This blog is a window into our lives – John's and mine. It's our breakfast nook on the Internet and in each post, we invite you all in to have a look around.
We like to keep the nook upbeat and tidy (unlike John's apartment - egads!), but sometimes there are crumbs on the tablecloth and the napkins are wrinkled. Sometimes I haven't been at the nook in a few days and John's too busy golfing (or combing his hair).
But even if we're not around, we'd still like for you to feel welcome, because what we think is most important is not the state of your living quarters (every wayward sock, a harbinger of chaos!), but that your guest feel comfortable.
Which brings up a question: How comfortable can you be in someone else's space?
Where's the bathroom?
Can I get a drink of water?
Is this thing equipped with fire extinguishers should things go horribly awry?
These are all questions you may ask yourself upon entering someone else's space and this is ok.
When I have guests over to my tiny studio apartment, I like them to feel at home. Likewise, I want you readers to feel at home on this blog, too. If you visited my apartment, I'd tell you the following:
The bathroom is to the right and is decorated with an assortment of bike shorts and sports bras (sorry).
The water (which I will gladly fetch for you) is from the tap (NYC's finest!).
And the fire extinguisher is under the sink (possibility for things going awry: 65%)
More, than this, when I have guests over, I feed them. It's what a good Italian girl does.
On the blog, you don't have to worry about where my bathroom is and if you need to unleash various fire retardants. But I'm still going to feed you...digitally speaking. So have a seat in our breakfast nook, pour yourself a cup of coffee and relax. I've got a pie in the oven....a pizza, of course.
Elana's Breakfast Nook Pizza
What You Need:
For the Oat & Walnut Breakfast Pizza Dough:
1 envelope active dried yeast
1 ½ cups warm water – 100 degrees F
3 cups whole wheat flour (all purpose, bread, or 00 flour)
1/2 cups oats
½ cup walnuts
3-4 tablespoons ground flax seeds
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pizza stone and pizza peel, semolina flour or cornmeal for dusting. If you don’t have a peel or a pizza stone, you can also use a cookie sheet. If you are using a cookie sheet, it’s not necessary to use semolina flour or cornmeal. Just place your dough round directly onto the cookie sheet and add toppings.
For the toppings:
1 quart fresh strawberries, sliced
1 quart fresh blackberries
1 quart fresh blueberries
a soft, mild cheese such as a farmer’s cheese
grated zest from 1 lemon
confectioner’s sugar for dusting
For the balsamic syrup:
1 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons Colavita Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 cup fresh blueberries
grated zest from 1/2 lemon
What To Do:
For the Dough:
1. In a medium mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of the warm water.
2. Stir in ½ cup of the whole wheat flour.
3. Cover with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let stand for 30 minutes to let the mixture bubble and rise.
4. After the 30 minutes are up, pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer. You can mix by hand as well in a large bowl.
5. Add the remaining ½ cup of warm water, salt, sugar and the olive oil to the food processor.
6. Add the walnuts, pulsing to chop them finely.
7. Combine the remaining 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour, ½ cup oats and ground flax seeds in a bowl. Slowly begin to add this mixture to the food processor, ½ cup at a time.
8. The dough will start to hold together and form into a ball.
9. When this happens, remove the dough from the bowl, and place on a floured counter top.
10. Knead the dough until it is smooth. This may take about 10 minutes.
11. Dust the dough lightly all over with flour and place in a large bowl, covered with a kitchen towel.
12. Let it rise for 1 hour.
13. After an hour, the dough will be doubled in size. Punch it down in the center and divide the dough into four or five equal parts.
14. Form each part into a smooth ball and let them rise, covered, on a floured surface for 30 minutes.
You can store the dough covered, overnight in the refrigerator, or use it immediately. If you chill it overnight, allow the dough to come to room temperature before using it.
Before you top your pizza, heat your oven to 500 degrees F. If you are using a pizza stone, place the stone in the oven and heat it up for at least 30 minutes prior to baking on it.
This dough will be slightly less bouncy and pliable, as it has less gluten than traditional white flour crust. Gently press out the dough from the center on a floured surface until you have a flat, round disc, about 6-7 inches in diameter.
Take out your pizza peel and dust it with semolina flour or cornmeal.
Place your stretched dough onto the dusted peel. Make sure that you can easily slide the dough around on the peel.
Now you are ready for toppings!
Spread the farmer’s cheese over the top of the stretched out dough.
Layer the strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries over the top of the cheese.
Slide the pizza in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the berries start to pop and ooze purple juice over the surface of the pie.
Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with fresh lemon zest and confectioner’s sugar. Drizzle with the blueberry balsamic syrup (recipe follows) and serve with coffee or tea!
For the Balsamic Syrup:
In a small sauce pan, heat the sugar and balsamic vinegar together until the sugar has dissolved. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, until the blueberries pop and become soft.Set-aside. (Can be made a day in advance; heat slightly or bring to room temperature before serving)