Friday, October 21, 2011

Feelin Savory? I've got the dough for you.

The catharsis of dough. Sometimes I need to hear a voice, read a book, or spend some time with a tree and a good breeze to feel calm. But more and more I find peace in the kitchen, regardless of the outcome; the process of creating a dish pauses my brain from worry and helps me focus on the task at hand.
Yesterday was not a terrible day, it was just kinda sucky. Like an entire day of tripping over your shoelaces, a series of "Son of a BITCH!"type moments, but nothing life altering. The day began with the discovery I was out of coffee and was followed quickly by a trip to the dentist. There isn't enough space on the internet for me to relay the ongoing struggle I have with the dentist. I'm an annoyingly obsessive flosser and brusher, eat moderately healthy (fairly good about the sugar intake), yet every time I go to the (insert expletive here) dentist, I have a cavity. Being without dental insurance, I know that a cavity is really 150 dollars I will now have to put on my credit card and pay down as I can. Oh, right, I had two. 300 bucks gone and a mouth that made eating anything but yogurt unpleasant. The rest of the day was a series of blah events, and even though my mouth hurt and my tooth was playing 'how much can I ache" all I wanted to do was cook. Not that I could eat much, but that's what leftovers are for, yes?

I've been curious about this crust since I read it, given there is no oil or butter, and it uses sour cream. Really I just love making dough. Making a pie crust or pizza dough is so relaxing. Watching it rise feels like magic, then rolling it out, the slow steady process of trying to make a round shape, failing, trying again and getting it just right. The feel of the powdery flour on your hands, and the beautiful accidental designs made in the flour as you roll out your dough. If you have never made your own crust, you are seriously missing out.

This dough was used for a carrot pie/tart/thing I'm not sure what to call yet. I'll post that recipe within the next day or two, but I believe this is a great all around crust. Use it for pizza, savory tarts, or whatever you need a sturdy dough for. The flavor was hearty, the dough was chewy yet still had a nice crunch, I must say I was really impressed with this dough. I plan on spending many more days rolling out this dough while letting the worries of my life take a backseat to the moment I'm living.

Savory Pie Dough
Adapted from "Almost Vegetarian"

If you don't have wheat pastry flour, just use all purpose flour. 

The Goods: Makes on 10-12 inch pie
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
1/3 cup tepid water (lukewarm)
1/2 teaspoon dry malt or sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons nonfat sour cream

The Deal: 
1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the yeast and water. Let sit until frothy about 10 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine the dry malt or sugar, all-purpose and pastry flours and salt. Make a well in the center, and add egg, sour cream and yeast mixture. Stir to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth.

3. Clean the larger bowl, and return the dough to it. Cover with plastic wrap or a light towel and place in a warm spot until doubled, about 45 minutes. Use as directed in recipe
At this point you can refrigerate the dough, tightly wrapped in plastic, for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before using, also allowing it to rise.

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