Monday, January 11, 2016

Flour Overload

Pre-Baked Pie Crust
Maybe I went a little overboard the other day on my baking.  How many home cooks do you know who would be able to use 12 cups of flour making three different baked products in one afternoon?  I made 2 loaves of whole wheat bread, 1 pie crust for a quiche and 4 pizzas.

I like to bake, and I’m not afraid of yeast, but I don’t normally bake this much at once. However, our bread supply was running low.  I’ve made bread every week for years—not to save money but because we like homemade bread, especially when it’s toasted. That accounted for 7 cups of flour.

Then I needed a quiche to take to a potluck, so I made my super-easy, foolproof pie crust, which needed 1 cup of flour.

Lastly, it was Saturday, and Saturday night is Pizza Night at our house.  Four pizzas mean 4 cups of flour. 

It’s time to buy my next 25-pound bag of flour.

Here’s the simplest recipe of the three, straight from my sister-in-law Sue’s recipe collection.

Unbaked Quiche with Pre-Baked Crust
Can’t-Fail Pie Crust – makes 1 crust 

1 cup all-purpose flour + more for rolling 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup canola or corn oil 
1/4 cup cold water + more if necessary 
If you are going to pre-bake the pie crust, place an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 450 degrees for a metal or ceramic pie pan or 425 degrees for a glass pie pan. 
Combine the flour, salt, oil and water in a medium bowl and mix well with a fork or wooden spoon until the mixture forms itself into a ball.  If it won’t hold together, add 1 teaspoon water. 
Place 1/2 teaspoon flour onto a 14-inch-long piece of wax paper.  Place the ball of dough in the center and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon flour over the top.  Place a second 14-inch-long piece of wax paper on top of the floured dough and, using a rolling pin, roll it into a circle about 12 inches across. 
Remove and discard the top sheet of wax paper.  Pick up the bottom sheet and place it, dough side down, on a 9-inch pie pan.  Carefully peel off the wax paper and ease the dough into the pan.  Press it against the bottom and then up the sides of the pan. 
Using kitchen scissors, cut off all but 1/2-inch of the excess dough hanging over the edge.  Fold the protruding edge under itself (not under the edge of the pie pan) and press down so that it is flat against the pan rim.  Using fork tines or your thumbs, press down to make an indentation.  Check to make sure there are no holes or cracks in the dough.  Patch it with extra dough if necessary.   
To pre-bake the crust:  Gently poke the tines of a fork into a dozen places on the base of the crust and about every two inches on the sides to keep the crust from puffing up as it bakes.  Some people pour dried beans into the crust to keep it from puffing up, but I never have.  Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until the crust begins to color and is crisp to the touch.  Remove from the oven and cool on a rack until ready to fill.  If any cracks or holes appear, patch them with a mixture made of 1 teaspoon flour and a few drops of water stirred together to make a paste.  
Add filling and bake as your recipe advises.
Baked Onion and Zucchini Quiche

This recipe is also included in “Chocolate on the Brain”