Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Pizza Stromboli Bread

1 scant tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
4 and 1/2 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. nonfat dry milk powder
2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
@ 6 tsp. pizza sauce

Filling: Add, omit, or adjust ingredients to taste
3/4 cup chopped pepperoni
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzerella cheese, divided
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 tbsp. each chopped ripe olives, chopped stuffed olives, and chopped canned mushrooms.
* I used sharp cheddar (and more of it), grated parmesan (and less of it), more mozzerella, more chopped onion, more pepperoni, and NO olives!

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in honey and milk powder until well-blended and let it proof (let sit until it becomes foamy on top). In a small bowl, combine 1 cup flour, the whole wheat flour, and seasonings. Add to the yeast mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in pizza sauce. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

2. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 14" by 12" rectangle. Sprinkle filling ingredients to within 1/2 in. of edges, reserving some of the shredded cheeses for topping. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal and tuck ends under. Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

3. Sprinkle with reserved shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire rack. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.

Pumpkin Trifle- with or w/o Butterscotch

2-3 cups cubed spice cake (spice cake recipe here), muffins, or crumbled gingerbread
*reserve some crumbs
1 can (16 oz.) pumpkin or the equivalent of cooked, pureed, cooled pumpkin
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
*I always add more of these spices, to taste
@ 3 cups cold milk
4 packages (3.4 oz. each) instant butterscotch and/or vanilla pudding
*In the past, I've folded melted butterscotch chips into vanilla pudding or used just plain vanilla pudding
1 pint heavy cream, whipped and lightly sweetened
*If, and only if, you're in a real time or budget crunch, use 2 containers of prepared whipped topping
maraschino cherries for garnish, optional

Prepare spice cake and cool OR use muffins, gingerbread, etc. Layer bottom of trifle bowl or large bowl with cubed cake, muffin, or gingerbread, reserving rest for later. (If you don't have a trifle bowl, any glass or punch bowl works well b/c you can see the trifle layers. Or use an opaque bowl and imagine the layers...)

Whip the heavy cream and sweeten to taste. Set aside in refrigerator.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, spices, milk, and pudding. Mix until smooth. If using melted butterscotch chips, fold them into the mixture last. Gently fold in half of the whipped cream.

Layer half of the pumpkin mixture on top of the cubed spice cake, then next place another layer of cake/muffins/gingerbread in the bowl. Make another layer using the remaining pumpkin mixture. Lastly, layer the second half of the whipped cream on top (you can just spread it on, or, if you feel a Martha Stewart spirit astir, use a pastry bag to decoratively pipe it on top). Garnish with reserved crumbs and maraschino cherries, if desired.

Spice Cake

2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. ginger
* I usually use a bit more of the above spices, to taste.
1/4 cup butter or margerine, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 and 1/4 cups buttermilk or sour milk
*I use a buttermilk substitute: mix a bit more than 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice with enough milk to make 1 and 1/4 cups. Let sit five minutes.

1. Grease a 13"X 9" X 2" pan. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking, soda, and spices. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and shortening on medium to high speed until blended. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add dry mixture and buttermilk alternately to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just till combined. Pour into pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or till a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool.
Makes 12 servings.
*If you use this for the pumpkin trifle found above, you will have leftover cake to munch on, which can only be a good thing.