December 13, 2015

BB8 Pizza

So, I apologize, I meant to post this earlier in the week, but I got distracted by the new episode of Dreamfall Chapters (all the feels, guys. All the feels. My poor Crow.)

But do you know what helps with video games feels? Adorable droids. And you know who might be one of the most adorable droids ever? BB8.
BB8 was introduced in the trailer for Episode 7, and everyone pretty much agreed that he (she?) was ridiculously cute. I mean, R2 is still my favoritest astromech droid of all time, but I have to admit that BB8's chubby little ball-with-a-head design is fairly squee-worthy.
You gotta admit, that's pretty adorable.

And of course, since BB8 is just kind of round, it was pretty easy to make him into a pizza. Because that is the way my mind works.
BB8 pizza is not all that different from a regular pizza. I just used a large dinner plate to measure out the circle for the body, then made a smaller half circle for the head. Then I just chopped up an orange pepper (I got one of those bags of the tiny sweet peppers-- it had mostly orange peppers) and some olives for the designs.

Then you gotta chow down on BB8's adorable little head
Super simple and easily recognizable, making BB8 pizza is an awesome treat to make before seeing The Force Awakens (less than a week, guys. Who's excited?)

BB8 Pizza
Yield: 1 pizza

1 recipe pizza dough
Approx 1 cup prepared tomato sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese
1 orange pepper, chopped
Chopped olives

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Prepare the pizza dough according to recipe instructions. Roll it out to about 1 inch thickness. Cut out a large circle for the body (I used a dinner plate as a guide), and a smaller half circle for the head (I free-handed it, but you can use a smaller plate as a guide). Place both pieces on a baking sheet and pinch them together to create one pizza.

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over the crust and top with the shredded mozzarella. Use the chopped pepper and olives to create the BB8 design. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

December 6, 2015

Crossguard Lightsaber French Bread Pizza

We are less than two weeks away from Star Wars: The Force Awakens! And we have already established the fact that I express excitement for nerd movies with pizza, so you should have expected this to come at some point. In fact this is only the first Force Awakens pizza post I have planned for you.

C'mon, I made all 6 of the Avengers into pizza, did you really think I'd stop at one pizza for Star Wars Episode 7? Do you even know me at all?

I split them up into different post because, unlike PizzAvengers where the only difference was the toppings, these pizzas are each prepared differently, so having them all together would be a massive post. Also, I did not want to make them all together, and this is my blog, so nyah. Expect more to come.

Anyway-- lightsaber pizza!! For those of you that may not know, the crossguard lightsaber is new to the Star Wars universe. We  caught a glimpse of it in the very first trailer, and it sparked a huge controversy. Some people thought it looked awesome, some people thought it didn't make sense, and a lot of people were hating on JJ Abrams for the change.
Personally, I can understand the reasoning behind the crossguard. Swords have crossguards to protect the wielder's hand and arm. People seem to lose an awful lot of limbs in the Star Wars universe, so if dude wants that extra protection, I can understand it. It does seem a little dangerous-- I would lose a few fingers the first time I turned it on-- but presumably between Jedi training and Force manipulation, that's not an issue.

Also, dude's a Sith. Clearly some of them enjoy hacking their lightsabers. Darth Maul had the double one. I know Vader was a purist but he also ended up being a good guy, so obviously he was more Jedi than Sith the whole time.


I didn't need to put a spoiler warning on that, did I? If you haven't seen the original trilogy, what are you even doing here?
I was browsing Star Wars pizza on Pinterest, like you do, and I saw a recipe for crossguard French bread pizza. I thought it was such a great idea since French bread is already vaguely lightsaber shaped, and the crossguard lightsaber is unique to Episode 7, so it's an easy way to celebrate the new movie.

If you've ever made French bread pizza, you know it's super simple. Take a loaf, slice it in half, add toppings, toast it. And you can totally make it that simple, especially if you're not necessarily interested in making the crossguard lightsaber. I made it with a few extra steps, because it's what I do.
Firstly, I decided to use refrigerated bread dough (I used Pillsbury. It was pretty good, but tasted more like sourdough than French bread), so that I could shape it into one piece. That seemed easier to me, but you can totally just get two loaves already baked and cut them up to make the same shape. Easy peasy.

Secondly, instead of slicing the loaf in half, I cut a slit in the crust and hollowed out the loaf a bit to make more of a pizza boat. I thought that would make the toppings look more lightsaber-y. Also, the words "pizza boat" sound delicious, and the cheese and sauce stay warm longer because they're enclosed in the crust.
The toppings are simple: just tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, chopped olives for the "handle" and pepperoni for the... blade? I actually don't know what the light part of the lightsaber is called. Wow, uh, that's um, I don't know what to say. I feel ashamed. Let's just keep this between you and me, okay? Pinky swear?

Anyway, I like turkey pepperoni, just in general, but I especially like it for this pizza because it tends to be more red than the regular pepperoni. It's not a huge difference, but I think it looks better. You could also use chopped red bell pepper and avoid the pepperoni all together.
This pizza would be a great appetizer or movie time snack (you know, while you're rewatching the original trilogy to prepare to watch Episode 7). To make it easier to serve, you can slice the bread 3/4 of the way through, so you can just pull off a slice. I wasn't sharing, so I didn't worry about that.

