Are the kids being out on summer break driving you stark raving mad yet? It only took 4 hours to hear those dreaded words "I'm Bored" around here. I got really behind with work and some other projects and figured summer would be the perfect time to catch up. Why am I always so delusional, why?
I did get started on a painting I promised my niece and I survived a work audit. Having everyone home and in my grill 24/7 should be delightful and refreshing, shouldn't it? Wrong - way wrong, when is summer break over with anyways?
I put a batch of pizza dough in the mixer in the morning and pulled out some coloring books and markers to make the day go a little quicker. Staring down at the smooth, supple bowl of pizza crust I made an executive decision that this dough wasn't going to be any ordinary old pizza.
1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
3/4 cup water, 110 degrees
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
Also needed: Pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, garlic salt, 1 egg + 2 teaspoons water, sliced black olives and roasted red peppers or tomato slices
Add the yeast and water to a large bowl or bowl of a mixer and let proof for 5 minutes. Once the yeast is a little bit foamy add the salt, flour and olive oil and mix with a dough hook until the dough is starting to climb up the hook. Or mix by hand and turn out on a floured board and knead by hand for five minutes and return to dough to the bowl.
Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise for an hour or so.
p.s. If you want go buy some pre-made dough from the store, my lips are zipped.
Place the dough onto a floured cutting board and cut it into four equal pieces. Cut a big portion for the body, a golf ball sized piece for the head and a small 1-inch strip and cut the strip into 2 legs, 2 arms and 2 ears.
Flatten the body portion and smear the middle with a little pizza sauce and then place a bit of shredded mozzarella cheese on top of that (a couple pieces of pepperoni would be tasty too).
Gather the dough up with your fingers and twist to close. I like to push the cheese in a bit with my finger while I'm pulling up the edges. Place the body on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment. Flatten the body a bit and shape into an oval. Take the head piece and flatten and insert a bit of cheese and pinch and twist just like the body piece and place it on top of the body on the baking sheet. Roll the legs, arms and ears into small balls with your hands and place them next to the body.
Make all 4 bears and cover them with a clean dish towel and let rise for 40 minutes.
Beat the egg and water together and brush over the bears. Sprinkle the bears with garlic salt and place two black olives for eyes and a strip of roasted red bell pepper for the mouth.
Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 18-22 minutes until nicely browned.
Serve with a bowl of pizza sauce and grated Parmesan cheese for dipping.
Hopefully these cute little bears will put a smile back on your face, because let’s face it you know you missed me while I was on my little break. I missed all of you, sniff - sniff.