It’s been a crazy week. I worked overtime last week, and we moved over the weekend. I have been in bed sick most of this week, and today am finially beginning to recover from it all. To celebrate, we decided to make pizza. Pizza is usually accompanied by a movie, but tonight we are blessed with the Packer game. Go Pack!
So, here we have the players (yes, I realize there is a little player who sneaked into my photo at the last minuite):
Crust: Unbleached flour, corn meal, olive oil, yeast, salt.
Toppings: Chopped garlic, tomato basil sauce, fresh tomatoes, peppers, onion, Italian seasoning, and shredded mozzarella cheese.
This is my favorite dough recipe. It comes from The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins. It’s the simplest one I have found that is quick and easy to make. I usually turn on the oven to preheat, start the dough, then prepare the toppings while it rises. It’s important to preheat your oven at 450 degrees for at least 1 hour for a great crust.
Basic Pizza Dough
1 c.warm water
1 package yeast, or 2 1/4 tsp. bulk yeast
2 1/2 to 3 c. unbleached all purpose flour
2 tbsp. olive oil
Combine water, yeast, 1 1/2 cups of flour. Mix well, add remaining ingredients. Knead for 5 minutes. Cover with an over turned bowl on your counter top or return to a bowl coated with olive oil to rise until doubled in bulk. Mine takes an hour, sometimes longer if the house is cooler. After rising dough can be divided into two or more balls. This recipe will make two twelve inch pizzas.
While the dough is rising I chop the veggies and shred the cheese if needed. I also prepare the pizza pans by sprinkling a bit of corn meal in the bottom. This keeps the pizzas from sticking and adds a bit of texture to the dough. Although I use several styles of pans, including stainless deep dish, stainless with holes and clay pizza stones, my favorite by far is the clay. It produces a crispy evenly cooked crust, and keeps the pizza warm while serving.
After the dough has risen, I roll it out. Have your pans handy to slip underneath the dough, and then add the toppings. I prefer to put all the toppings on with the cheese last. It helps hold it all in place. Then I bake them for 20 minutes on the lowest oven rack. Sometimes I move them up to the top rack for the last 5 minutes if they need to brown more.
Here is our line-up:
This is our turkey, onion, and peppers combo.
This is our extra cheesy pepper, onion, tomato combo. I also threw on a bit of crumbled bacon I found rattling around in the fridge.
Yummmm! Let the game begin!