Making bread or pizza dough takes forever right!
Ain't nobody got time for that!
My secret weapon fixes that.
Step 1: Too Lazy to Leave the House
I was feeling like some pita bread to go with dinner and the weather is a little cool and I am too lazy to walk to the shops.
Lets assemble the ingredients:
- Flour (organic wholemeal spelt plain flour - I was out of plain white flour - remember that too lazy to go to the shop thing)
Yeast (powdered instant)
Lets start with these
2 cups of the flour ( will add more flour later)
A tablespoon of yeast
Sprinkling of salt
Apparently the salt is a necessity for the gluten to do its thing.
Other stuff added was a small bit of sugar and a glug of fragrant extra virgin olive oil.
For a Naan bread one would add yogurt and honey
For Dutch Oliebollen an egg, more sugar (brown), chopped or grated apple and some dried fruit (sultanas, raisins and or currants) and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, easy on the nutmeg).
For ordinary bread a blander oil
For American style bread add more sugar and a blander oil.
For pizza dough more olive oil - possibly forget about the sugar
Step 2: Mix the Dough and Watch It Rise
Now I add a cup of tap water, which is too much for two cups of flour but it makes the first mixing easier. A more normal ratio is about 3 of flour to one of water. I prefer to go by feel as flour has its own moisture level which varies with heat and humidity, altering how much water you need to add.
To keep my fingers clean I mix with a knife at this stage. If you have a dough hook/electric mixer you can just use that.
Once the mix is a nice lumpless batter like consistency add a bit more flour at a time until the mix starts to look like you might be able to use your hands without getting them too messy and we get a proper dough. If you are making Oliebollen don't add much more flour.
Because yeast grows better when it is warm than when it is cold sometimes you can wait hours for the dough to rise. The secret weapon here is a wheat bag (AKA heat bag, heat pack) frequently sold at your local craft fair or pharmacy which when microwaved produces a nice even heat suitable for soothing muscle aches and pains and .... warming up dough to a temperature where it rises really fast. If you are unfortunate enough not to own one and are too lazy to go to the shops and buy one, rice and most other grains work pretty well too. Just sew up or grab a bag and put some grains in it - its not rocket surgery. Search instructables for heat pack or heat bag if you need ideas/help.
Place your secret weapon/heat bag in the microwave some instructions say put a half a cup of water in with it.
While it is warming keep working the dough, kneading it by hand adding more flour and working it to stretch out the gluten strands.
Place your dough back in the bowl, put it on top of your wheat bag and put a towel over the top. Some people oil the top of the dough or cover it with plastic wrap to stop a crust from forming but I am inherently lazy.
Step 3: Wait - But Not for Long
After 20 - 30 minutes the dough will have risen sufficiently for your next step. This is quicker than even a normal warm weather rising at my place where it usually takes an hour or so, let alone in winter where 2 hours is not unheard of. The first time I tried this was when my Oliebollen mix hadn't risen after an hour in my cold house.
At this point I am making pita breads so I divide my dough by hand into half and half and half again to make 8 balls.
If you were making ordinary bread you would knock it down and let it rise again prior to baking.
If you were making Oliebollen you would get a teaspoon and drop your dough into hot oil
Pizza dough - thick crust divide in half - thin crust divide in quarters - also dependent on how big you want your pizzas to be.
I then took my rolled up balls and rolled them out on the bench top and put them onto a hot griddle pan to fry first one side wait till little bubbles appear on the surface and the bottom looks sufficiently browned to you and then the other. Add a bit of butter or oil to taste to the pan if you like that sort of thing. I must admit a bit of garlic and butter in the pan makes can really make your taste buds sizzle.
I have to admit this organic wholemeal spelt flour tastes a little like cardboard but what can I say - I was too lazy to go to the shop to buy pita bread why would I go to buy plain flour? All in all once I added the chicken, hummus and tabouli it wasn't half bad.