Friday, January 8, 2010


I have been on a homemade pizza kick lately. Once you get the hang of making your own pizza dough it becomes an easy, affordable, and delicious meal to make at home. Making your own dough is especially easy when you can use a electric stand mixer like the Kitchen Aid my wife got for Christmas this year. Here is the basic pizza dough recipe that I use.

1 package active dry yeast ( or 2-1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2-1/2 -3-1/2 cups all purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a warmed mixer bowl. Add salt, sugar, olive oil, and 2-1/2 cups of flour. Mix on low speed using dough hook attachment for 1-2 minutes.
Allow the mixture to rest for 15-20 minutes before adding additional flour.
Continue to mix on low speed adding the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time until the mixture starts to clean the sides of the bowl and stick to the dough hook. Continue to knead on low speed for 2 minutes more.

Place the dough in a bowl greased with olive oil, turning to grease the top of the dough as well. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. The dough can also be placed in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours for future use. This recipe makes enough dough to make 2-14" pizzas.

To make one pizza, half of the finished dough gets turned out onto a floured surface and made into your desired pizza style. For my first pizza I was going for a very thin and crispy crust so I just worked pressing down from the center to the edges until it was about the size of the pizza peel that I was working with. Using this method will press some of the air out of the dough and allow you to get a think and crispy texture. I put the dough onto a pizza peel that is dusted with corn meal before beginning the topping process. The corn meal is needed in order to allow your finished pizza to slide on and off of your pizza baking stone. Another option is hand tossing the crust which will give you a thicker airy crust with a little more body to it.
A pan pizza is also easy to make if you have a cast iron skillet. Grease the pan with several tablespoons of vegetable oil and pat your dough into the pan to spread out the dough and bring edges all the way up the sides of the pan. Baking will take a few minutes longer than normal because the pan is not been pre-heated prior to baking.
Instead of a traditional pizza sauce, I roasted fresh chopped garlic in olive oil and used that as the spread for the pizza. The dough was then sprinkled with a little dried oregano and the toppings were added.
Roasted chicken, mushrooms, red onion, fresh tomato, and parmesan and mozzarella cheeses were added.
These pizzas were baked on a pre-heated pizza stone at 475 degrees for about 12 minutes.For the second pizza I hand tossed the crust to maintain the round shape and it was topped with spinach, mushrooms, grilled chicken, and roasted rosemary potatoes.

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