Bonus Recipe/Product Review

Okay, so here is the bonus recipe you've been waiting for.

On Sunday, The Farmer and I made our own mozzarella cheese! It wasn't without help, of course. We ordered Ricki's Cheesemaking Kit and bought a gallon of whole milk (as local as you can get). I kept telling everyone we were making Buffalo Mozzarella and The Farmer kept correcting me. So I suppose it is Cow Mozzarella.

What we made:
Mozzarella cheese
Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato and Mozzarella Pizza
Roasted Red Peppers

What you need:
That's what you'll need for the mozzarella. Because I don't know how to make it without this kit, I can't offer much in regards to what I would do differently (although I would have added more cheese salt). I also can't take much credit for making it because The Farmer did most of it. I only helped at the end (and took pictures). So here are a few pics of the process.
Pouring the milk into a large pot
After the milk had hardened
Squeezing out excess moisture
The Results: It took a bit longer than the box said, but it was probably because we weren't sure what we were doing at first. I can't believe how simple it was. I think this will definitely become a staple around our kitchen. Not only did we put it on the pizza, but The Farmer made a quesadilla yesterday for lunch and we had baked pasta with mozzarella for dinner last night. Yum. If you're interested in making your own mozzarella, order a kit (you won't be sorry)! You can make mozzarella (or ricotta) up to 30 times with it!

The Grade: A-. Like I said, it needed more cheese salt and isn't super tasty on it's own. But on pizza, in pasta and as bocconcini it's delish!

Bocconcini: Mozzarella balls with parsley, olive oil, garlic & red pepper flakes

The Recipe:
Roasted Red Pepper, Tomato and Mozzarella Pizza

We came up with the topping and sauce ourselves. The crust recipe is a modified one from one we usually make because I used my KitchenAid mixer (and I usually do it by hand).

The Crust
What you need:
3 c flour (I used whole wheat, you can half and half it too)
1 c warm water
1 tsp active yeast
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil

Dissolve yeast in water in mixer bowl. Add salt, olive oil and 2 c flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Mix on 2. Add the rest of your flour gradually and mix for about 5 minutes (ball will resemble a ball and cling to hook). Detach the bowl, drizzle olive oil around the edges, cover and let rise in a warm place (free from draft) for an hour. Dough should double in size. Punch dough down and press across your pan. We use a cookie sheet (not sure why we don't own a pizza pan with as much pizza as we eat around here) and fill it with the dough.

Roasted Red Peppers
Preheat broiler to 450˚. Place 2-3 red peppers on a cookie sheet and place in oven for 30 minutes. Turn halfway through. Remove peppers and place in a bowl, cover with a towel for 5 minutes (this allows the steam to detach the skin from the peppers). Place peppers in an ice bath. Doing this lets you not only handle the peppers right away, but allows the skin to peel off easily.

Mix olive oil, red pepper flakes, oregano and garlic salt in a small bowl. Pour onto pressed out crust and spread until crust is covered.

The Pizza!
Cut peppers into strips. Arrange peppers, mozzarella cheese and tomatoes (diced from a can, drained) on top of crust. Bake for 15 minutes at 350˚.
The Result: This pizza reminded me of foccacia bread so naturally I loved it! It could have used more sauce so we dipped it in marinara sauce. I think next time I'd add marinara or homemade tomato sauce to the pizza.

The Grade: A- because it needed more sauce (but I love condiments so maybe I go overboard on sauce). Definitely worth trying (especially the crust).

I love when we make something that is generally only available in stores because it makes me feel like we could live on what we grow on the farm (if we had a dairy cow I suppose). I can't wait to do the Recipe Challenge again this summer and talk all about the canning and jarring process (that will definitely be a journey/challenge!). Hope you enjoyed the Recipe Challenge, now go start one of your own! Check back often for new vegetarian recipes.