The Recipe Cycle


Do you have recipe cycle?  Mine goes something like this:

Step 1: Decide what I want to make.  Sometimes my inspiration comes from a delicious restaurant meal, sometimes from someone else’s blog, sometimes from ingredients I have on hand.  I have been known to consult my Pinterest board from time to time.  If I don’t already have a recipe, I might poke around on the Internet until I find one or two that seem promising, or consult The Joy of Cooking.

Step 2: Execute.  I would like to say that I follow the recipe exactly the first time through, but this would be a lie.  I will say that I stick more closely to the recipe at first, but I am constantly making adjustments as I cook.  I can’t help it.

Step 3: Collect feedback and, if positive, repeat step 2.  After multiple successes, a recipe might make the cut into the family recipe binder.  (What can I say?  We like to rock it old school.)

Step 4: A precious few recipes make it into regular rotation, where I make them again and again until no recipe is necessary.

It may take months for a recipe to make it through the whole cycle, and many recipes don’t make it past step 2 or 3.    The ones that do, though, have the potential to become legendary.  Just ask anyone who has been to our house on Pizza Friday.

Homemade pizza dough

(Seriously, making your own pizza dough might seem like a special occasion type practice, but I’ve done it so many times that it now takes under 10 minutes to get the dough ready to rise.)


1/4 c. warm water

1 packet active dry yeast

4 c. white flour, or 3 c. white flour and 1 c. whole wheat flour

1 1/4 water

2 t. kosher salt

1/4 c. olive oil, plus more for oiling bowl

In a 2 c. liquid measuring cup, dissolve yeast in 1/4 c. warm water.  Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a 12 c. food processor with dough hook.  With processor running, pour in yeast/water mixture.  Refill measuring cup to 1 1/4 cups.  Slowly add it dough.  Add olive oil.  Dough should be tacky but not sticky.  Remove dough from food processor, form into a ball, and place in a large oiled bowl.  Cover with a towel and allow to rise for at least one hour.

Heat oven (and pizza stones) to 450 degrees.  Roll dough as thin as possible.  Place on a liberally cornmeal-ed pizza paddle and top.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Makes 3 14-inch pizzas.

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