Girl Versus Dough

zucchini corn pancakes

stack of zucchini corn pancakes

I’ve been feeling a lot lately. Nostalgia, pain, joy, sadness, exhaustion, exasperation, peace, ambition, complacency, anxiety — it’s been quite the week, the month, the summer.

You can imagine that, with all those things floating around in my head in addition to normal day-to-day life, I’ve been doing a lot of staring into space. In short, my brain needs a break.

While I’m sure any sane person would take the opportunity for down time to read, or sleep, or go for a bike ride, or sit in front of the television all day watching a “Mad Men” marathon (which I, too, am wont to do) — when I need to decompress, I go to the kitchen. And when I need to feel comfort, I make pancakes.

cilantro-lime tofu sandwiches

Cilantro Lime Tofu Sandwich

I haven’t talked about it much, and I suppose it’s because this is not that kind of blog. This blog is about baking and being silly and making mistakes and eating them anyway, because even if they’re not pretty, they still taste delicious. But sometimes, it’s about other things, too. Just to keep things interesting.

What I mean to say is, I haven’t talked much about my choices on consumption. You see, I’m mostly vegetarian. (“Mostly vegetarian?” you ask. “That sounds made up.”) Let me explain.

blueberry-cherry cobbler

blueberry cherry cobbler in baking dish

Did you know there are different names for desserts depending on their toppings?

For instance, a crisp is topped with a streusel-crumb mixture, a.k.a. magic.

And a buckle is a type of crumb cake that cracks and “buckles” as it bakes. No joke.

And a betty is layered with cubed bread or breadcrumbs. Amazing.

But this? This blueberry and cherry-filled wonder? This most spectacularly delicious creation? This is definitely a cobbler.*

beer pizza crust

beer pizza crust

As you may or may not know, I’m a fan of beer. I’m a really big fan of wine, but I’ve already put that into a pizza crust. I’ve put beer into bread before, too, but I wanted to use it in a pizza crust, as well. Just you wait — next time, I’ll make a bread with wine in it.

(Maybe. I can’t make any promises. It makes me nervous.)

In any case, the reality of this story is that I’ve made quite a few versions of pizza crust before.

White Wine Honey Pizza Dough

Homemade Pizza Rolls

Ridiculously Easy Pizza Dough

100% Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

It’s kind of on par with my obsession with biscuits. I really branch out, I know. But what makes this particular pizza crust stand out — what makes it really, extra special — is the flavor: That classic yeasty beer bread-like flavor, only in pizza dough form. In other words, it’s fantastic.

russian black bread

russian black bread loaf on cutting board

I have been trying to write a bucket list for years, ever since that one movie came out and everyone else was doing it (I’m a follower sometimes. Truth.). But, to be honest, my list is rather paltry. I never know what I want to do past “Go to Greece” (which I feel like everyone wants to do anyway, so it doesn’t feel personal enough to be on my bucket list and therefore is sometimes left out, too).

Here’s what I have so far:

1. Write a book. 2. Go to Greece Go somewhere that’s cool but no one else thinks is trendy enough to go to. 3. Bake pumpernickel bread.

I thought I finally could cross off my third wish on the list when I baked this Russian Black Bread this past weekend — and, in a way, I could. The bread does taste strikingly similar to my beloved pumpernickel, and the ingredients — rye flour, molasses, cocoa powder — seem to fit the bill. But it just wasn’t quite the same. So I’m on the fence as to whether or not I’ve actually “baked pumpernickel bread.”

1. Write a book. 2. Go to Greece Go somewhere that’s cool but no one else thinks is trendy enough to go to. 3. Bake pumpernickel bread. Bake Russian Black Bread.

There. That’s better. Check.