Thursday, March 15, 2012

St. Patty's Day and Spent Grain Pizza Crust

Jess LC FLEA earrings and bracelets, SeaAndStoneStudio shibori scarf,
Spendid Tee maxi dress, Dolce Vita Bagley T Strap sandals

Happy St. Patrick's Day weekend! The weather has been beyond amazing in Chicago lately and it's still officially winter! I'm talking 60's, 70's, and almost 80's!  That's why this week's Friday's Fancies outfit looks like it belongs in the spring or summer. I'd love to wear that easy breezy dress while enjoying the sunshine and vitamin D.

St. Patrick's Day also means we're in the middle of Lent. If Ash Wednesday didn't give it away, then all the commercials for fast food fish sandwiches did. Does anybody eat a fish sandwich during the rest of the year? I don't. So why doesn't McDonald's advertise the Filet-O-Fish as "back for a limited time" instead of the McRib? I don't see people lining up for a McRib.

If fish doesn't sound good, how about some cheese or veggie pizza? Unfortunately, everybody else had the same idea when I went to the grocery store at the beginning of Lent. All the cheese and veggie pizzas were gone! Good thing I like making pizza crust from scratch.

This recipe is for pizza crust using spent grain from our homebrewing, which makes for a nice multigrain crust. You can omit the grain, but then may have to increase the flour.

Spent Grain Pizza Crust
Adapted from Draft Magazine (September/October 2011)

Makes 1 thicker crust pizza or 2 thinner crust pizzas

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 package highly active dry yeast (I used Fleischmann's RapidRise)
1 cup spent grain
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ cup lukewarm water (105-115 degrees)

Whisk flour, highly active yeast, spent grain, and salt in a large bowl. Mix sugar with the lukewarm water and add to the dry ingredients. Stir until combined. Dump the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Or use your stand mixer with the dough hook.

Place the dough in a large bowl coated with oil, cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size. This is about 10 minutes to an hour with the RapidRise yeast.

When ready to make a pizza, roll the dough out on a floured surface and place on a pizza stone or tray. I like to line a pizza pan with aluminum foil and then dust it with cornmeal. Top the crust with your favorite cheeses, sauces, veggies, meats, etc. We used pesto we had saved from the summer! 

Bake at 425* for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted.

To make the dough ahead of time, cover and refrigerate the unrisen dough for up to 1 day, or tightly wrap the unrisen dough in oiled plastic wrap, freeze for up to 3 months, and defrost the dough overnight in the refrigerator. Let the dough come to room temperature before rolling.

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  1. Really, you don't know anyone who gets excited when the McRib is back? I must just have weird friends...

    And since I became a vegetarian, every McDonald's trip means a Filet-O-Fish for me :)

  2. I am in the same boat as you for lent! Not being a fish fan either (save for the occasional salmon) we live off of pizza and pasta during the 6 week stretch! My mom has made homemade pizza crust for years and it is wonderful...things are always better homemade :) I hope you have enjoyed your week and wishing you a wonderful St. Patty's Day!
    Twirling Clare (check out the face-lift!)

  3. i love that dress it looks so comfy for spring!

  4. I LOVE that your outfit isn't totally overwhelming with green! I love St. Patrick's Day, but I hate being all green - I guess it's just not my color! The little pop of green is such a great accessory with that shirt - LOVE it!

    Hope your celebrating day was/is fabulous!!


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