Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Pleasing Pizza Pie

We love pizza in our house.  We  used to order out, but our lovely, rural Domino's got our order wrong two times in a row, so we scratched that idea.  Then we were doing the frozen pizza thing for a while until we ate one that was disgusting and overseasoned with salt and I didn't want to eat it anymore.  So, I was super excited when my Food Network magazine came one month and it was their Italian food issue.  They had a recipe for pizza dough.  I made it that weekend and Ryan, Tessa, and I now have no idea what take out pizza tastes like.  This recipe is a staple in our kitchen and there are times we make it once a week, if not every other week.  Here's the amazing recipe thanks to Food Network:

Basic Pizza Dough

1 tablespoon sugar
1   1/4 ounce packet (2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1.  Whisk 1 1/3 cups warm water (105degrees) and the sugar in the bowl.   (I just heat my water up in the microwave for about a minute and a half).  Sprinkle the yeast on top.  Set aside utnil foamy, about 10 minutes.  Stir in olive oil!  (Don't forget this step!  It makes a huge difference if you don't do this.  Believe me, I know.)
2.  Whisk the flour and salt in a large bowl.  make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture.  Gradually stir with a wooden spoon to make a rough dough.
3.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, dusting with more flour if necessary.  Form into 2 balls.  Brush 2 large bowls.  Brush 2 large bowls with olive oil, add a ball of dough to each and turn to coat with the oil.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temp until doubled in size, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.  Roll out and top as desired, or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze up to 1 month.

Here are a few tricks I have learned when cooking pizza at home.  I used to not have a pizza stone, so I learned to take a cookie sheet and turn it upside down on the oven grate.  Turn the oven on high, like 450 degrees high.  Let the cookie sheet get really hot while the oven is preheating.  I have a pizza stone now, thanks to my Mama, and you can just leave that thing in the oven all the time.
Once the dough is on a pizza pan, or any other pan you want to use, cook it for about 5 minutes on top of the cookie sheet or pizza stone.  This step keeps the dough from being too doughy when the pizza is done.
Once the dough is slightly cooked, top it with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, or whatever your heart desires!  One of my faves is sausage, red onion, and green pepper.

We love that it makes two pizzas because then we have lunches for most  of the week to take to work.  Hope you like this recipe as much as we do!

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