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Don’t waste the crust

By on March 3, 2014

People either love pizza crust edges or hate them. If you have a crust-hater in the family, cut his or her crust edges off prior to serving. You can stick them in the fridge or freezer to use later with soups/stews, spaghetti, casseroles or even egg dishes at breakfast.
The first reader shares her pizza end-crust tip:

Bread sticks:

When we order pizza, we usually get deep dish. It fills you up faster so you can eat fewer pieces and have leftovers. I sometimes add some basil and oregano to an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce and heat it in the microwave. Then we cut off the edges of the pizza crust and dunk it in the sauce — free breadsticks! Ranch dressing, barbecue sauce or any other flavor can be used instead of or in addition to tomato sauce. — S.D., Minnesota

No-knead bread:

I saw your no-knead bread recipe in a recent column, so I’d like to share one of my favorite bread recipes. Just be warned: This bread is so good, you might end up eating both loaves before they’ve even had time to cool!

No-Knead French Bread
1 1/2 cup warm water (not hot)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornmeal (to add texture)
shortening or oil to grease bread troughs

Put water and sugar in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over it and let sit for 10 minutes to activate yeast. Stir in flour, salt and cornmeal. The dough will be spongy and batterlike. Place a clean towel over the bowl and let sit in a warm place until it doubles in bulk (about 1 hour). Stir dough again. Lightly grease bread troughs. With WET hands, form dough into two ropelike loaves and place in bread troughs. Cover with a damp cloth and let sit 10 minutes. Place rack in middle of oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place troughs in oven and bake 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and crusty. For crustier bread, boil water and pour into shallow pan placed below troughs. Or you can mist the bread while baking. Makes two loaves.
(Note: In dry ingredients I have added chopped garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, red pepper seeds, etc. and then mixed the bread. A friend adds chopped olives.) — Bobbie R., Arizona

Hair static:

During cold and dry days, the last three to four inches of my hair is filled with static electricity. Rather than using hair conditioners, I take a dryer softener sheet and rub it in my hair. It works! — Deanne, email

Less salt:

When I buy tuna in the can with water, it’s always way too salty, so I throw the contents into a strainer and rinse with cold water. The tuna is much tastier and healthier with less salt. — Harvey H., email

Reuse coffee container:

Keep a large coffee container on your counter with veggie bags or quart-size baggies inside. Put your “garbage,” i.e. egg shells, veggie scrapings, coffee grounds, etc., in it. When it’s full, haul the small container to your larger outdoor compost bin and dump it. Containers for this purpose are sold in stores for around $10. Make your own! — Carolyn S., email


photo by pizzamasetti

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