Is it just me or does anyone else wake up Friday morning with that awful Rebecca Black song, “Friday” stuck in their heads? Just the worst.
Onto much more pleasant things…Welcome to the second edition of …
Last week Friday I made homemade pizza, from the crust up! It was so delicious that I felt compelled to share the recipe with you and try convince you to attempt making homemade crust at least once. It is so easy to do and it doesn’t take that much time or even skill. I am pretty disorganized when it comes to deciding what to make for dinner so I can confidently tell you, from experience, that you can pull this off even if you only have an hour.
I have tried several crust recipes but the one I’ve decided to stick with is from Better Homes and Gardens, “The New Cook Book, 15th edition.” p.534 if you have it.
- 2 1/2- 3 cups flour (you can sub half of this with whole wheat)
- 1 pkg or 2 1/4 tsp. Dry active yeast (I use quick rise)
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 TBSP Olive Oil
With a Mixer:
Mix half of the flour with the rest of the ingredients. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, use that to mix until the dough pulls together into a sticky mess.
Add the rest of the flour and mix. If needed, add little bits of oil until the dough is a smooth ball you can handle with your hands.
Pull out the dough and knead on a floured surface as needed until the dough is soft, pliable, and elastic. Your mixer should have gotten it mostly there already.
Put the dough back in the bowl and let sit as you prep your toppings for the pizza.
Without a Mixer:
Follow the same steps as above but use the back of a wooded spoon to mix the ingredients. When you add the rest of the flour, blend as much as possible with the spoon. When you get frustrated and your arm hurts, dump the contents of the bowl onto a floured surface and start to knead the dough. It will come together for you. You will feel the dough become more elastic and pliable as you knead it. When done, set aside and prep your toppings.
Setting the dough aside lets it rest. You don’t need to let your dough raise for this recipe, just let it rest for 10 minutes, give or take. You can then start rolling the dough out the fit your pizza stone.
I think a Pizza stone is essential. Your dough will be light and crispy on the bottom. Obviously, you can use a pan but it isn’t quite as good. Its hard to explain but I’ve compared the cooking methods side by side and pizza on the stone is far superior.
If you are rolling out your dough and it keeps springing back and not holding its shape, leave it and let it rest for a minute, then pick up where you left off. Put the raw dough directly on the stone and top with whatever you want.
My favorite is BBQ chicken. I use BBQ sauce (hickory smoked is great) as my base sauce add some cooked or mostly cooked chicken cut up into bite size pieces, red onion, Parmesan, cheddar, bacon, garlic, and whatever else tickles my fancy that day.
Another combination that turned out surprisingly well, if you are looking for a vegetarian option, is roasted cauliflower, onion, garlic and tomatoes. You can put all your veggies on a baking sheet with olive oil and roast them while you work on preparing the crust. Also, do not overlook your spice rack when hunting for toppings. Basil, Rosemary, and Garlic all taste delicious with any topping combination.
Preheat the oven to 500 and cook for 20min. You know it is done when the toppings are bubbling and gooey, and the crust has browned a little.
Because it doesn’t cook for very long, make sure any meat you put on your uncooked pizza is mostly cooked already, if not completely cooked.
Et Bon Appetit! Have a great weekend!