Back to Busy: Bubble Biscuit Pizza

biscuit pizza 2 Back to Busy: Bubble Biscuit Pizza

We’ve been eating a disproportionate amount of pizza these past couple weeks… not only because it’s easy to cook on the grill (we’re currently without a kitchen), but because it’s easy and requires little in the way of dishes – just napkins that can be tossed in the garbage. (Doing dishes in the bathtub tends to make one acutely aware of just how many dirty dishes one generates.)

This particular pizza is not the thin crust variety; it’s made on thickly patted out biscuit dough, making it sort a of quasi-focaccia, but then again not really – it’s more like thick wedges of comfort; dough topped with cheese, served warm. You could, of course, add anything you might add to a pizza – and the dough itself can be stirred up in about a minute, without kneading (a bonus when you currently have no countertops) or the need to let it rise. Which means you can come home from work and have a pizza in the oven in about ten minutes – it’s also easy enough for kids to make themselves, if they’re the sort who come home hungry and like to bake.

biscuit pizza 1 Back to Busy: Bubble Biscuit Pizza

We baked this in the toaster oven – one of the small appliances that has saved our collective bacon since I decided it was a good idea to tear the kitchen out in order to force us to come up with a new one. My toaster oven is old and well-used, but London Drugs asked if I’d curate a short list of small appliances that make life easier during the back to school (and work) end of summer crunch, and the toaster oven is often overlooked, I think, for its ability to do far more than melt cheese on a bagel.

toaster oven 585x361 Back to Busy: Bubble Biscuit Pizza

You can bake a batch of biscuits in a toaster oven, which really is a regular oven, only mini, that sits on your countertop. Most people don’t realize you could bake a pie in a toaster oven. (And you might want to, if another heat wave comes along. Toaster ovens don’t heat up the entire house.) It doesn’t use as much power when you’re baking something small, like a banana loaf, or if you’re cooking or reheating a meal for one. (Sometimes you want crispy bits, which aren’t always possible in the microwave.) And they’re great for students with limited space – I have no idea how dorm rooms work these days, but I know I’d want some sort of kitchen setup, even if it was in a closet.

Like every other appliance, toaster ovens range from the inexpensive to the fancy (this Breville has an LCD screen and convection capabilities), but I’ve worked with many toaster ovens in many makeshift kitchens and on cooking sets over the years, and had success with most of them – I’d choose the Oster or Hamilton Beach (you can toast, bake or broil), or the Breville if you want to go higher end.

Happy long weekend, all! Enjoy this last summer hurrah.

Bubble Biscuit Pizza

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (or half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 cup tomato sauce or 1/2 cup pesto
2 cups grated mozzarella
ΒΌ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400F.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the cream and stir just until the dough comes together. Turn out onto the countertop, knead once or twice, and pat out about an inch thick.

With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-inch squares and place in a large bowl. Pour the tomato sauce and half the mozzarella overtop and gently toss to coat. Scrape out into an 8-inch cast iron skillet, or a greased cake pan or pie plate.

Top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Serve warm. Serves 4-6.

* This post was sponsored by London Drugs to help get through the back to school crunch – and to help me pay my web hosting fees – but all words and thoughts are my own. Thanks, London Drugs!

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August 29 2014 | bread and one dish | 7 Comments »

Apple or Peach Fritters

Apple fritters 6 Apple or Peach Fritters

The apples are coming. The peaches are here.

I know it’s early – someone said August is like the Sunday afternoon of summer – but bins of apples are arriving in farmers’ markets alongside late summer peaches – and both make me want to eat fritters. This colossal Sundaynightitis and the mere suggestion of shorter days and cooler nights triggers my need for comfort food something fierce.

Apple fritters 2 Apple or Peach Fritters

These photos should be out in an orchard, on a rustic wood board with apples that still have their stems – and maybe an ever so slightly curled leaf – for optimal effect. But it’s one of the last of the vintage dinette tabletops – the pink and blue so many art directors I know shudder to see peeking out from under my food – and at the bottom, a scrap of the material that’s now on our ceilings. And I’m getting all sniffy at the thought that the table might not be going back – I’m thinking a big slab of butcher block will warm up the room and be nice to shoot on.

Sniff.

Apple fritters 1 Apple or Peach Fritters

All good Canadians are familiar with the apple fritter – one of the most popular doughnuts at our biggest doughnut chain – but if you haven’t tried a peach fritter, you must. Just make sure you let them cool a bit – juicy peaches tend to retain their heat longer than apples.

Apple or Peach Fritters

If you’re feeding a crowd, this recipe can be easily doubled.

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup apple cider or milk
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. melted butter or oil
1 tart apple or ripe peach, finely chopped (don’t peel it)

canola or peanut oil, for frying
icing sugar or cinnamon sugar, for dusting

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Add the cider or milk, egg and melted butter and whisk just until combined. Stir in the chopped apple or peach.

In a heavy medium saucepan, heat a couple inches of oil over medium-high heat. When a scrap of bread sizzles when you dip it in, drop a few small spoonfuls of batter at a time into the oil, without crowding the pan. Flip as they turn golden, and continue to cook until golden on the other side. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Douse in cinnamon sugar or icing sugar while still warm. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen.

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August 26 2014 | breakfast and snacks | 2 Comments »

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