How excited for The Force Awakens are you? True story: I had to darken some of these photos because they were a bit washed out, and as I was doing that, I found myself whispering, "good, good. Let the hate flow through you. Embrace the power of the dark side." I surprise myself sometimes with my own level of nerdiness.

French Bread Pizza
Yield: about 6 servings, depending on the size of the loaves

1 1/2 loaves French bread*
Approx. 1 cup prepared tomato sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Pepperoni and diced olives to top

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place your loaves on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut out a long, thin section of the crust, and remove some of the inside bread to make room for the toppings.

Fill the hollow you made with the tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella. Top with olives and pepperoni. Bake 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Let cool slightly before serving.

*I used Pillsbury refrigerated dough

Recipe inspired by Cooking with Plants
Psst, do you have a nerdy baker in your life? Geeky Sprinkles make a great gift. The steampunk sprinkles are my personal favorite, but there are also Tardis sprinkles, Harry Potter lightning bolt sprinkles, and Meeple sprinkles. They are awesomely geeky and can only be found on And for a limited time, you can use the promo code "TRINKETS" to get 20% off anything in the shop. I'm hooking you guys up, dude.

I helped fund the Kickstarter for Geeky Sprinkles, but I'm not affiliated in any other way with  The Geeky Hostess. Tara contacted me and asked if I wanted a promo code to share with you guys just because she's awesome like that. And you can never have too many sprinkles.

December 2, 2015

Challah Bread

A few times I've been around that track,
So it's not just gonna happen like that,
Cause I ain't no challah-back girl.
I ain't no Challah-back girl


I'm sorry, but if you guys haven't come to expect this sort of thing by now, what are we even doing here?

Remember the last post when I told you that because I was a crazy person, I used bread I baked that morning to make French toast? This is that bread. I had forgotten to check the bakery to see if they had any challah and I needed it for the recipe, so because I'm me, I figured I'd just make my own.

Except, I couldn't really find a recipe that I liked, so I kinda sorta made this one up? So I have no idea if it's actually authentic or not. I mean, I looked at a ton of challah recipes, so I kinda knew what I was doing, except I just did it my way. *cue Sinatra music*
I was low on all-purpose flour, but I had an unopened bag of bread flour. I figured that would be fine since, you know, I was making bread, but it was actually really hard to find a recipe that used bread flour. And the ones that did had weirdy instructions (one called for half an egg. Half an egg. That's crazy talk) or more ingredients than I had in my kitchen, like a billion eggs or milk.

Instead of making myself crazy trying to find the perfect recipe, I just sort of decided on a ratio of ingredients that seemed reasonable and headed to the mixer. What came out looked reasonably like bread dough, so I proceeded.
And guys, it was actually pretty easy. I let my mixer do all the kneading, and I let the dough do it's first rise in the fridge overnight (cause I was too lazy to finish that night, which is why the bread was so fresh when I went to make the French toast). I didn't even have to use a rolling pin, I just rolled out dough "strands" for braiding with my two hands. Even the braiding wasn't too hard-- I decided to go with the traditional 6-strand braid because I wanted a taller loaf, and I just watched a couple tutorials on youtube before doing it. It didn't come out perfectly, as you can see, but I think it looks pretty good for my first time.

It did rise a lot more in the oven than I expected. A lot more. It tried to take the top oven rack with it when I took it out. So take out your top oven rack, just to be sure.
As for the taste, well, it was pretty good if I do say so myself. But you've got to wait and let it cool completely before eating it, maybe even let it sit for a bit. I know the temptation to eat warm bread fresh from the oven, I do, but if you eat this warm, it will just taste like any old bread. But if you're patient enough and let it cool, it tastes so much better. It's so soft and fluffy and slightly sweet, and I kind of ate half a loaf in the name of taste-testing.

I still don't know if it's authentic or not, but I let my mother try some, and now she's obsessed with it. So, authentic or not, it's still some good bread.

Even if you ain't no challah-back girl.
I can't help it.
Challah Bread
Yield: 2 loaves

1 1/2 cups very warm water (about 110-120 degrees F)
1/4 cup melted butter
4 tbsp. honey
1 packet active dry yeast
6-7 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. of water)
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional)

Mix together the water, butter, and honey. Add the yeast and stir until dissolved. Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook whisk together 2 cups of flour and the salt. Add the yeast mixture and the eggs and mix on low until well combined. Add 2 more cups of flour and mix on low for about two minutes. Gradually add in 2 more cups of flour.

Knead in the mixer about 6-8 minutes, or by hand for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, add the remaining cup of flour, 1/4 cup at a time. Shape your dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat completely. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours (or refrigerate and let rise overnight, 6-8 hours).

Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Cut it in half and form two balls. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

Working with one ball at a time, divide into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a long, thin rope. Pinch the tops of the ropes together and braid to form a loaf. Repeat with the second half of the dough. cover both loaves and let rise until doubled, 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the loaves with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if using. Bake 35-45 minutes, until the loaves are well browned and sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Let cool before slicing.

Tip: I heat the water and butter together to save time. The butter doesn't have to be completely melted before adding the yeast-- it will continue to melt as it sits in the warm water.

If you don't feel comfortable doing a six-strand braid, you can always do a regular 3 strand braid instead.

Recipe by Kim