Toaster Oven Baking
Toaster oven recipes are really convenient for those who are oven-less, or even if you just want to save some electricity.
During the holiday season there are countless recipes that require an oven, but not everyone has one. Including me at the moment. While living abroad, my kitchen is limited to a hot plate, a 1/2 sized refrigerator, a microwave and a toaster oven. I would share a photo with you but it’s just sad.
We also have a convenient hot water kettle which we use daily, but it is our only kitchen tool (no crock pot, no blender, etc.). It was hard to adjust, to say the least. It took me a few months to even experiment with the toaster oven, and I wish I had done it sooner.
There are actually a lot of toaster oven recipes out there, which I now know after doing some basic research. I want to share with you my new favorite toaster oven recipe, a quick and easy homemade pizza. I borrowed this recipe for the dough, and spiced it up a little with herbs for flavor. The dough has 5 simple ingredients; from there you can add other seasonings if you would like to kick it up a notch. You can top it with whatever you want; we made 3 personal-sized pizzas from one batch of dough. A double batch of dough comfortably made 5 good sized pizzas. One of our pizzas had roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, cheese and herbs, served with tahini, which is the one that I’m sharing with you today because it was super delicious. The double batch of dough was for a successful make your own pizza night with some girlfriends.
I was so excited for this recipe that I busted out two of my favorite and most prized ingredients: fresh rosemary from our windowsill garden, and a special tuscan spice mixture.
Roasted Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion Pizza with Tahini
Makes 1 large pizza. For a toaster oven it is best to cut the dough in half and make 2 smaller pizzas. Serves 2, or 1/2 recipe serves 1.
3/4 cups warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 packet active dry yeast
2 cups flour, plus extra for kneading
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
Herbs, seasonings, etc. if you wish; I used fresh rosemary and a tuscan spice mix
Roasted Butternut Squash (directions below)
-Fresh herbs and spices
~1/2 cup caramelized onions
Roasted garlic rosemary oil or regular olive oil
Cheese; I used bulgarian cheese because it was on sale and I’m poor, but this recipe would be fantastic with soft goat cheese or fresh parmesan
In a cup, mix 3/4 cup warm water with sugar to dissolve. Add the yeast and set aside for about 10 minutes or until it is puffy. Put the flour, oil and optional seasonings in a separate bowl.
Super puffy yeast!
Once the yeast is puffy, pour it into the bowl. Use the handle of a spoon as a makeshift dough hook and mix mix mix until it forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth and springs back a little when you poke it. You will need to add extra flour to keep it from being too sticky.
Using a spoon as a makeshift dough hook. Small apartment living is all about innovation!
Put a drizzle of oil back in the bowl that you mixed it in and turn the dough ball around in the oil to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and set it somewhere warm to allow the dough to rise for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make all of your yummy toppings!
Roasted Butternut Squash
To make squash for the pizza, preheat your toaster oven to the highest bake setting with both the top and bottom heat on. Cut off the more narrow top of the butternut squash and peel off the skin. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and then slice it into thin half-moons. Drizzle the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with spices and herbs of your choosing. Be sure the pieces of squash are evenly coated with the oil and spices. Line your toaster pan with foil and lay the squash out in an even single layer. Cover with foil. Toast on the highest bake setting for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is softened (but not mush!). Repeat with a 2nd batch, if necessary.
Finally, assemble your masterpiece
If your toaster isn’t already on, turn it on to preheat to the highest bake setting with both the top and bottom heat on. Lightly roll the rough to make a disc and then use your hands to stretch it into an oval that will fit your toaster oven pan.
Line your toaster pan with foil and then sprinkle lightly with flour or, if you have it, corn meal. Place the dough on the pan and prick it with a fork, leaving a 1″ rim to make the crust. Drizzle with the oil of your choice. Use your fingers or a brush to spread the oil all over the dough, including on the crust. Lay the butternut squash half moons all around the pizza and then top with caramelized onion, cheese of your choice, and extra herbs and spices if you want. Sprinkle the crust lightly with rock salt if you’re feeling fancy.
Place in the toaster oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Remove, admire your awesome small apartment cooking handiwork, and chow down. I mean, enjoy and be ladylike… but chow down. You earned it.
Eating straight off of the cutting board, true small apartment style.
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