pizza making, the one that everybody will tell you. Your oven might cook a pizza alright, a pizza stone would help a little, but pulling the whole thing out and replacing it with an Italian brick oven would help a lot more. I half believe the party line, but I bake on a cheapo pizza stone in an oven that only goes up to 500 on a really sunny day and it turns out just fine, the crust is always lovely and crisp, and the pizza is hot all the way through so I have nothing to complain about.
So that's it. Really simple pizza dough that's a bit sweet and way light on oil and enough for three good-sized rounds that are fully guaranteed tasty.