It’s hard to believe 2013 is already here.
New years always come with question after question, if you ask me. Little questions, like “Where did the time go? ” and “Where exactly did I put that gift card?”
The new year brings much bigger questions, too. I know I’ll be asking…
Questions about the future: “What do you mean I have an 18-year-old now?!” “Have you done that college application yet?”
Questions about everyday life: “Gas costs HOW much?!”
Questions to my husband: “Hey there, what’s for dinner?”
Questions for my boss: “Sooo, about that extra day off…? ”
Questions for my best friend: “Does this make me look unique?”
Even questions for strangers in the parking lot: ” Would you like me to return that cart for you?”
My days are gearing up to be filled with questions.
I’m also not being facetious, I’ll be asking much deeper questions, too. Questions about our health, our well being, and our peace of mind will be high on the list.
Working for a company that revolves around food, we answer questions every day that relate to the how, where, when, and what of food production. Does it contain this? Why is that added? When was it made? How long will it last?
Here at King Arthur Flour we pride ourselves on being the largest educator of home bakers in the world, and every recipe, every blog, every email and catalogue strives to be packed full of information that’s helpful to you, and gives you information to make educated decisions on your choices for purchasing ingredients and goods from us.
Of course we all know there’s only so much room in any one space, so what happens when you don’t see an answer to your question?
First, we hope you’ll give us a call, or send us an email. Your question is important to us, and it’s treated with the care it deserves. Our customer care staff has incredible knowledge of our products, access to samples, and practical knowledge galore.
Many of you are familiar with our Baker’s Hotline too. We have a collective 260+ years of baking experience, and we’re always happy to talk baking. Our resume reads like a famous Christmas carol…4 sourdough bakers, 3 class instructors, 2 pastry chefs…. believe me, we know baking!
If we don’t have the answer at our fingertips, we have an excellent relationship with our merchandising and purchasing teams, who in turn have excellent relationships with our vendors. Questions about where it’s made and what it’s made from get quick and reliable responses every day. Bigger questions about allergens, processes, and certifications can be researched and recorded as well.
Have you ever wondered if we have secret formulas? Just like the Colonel and the guys at Coke, everyone has to have professional secrets. Even I don’t know the recipe for the chocolate fudge frosting mix. BUT any time we can share, we will. That’s our mission; that’s how King Arthur Flour works.
So, in this new year, please know that we’re here for you. We want you to ask, we want you to know and, above all, we want you to bake.
I’ve already answered my question about what’s for dinner. How about a curry pizza made with Sunflower Pizza Crust?
Place 1/3 cup roasted unsalted sunflower seeds in your food processor.
Grind until you have a coarse meal. Take care not to grind as far as nut butter, though; you still want some crunchy bits left.
In the pan of your bread machine or mixing bowl combine:
3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All -Purpose Flour
1 cup (4 ounces) King Arthur Self-Rising Flour
2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1 3/4 cups water
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, measured then ground
3 tablespoons olive oil
Yes, you read that right. Self-rising flour will have a lower protein level and a touch of baking powder to give this crust a light, fluffy texture with a very open crumb.
If you don’t have self-rising flour, use all-purpose in its place, and add 1 teaspoon baking powder to the recipe.
Set the machine on basic dough, or knead in your mixer on low speed for about 5 minutes.
Holy rubber band, Batman, check out that stretch! NICE gluten development.
Because this dough has such great stretch, you’ll need to spread it out to the corners of the pan in stages. Stretch the dough out. When it begins to shrink back, walk away and leave it for about 5 to 8 minutes. Repeat the stretching and resting until the dough nearly fills the pan.
As you can see, you don’t need to worry about the corners. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 20 to 30 minutes.
Check out the great bubble action under the top of the crust. Can you see the sunflower seed flecks, too? They’re just waiting to give off bursts of whole-grainy goodness in every bite.
For this particular pizza, we used bottled yellow curry sauce instead of tomato sauce, tiny cooked shrimp, sautéed red pepper strips, feta cheese, and fresh basil. The nuttiness of the seeds was excellent with the more exotic toppings. It would also be excellent with a white garlic pizza, or as a focaccia topped with olives and more seeds.
Can you spot the food mistake in the photo above?
That’s right. If you put fresh basil on a pizza BEFORE baking, it will darken and blacken in the heat of the oven. Luckily, I realized this and pulled the basil off before baking.
Bake the pizza for about 20 to 30 minutes in a preheated 400°F oven. The feta cheese won’t melt and spread like mozzarella, so check the chunks of cheese for browning.
Toss the fresh torn basil on top. This is one of the more fragrant pizzas you’ll ever bake, heady with curry and basil. Serve and dig in while it’s still hot. This curry version paired beautifully with ice-cold light beer, like an IPA.
I doubt anyone will question your mad kitchen skills when you serve this pizza. Before we part, though, I’d like to share some of the common questions from 2012 – and where you can find their answers.
Do you carry gluten-free products? You bet we do! Check out our gluten free pages!
How old is your company, anyway? King Arthur Flour has a long, long history. Read all about our past.
Are your flours GMO? Wow, this was a huge topic this past year. See our GMO statement online.
Hire me, hire me, hire me! While technically not a question, check out the latest job postings.
Aaaarrrgggh! I can’t find the answer to my question! Dang, sorry we missed that one. Call us at 1-800-827-6836 and ask. We’ll do all we can to help you find the answer.
Prefer email? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your product questions, or email me and our team of bakers your baking question at email@example.com.
Thanks for spending part of your day, week, month, and new year with us. Happy baking in 2013!
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