Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Quick Reminder: If you would love to win a "Pay It Forward" prize package leave a comment on this previous post by July 28th!
If you polled my friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and pretty much any stranger on the street who may have tasted my cooking, I'm betting they would all claim one dish of mine as their favorite. What's sort of embarrassing is that it takes so little time and effort to make it and it's really more of a snack than a dish. I'm talking of my pizza crescents. Whenever I'm back in Massachusetts I'm expected to bring some along or make them there. They have also quickly become THE Thanksgiving dinner roll, and certain people in the family are known to gorge themselves on pizza rolls and subsequently stare at a full plate of Thanksgiving goodies.
We have a lovely tradition at work. We call it MOLDOW (Munchies On the Last Day Of the Week). Every week, 2 people provide homemade breakfast and lunch for the entire Science and Math Departments. Of course, I tend to go overboard. One week I showed up with 6 dozen pizza crescents. I was expecting to walk back home with 3 dozen, and L was counting on it. To his chagrin, I returned with an empty basket. (He went out and got all of the ingredients and made me make him some the next day.) The boss was duly impressed, although I'm not sure what she loved more, these or the cardamom lime sweet rolls.
Pizza Crescents - adapted from The Best of Betterbaking.com Cookbook
This makes a dozen rolls- it is easily adjusted by multiplying all quantities
1/2 recipe my herbed pizza dough (recipe follows)
2 Tbsp crushed garlic
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of your favorite jarred pasta sauce
4 oz. pepperoni, chopped fine
1 cup 4 cheese Italian shredded cheese (reduced fat mozzarella, smoked provolone, romano and asiago)
1/4 cup grated parmiggiano reggiano
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured surface, roll out pizza dough into a 1/4 inch thin circle, about 14 inches in diameter. Mix together garlic, seasonings, pasta sauce and pepperoni. Top just as you would a pizza with one exception, leave a circle in the center about 3 centimeters in diameter free of toppings. Spread on sauce mixture evenly, then sprinkle over cheese. Cut into 12 thin "pizza slices." Starting at the edge, roll one piece in towards the middle. Tuck the end in underneath and pull the arms towards each other. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with other slices. Let rolls rise 30-40 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Share with friends and prepare to become quite popular.
Herbed Pizza Dough
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 packet rapid rise yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp oregano
1 Tbsp garlic rosemary seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2-3 cups unbleached bread flour
Combine water, yeast and seasonings in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Let sit 2 minutes. Add olive oil, cornmeal, all-purpose flour and 2 cups bread flour. Stir until well combined. Add more flour as needed to make a soft supple dough that isn't sticky. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Form into a ball and transfer to an oiled bowl. Turn to coat in oil and loosely plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.