Thursday, April 18, 2013

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

You should really try making homemade pizza sometime. It's a lot of fun, kids can help, and the process IS part of the experience. I once did a can crust for a party, and we all decorated our own pizzas. That can be fun as well! Molly helped me make it this time, and it truly turned out delicious!

For the crust:

2 1/4 tsp. or 1 pkg. active dry yeast rapid rise

3 1/2-4 c. unbleached flour (You can use half whole wheat and half white flour- delicious!)
1 1/4 c. very warm water
3/4 tsp salt
sprinkle of sugar
2 tbsp. olive oil

1. 1 3/4 c. warm water- pleasantly warm on your wrist, sprinkle yeast and let activate 10 min., sprinkling in a pinch of sugar to help activate

2. Put salt and 2c. of the flour into food processor, pulse, then add yeast/water and pulse five times. Add olive oil. Add remaining flour 1 c. at a time, scraping sides as you go. Add the rest of your water, and if it is too runny, add a bit more flour. Empty out and knead 15 turns until dough is elastic, adding flour as needed. It should not be sticky.

3. Allow dough to rise in greased covered bowl for 45 min. (alternatively, preheat/set oven to 170. Turn off oven. Allow dough to rise 30 min). Punch down and divide in half- each half will make a 12 in. pizza.

You can wrap it in Saran Wrap at this point and leave it in the fridge overnight, or as long as you need to. (If there are any hard spots on your dough from refrigeration, just pick them off and throw them away). 

Form the dough into a circular disk. Stretch the crust in a round, spinning pattern, turning as you go.  Keep flattening and stretching until it is the size you want. (Might need kitchen gadgets for this;) 
For the Pizza:

Add a dollop of sauce with spoon, using the back of the spoon to spread on your crust.

Add toppings of choice, and lots of shredded mozzarella and fresh parmesan.

Ideas for toppings....
Good Marinara sauce
(could be mixed with sour cream or mayo/cream cheese~this is a Paula Deen fave)
Barbecue Sauce

pepperoni, bacon, italian sausage, (spicy) chicken, (fresh) mozzarella, feta, parmesan cheese, fresh tomato, black olives, ground beef, shredded basil, grapefruit, pineapple, bell pepper, red pepper flakes. Add shredded basil/cilantro at the end to keep it from over-baking.

4. Bake with toppings on 450 for 16-18 min. adapted from Paula Deen's Pizza Recipe, Paula Deen Celebrates c. 2006
*I tried this pizza crust recipe, since it called for sugar unlike Paula Deen's recipe. I found it a bit too dry. I'm going to keep trying crust recipes.
~SEE ALSO: Barbara Kingsolver's pizza crust recipe

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