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Homemade Pizza Dough

March 5, 2010

A few years ago Mrs. DIY Kitchen and I took a bread making class and for lunch we worked up this quick and easy pizza dough. We’ve been using this recipe and making pizza at home ever since. Because you do need to let the dough rise, it does take a little advance planning. Also, it’s a great activity for getting kids in the kitchen.

Start with 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tbsp yeast and 1 tbsp sugar.  Mix and wait until the yeast wakes up and starts getting foamy.


Next add 1 cup water, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 rounded tbsp gluten flour and stir.  Add about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of white flour and start mixer on low with the dough hook.  pizza dough

After ingredients have mixed together, add another 1/2 to 1 cup of white flour and let the mixer run until the dough is smooth, about 10 min. Turn the dough out to a floured surface and form into a rounded ball.

Dough ball

Place the dough into a bowl coated with non-stick spray, cover and allow to double in size in about 90 minutes. Punch down the dough, divide in two and you’re ready to roll out your dough.

Roll your own

I use a pizza stone on the middle rack preheated in the oven at 500 for 30 min. before putting the pizza in the oven.  I like to place the dough on parchment paper and then slide on and off using a rimless baking sheet.  After about 10 min. in the oven, here’s the result.


Making Homemade Butter

February 26, 2010

I didn’t really plan on making butter but I had a pasta recipe that left me with 10-12 ounces of leftover heavy cream. What better way to use the cream than make garlic bread with homemade butter. If I was a better planner I would’ve made the bread too, but that’s for another day.

I’d like to thank Nicole from FU Cheese for first showing me the way of making butter using only my KitchenAid mixer… what I didn’t realize is that the fine ladies at FU Cheese also did a blog post on butter making about a year and a half ago.  I hope they don’t sue me.

Here’s the deal on butter, it’s EASY but does require a little bit of faith. At one moment you think to yourself “this isn’t going right” and then all of a sudden the magic happens and the butter and the buttermilk divorce themselves for all eternity.

Heavy cream and a KitchenAid.

KitchenAid and Cream

Begin the whipping, I ran the mixer on a medium speed setting throughout

geting started

Now turning to whipping cream

whipped cream

At this point I switched out the whip for the paddle attachment because getting butter caught inside the whip sucks

almost there

This is the point where you think you’ve beaten this far enough, something’s wrong and then… butter magically appears


And buttermilk


Next, wrap the butter in cheesecloth wash and rinse the butter under cold running water to work all the extra buttermilk out

Wash your butter

And you’re done!


How to Make Homemade Ketchup

February 22, 2010

Getting things started here at The DIY Kitchen, I wanted to make something that seems pretty easy and many people use regularly.

My son loves ketchup, but I’m not excited abut the high fructose corn syrup, so how about making at home using brown sugar instead. Using the recipe from Karen Solomon’s Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects we use a variety of spices including stick cinnamon, bay leaves and star anise.

I’m using store canned tomatoes (28 oz) for this first attempt but come late summer after the garden kicks out more tomatoes than one can possibly eat, I plan on using fresh or home canned for future batches.

Puree tomatoes

Start by pureeing the tomatoes and then set aside all but 1/4 cup (give or take).  Add 1 quartered yellow onion and puree with the 1/4 cup tomatoes.

puree onion

In a large, non-reactive pot add 2 tbsp canola oil over medium heat and add onion puree and 2 tsp kosher salt. Stir the puree for 8 min. (or as long as you can stand being near this eye burning stage) reducing and lightly browning the onion.

onion puree, salt, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, tomato puree

Next add the tomato puree, 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup red wine vinegar and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes while occasionally stirring. (Note: the author uses champagne vinegar but I elected to use the red wine to save money).

While your tomatoes are bubbling away, its time to make your spice packet. The recipe called for stick cinnamon, crushed cardamom pods, whole cloves, black peppercorn, star anise and bay leaf. I think it’s a great starting point, but feel free to experiment and use whatever spices interest you. I used a homebrewing hop bag, but making your own from cheesecloth works too.


After 15 minutes, toss the spice packet in and simmer for another 10 – 12 minutes. By the time you’re done the volume should be reduced by roughly half. Remove from heat, add in 1 tsp of paprika (or more depending on your taste).

finished ketchup in pot

Allow the mixture to cool, remove the spice packet, pour into a jar and you’re done. Should keep in the fridge for 2-3 months.

homemade ketchup

Minus cleanup this shouldn’t take more than an hour to complete. In a side-by-side tasting, Heinz ketchup has a thick, almost glue-like consistency with a sharp, vinegar bite at the beginning that quickly fades. The homemade ketchup has a much sweeter aroma, thinner consistency, less bite at the initial taste with nicely integrated sweet and sour flavors that linger to an almost smoky finish.

So there you go… The DIY Kitchen’s first entry. Let me know what you think regarding the content or the layout, whatever, I’m open to suggestions.