So I think it’s pretty obvious that I love cookbooks. I don’t even have an idea of how many I own right now, (especially since they are mostly all in storage right now), but I know I have well over 100 right now. With that many cookbooks, it’s hard to choose favorites. But every once in awhile, I come across a book that I want everyone to know about – for everyone to have. This cookbook – Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day – is one of those cookbooks.
I was actually sent a review copy of this book awhile back. And admittedly, I was a bit intimidated to get started in it. There is a lot of information in this book, and I wanted to do it justice. Let’s just say that I really should have gotten into this book the minute it arrived on my doorstep. I have been looking for the perfect pizza dough recipe for quite awhile now. I have one that I’ve been using, and it’s good. I liked it – until I made this, and now I have a new favorite. And this dough is so extremely easy – anyone could make pizza at home with this book!!
There are actually several different kinds of dough in this cookbook, but for this review, I only made the lean dough and used it on 3 different recipes from the book. And every single one of them was a winner. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a cookbook I suggest that you add to your Christmas list ASAP!
Number of Photos: some
There aren’t a ton of photos in this book, but there are 2 sections with 16 photos each of completed recipes. And there are also several sections throughout the book that have black and white step-by-step photos.
Difficulty of Recipes: easy to medium
At first look, it is a little intimidating. But the basic pizza dough is so easy that anyone could make it. There are a few recipes throughout the book that may be a little harder, but overall, the recipes look quite simple.
Availability of Ingredients: easy
Flour, yeast, salt, water. Pretty straight forward. And I didn’t see any unusual toppings or other ingredients in any of the recipes, either.
And here’s what I made:
I’m a sucker for anything with eggs, so I had to make this recipe. There was a variation to do them in muffin cups, so I tried them baked in muffin cups and also as just individual pizzas. The recipe does warn that you shouldn’t overfill the muffin cups, and even though all I had in mine was a small bit if cheese and the egg, they still overflowed. So if you go that route, I would suggest using jumbo muffin tins or smaller eggs. But don’t get me wrong, they still tasted amazing. And the mini pizza? Let’s just say I was sick when I made these. And you know how things usually don’t taste good when you are sick? Well, this was so good that I licked my plate clean. And I’m still thinking about it. This was the last recipe I made with my batch of dough, and the dough tasted the best on these. So I definitely think that this dough gets better with age!
I pretty much followed this recipe to a T – except I did half sausage and half ground beef instead of all sausage. This was delicious! Definitely a filling pizza, but an extremely delicious, filling pizza. In fact, my mom and I were eating some leftovers for lunch the next day, and neither of us could stop eating an extra little slice. We were both stuffed!
This recipe takes pizza to a whole new level. Instead of your typical pepperoni-and-cheese pizza night, you step it up a little and make a more sophisticated version. This pizza was SO.GOOD. This pizza made me happy. What more can you ask for!?! I did cut my vegetables a little bigger than specified in the recipe, but that is the only change I made. (recipe included below)
I’ve seen this cookbook on several people’s “must haves” for Christmas lists. And I totally understand why now. The only downfall to this cookbook that I can even think of is that I don’t usually make pizza often enough to use up a batch of dough in 14 days, but then again, the recipe is easily halved, and the dough can be frozen as well. So I guess that means there are no complaints!! I liked this book so much that I decided to share the love, and give away a copy to one of you!
Wanna know how to win a copy of Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day?
Here’s how you can enter:
Mandatory: Comment below and let me know your favorite pizza topping.
Want extra chances to win?
Note: for any of the extra entries, make sure you leave a separate comment for each.
*This giveaway is open to US residents.
*This giveaway will be open from today until Tuesday, December 12th at midnight MST. The winner will be emailed on December 13th, 2011.?
- 3½ cups (1 pound 12 ounces) lukewarm water (100F or below)
- 1 tablespoon (0.35 ounce) granulated yeast
- 1 - 1½ tablespoons (0.63-0.94 ounce) kosher salt
- 7½ cups (2 pounds 6 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl, (preferrably one with a non-airtight lid), mix together the water, yeast and salt.
- Measure the flour with the "scoop and sweep" method, or weigh the flour. Add in the flour to the wet mixture, mixing with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated. You may need to use wet hands to get the last bit incorporated.
- Cover with a non-airtight lid and allow to rise at room temperature until the top begins to flatten, about 2 hours. Don't punch down the dough.
- After rising, refrigerate and use over the next 14 days.
- **the dough is easier to use when it is cold, so before using it for the first time, it's best to refrigerate overnight, or for at least 3 hours.
- recipe from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day
- ½ pound lean dough
- 7 cups ¼-inch diced root vegetables (red beets, yellow beets, parsnips, carrots, turnips, or your favorites)
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- ¼ cup aged balsamic vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- flour, cornmeal, parchment paper or rice flour for the pizza peel
- Place a baking stone in the oven.
- Toss the vegetables, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Turn on your oven to it's highest setting. Place the vegetables in the oven (they will roast as your oven preheats). Turn the vegetables often to make sure they don't burn.
- When the oven is preheated, the vegetables should be soft. Remove them from the oven and set aside.
- Sprinkle a pizza peel generously with flour. Dust the surface of the dough with flour and, using a pair of kitchen shears or a serrated knife, cut off a ½-pound portion, about the size of an orange. Dust the dough with more flour and shape it into a ball by pulling all the sides around to the bottom, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go.
- Flatten the dough with your hands or by rolling out with a rolling pin on a floured surface. Roll into a cirle, ⅛-inch thick. Dust with flour to keep the dough from sticking. Transfer the dough to the pizza peel, unless you stretched it on the pizza peel. The dough should have enough flour on it so that it will move easily from the peel to the pizza stone.
- Spread the ricotta and garlic evenly over the dough. Scatter 1¼ cups of the roasted vegetables over teh dough and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone. Check for doneness at 8-10 minutes. If one side is browning faster than the other, turn the pizza.
- Allow to cool slightly, then cut into slices and serve.
- Recipe slightly adapted from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day
**Disclosure – while I did receive a copy of this book from the publisher for review, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I loved this cookbook so much that the giveaway is being provided by me!**