Friday, July 20, 2012

Go Forth And Make Pizza

Our dinner.  It slide a bit when I cut it. :)
Top 10 reasons to make pizza tonight:

10.  It is Friday night
 9.  What is better on a Friday night than homemade pizza?
 8.  It is so simple.
 7.  You probably have all the ingredients on hand.
 6.  You can top it with anything you want - even peppers out of your garden like we did.
 5.  It is faster than delivery.
 4.  It is cheaper than delivery.
 3.  It tastes better than delivery.
 2.  I am sharing the recipe.
 1.  I am much cuter than David Letterman, wouldn't you agree? :)

This dough takes maybe 5 minutes to mix up, another 5 minutes to rest, 1 minute to roll out, 5 minutes prebaking the crust, 1 minute topping it and a final 10 - 15 minutes cooking time.  Amazing, right? It is so delicious and reheats in the microwave like a dream.

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough

Serves  3 or 4

2 1/2 tsp yeast [Rapid Rise or Bread Dough Machine]
1 tsp white sugar [I used Nevella - it's like Stevia - and you can't tell the difference]
1 cup warm water [Run your tap.  When the water runs warm on your wrist, like you are checking a baby's bottle, it is warm enough. Don't make it too hot.]
2 1/2 cups all purpose white flour - or bread flour.  You can also use half and half white and wheat
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp salt
cornmeal [optional]

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Have one rack on the lowest level and the other rack in the middle of the oven.

1.  Measure sugar and yeast into a bowl; pour warm water over it.  Let it proof [sit] for approximately 10 minutes until foamy on top.
2.  Pour in oil
3. Mix the salt in the measuring cup with the first cup of flour; pour into the liquid and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
4.  Add remaining flour, mixing well.  The dough will be sticky.  Toss a scant handful of flour on your counter top and dump dough onto it. Knead it around the flour, adding additional scant handfuls until the dough is no longer sticky and you can form a ball.  Now leave it be for 5 minutes

Have your pizza sauce*, mozzarella cheese and toppings ready to top.

5.  Sprinkle cornmeal on either a pizza pan, cookie sheet or pizza peel [make sure you have placed your pizza stone in the oven to preheat if you are cooking on that].  Roll out dough into a 12 inch round or a comparable rectangular size for your cookie sheet and place it onto the cornmeal dusted pan/peel.  Make sure you form a higher crust than the middle of the pizza.  Just use your fingers to bring up the edges and sort of indent all the way around where you want your crust's thickness to be.

6.  Pre bake the crust alone -No toppings - for 5 minutes on the lowest rack.  Remove from the oven.  If it is puffy in the middle [where the sauce and toppings go] just use a fork and fork it in a few places - it will deflate a bit.

7. Now top that sucka'. :D  We used leftover spaghetti sauce, 2% lowfat shredded mozzarella cheese, with andouille sausage, onions and green peppers.  ::drool::

8.  Pop it back in the oven and bake until the cheese is all melty and the crust is nice and golden brown.  Brush with a bit of olive oil when it comes out of the oven for a softer crust.

Let it set for 5 minutes before cutting [into 6 generous or 8 regular size pieces], serving and devouring!  I serve melted [unsalted] butter with a bit of herbs and garlic powder for dipping the crusts in - I could just eat that to be honest. :D

It may stick to the pan a bit. If this happens just use a fine edged spatula and run it around underneath to unstick it.  The upskirt should be a nice golden brown.

*Be creative with your sauce.  If you don't have pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce you can cut fresh tomatoes thinly, brush the crust [after pre bake] with a bit of olive oil and layer them, add the cheese, etc. or take fresh or canned tomatoes and puree them with some italian seasoning or a little salt, pepper and a dash of sugar to make your own sauce.  You are only limited by your imagination.  And the ingredients on hand. :)

You can divide the dough and make two thiiiiiin crust pizzas or use an oven safe pan and make a deep dish pie.  The possibilities are endless - in fact, I am off to make bread sticks for dinner tomorrow night.  I promise Tadpoles, this recipe is THIS easy and SO, SO good!

I should be around most of the day Friday if you have any questions about the recipe - if I don't have your email and you have a question, just check back in comments I promise I'll reply.

If any of you tries this easy peasy, delicioso recipe PLEASE let me know how it turns out, 'kay?

See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles. :)

ETA:  The girls and I ate that whole pizza [pictured] and Pooldad wanted some for lunch today. So this morning I made him one to take to work. The only hiccup was that I was out of olive oil and down to one cup of white flour - so I used 1 1/2 cups wheat flour, vegetable oil and just for kicks and giggles I used Mrs. Dash in place of salt [sodium free crust BONUS] and Nevella sugar substitute [sugar free crust DOUBLE BONUS] instead of sugar.  Although I still prefer the olive oil - the girls and Pooldad liked this crust better.
So, now I am SURE you have the ingredients in the house. Mix it up - you can't wreck this recipe. It is so dang good. :)

Hugs to y'all! Skippy


Gypsy said...

I'm gonna make it soon! I use (and have on hand) organic sugar which has a brown color. I don't think it would matter, although it is usually a bit sweeter than white. The sugar is to make some sort of reaction to the yeast, right? Not so much for sweetness. I like the idea of olive oil & sliced tomatos rather than a red sauce. Golly, I can just think of all the stuff I'm going to put on it, but I have to go to the grocery first!

I used to make pizza dough from scratch when my kids were teens. All their friends said I made the best pizza they ever ate. Amazing how most kids don't remember what cooking fresh tastes like.

SkippyMom said...

No kidding - I am glad my kids do tho' and they know how to cook for themselves. I never had anyone teach me to cook growing up, we ate a lot of Stouffer's, but my Grandma was an amazing cook. I just like to read cookbooks like they are novels. :) Your kids are lucky to have a great Mom like you. I bet the grandkids like your cooking too. :)

I used Nevella [which is like Stevia] and although the yeast didn't get amazingly foamy when it proofed like I am used to it sure did raise nicely - I also used 1/2 wheat with the Stevia, so I did knead it a bit more. It really takes almost no kneading tho'. I am sure the organic sugar will be just fine If it is "Sugar in the Raw" then it will work. I have used that before in baking. YUM. :) [The pizza pictured is the true recipe as written, no subs]

If you can find real mozzarella and fresh basil leaves use those with the tomatoes and olive oil and you have a true margharita pizza. THAT is my favorite, by far.

Hey you are up pretty late! I hope all is well with you. Have a great and safe weekend. :)

EM Illustrator said...

That pizza looks delicious :) I love Mozarella.
Have a lovely Friday!

purplegirl said...

Looks so yummy!

Jeannie said...

I'll be trying this for sure! I have despaired of finding the right dough recipe. I hope this is it. First I need to shop as I really am out of anything to top it but onions and half rotten mushrooms. Blecch

colenic said...

That's a great recipe for pizza dough and so stinking easy. I might have to try it...I have been craving grilled pizza for a few weeks...I wonder how the crust would hold up on the grill...I think I have everything else I need at home to make it...maybe even some left over lobster to put on top :)
Thanks for the dinner idea!

Tracy said...

We make pizza all the time but make our dough in the bread machine. You can also use a can of diced tomatoes drained and add in some oregano and minced garlic for a tasty sauce. We do that a lot on deep dish pizzas.

ellen abbott said...

what a co-inky-dink. we had homemade pizza last night but we did use the pizza dough in a can.

Jill said...

Thanks for the recipe. I love pizza, homemade or not. I will try this one.