Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NomNom: Homemade Pizza

As promised from my last food post I'm continuing with the Italian theme. How much more Italian can you get other then pizza, right? Homemade pizza has been a trial and error for me because of the crust but I think I finally found a recipe for the perfect thin crust pizza! I didn't really have a theme for my pizza (ie Hawaiian, Veggie) other then the fact it was toppings I wanted to have on mine:)
This is probably the most crucial part of the process. The temperature of the water has to be warm and you musn't bother the yeast while it does its thing. Shhhhhh....
The dough will double in size after about 30 minutes.
Just to warn you, kneading is a work out of its own. My hands were sore after doing this but maybe that's a good indication that I might be a weaksauce? Hmmmm...
Toppings I used were mushrooms, black olives, Italian sausage, green peppers and goat cheese. Nomnomnom.
Ready to be baked in the oven. Go go go!
Every time I look at this picture I start to salivate--no joke. The melted goat cheese with the combination of the mushroom and salty olives..sigh let me stop, I think you get the picture. This recipe is definitely a keeper because it really was all that and then some AND it's also a great interactive way to enjoy with friends, kids, or loved ones!

Recipe (yields 2)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (may substitute whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the all-purpose) 
1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of dry oregano
1 cup warm water
1/2-1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Mix a little sugar into the warm water.
2. Sprinkle yeast on top.
3. Wait for 10 minutes or until it gets all foamy.
4. Pour into a large bowl.
5. Add flour, salt, olive oil and combine.
6. Knead for 6-8 minutes until you have a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (add a bit more flour if you need to).
7. Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
8. Lightly grease two 12-inch pizza pans.
9. Divide dough in half.
10. Place each half on a pizza pan and pat it with your fingers until it stretches over the whole pan.
11. Try to make it thicker around the edge.
12. If desired, pre-bake at 425 F for 10 minutes (I don't always do this).
13. Then spread with pizza sauce and use the toppings of your choice.
14. Bake at 425 F for 10-20 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot.
15. Makes 2 12-inch pizzas.
16. If you don't want to use all the dough, you can freeze it.
17. Take a portion of dough, form into a ball, rub olive oil over it and place it in a freezer bag (the oil makes it easier to take out of the bag).
18. When you want to make a pizza, take dough out of freezer and allow to thaw before using.

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