Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Recipe Week: I Make Pizza

I make pizza once a week, almost without fail.  For the first half of our marriage it was routinely out of a box in the freezer section, usually while watching West Wing or studying and mostly on Wednesdays.  When we moved to the Laverne Ave. house and Brent's parent's bought us a grill we started to experiment with grilling pizza.  I steadfastly refused any suggestion that we'd make it completely from scratch so we used store-bought dough.

Sometime last year, my song changed.

Now, I make pizza once a week always with homemade dough.  I make pizza using fresh mozzarella, not the shredded stuff -- the difference is huge.  I make pizza with two or three eager helpers, left overs, a blazing hot oven and a pizza stone.  Perhaps I should say -- we make pizza.

First - Ingredients:

Dough:  I make this every two weeks. I divide it in half and freeze the second half for the following week.  My recipe is a mix of Pioneer Woman, Smitten Kitchen and personal preference.

3 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1.5 c. whole wheat flour
1 T kosher salt
1 T yeast.
1 T Honey (optional)
1 tsp - thyme or other herb (Optional!)
2 T shredded Parm (Optional)

* I've only been adding the last three of late, but really like it.

1.5 c. warm water (often about 1/4 c. more).
3 T olive oil



Mix all the dry ingredients and then add the wet, mixing well until the dough comes together.  Pour onto a floured surface and need maybe 3-4 times and form a ball.  Oil the inside of a large bowl.  Press the top and then bottom dough onto the bowl's surface so there is a skim of oil all over the dough.  Cover the bowl with either saran wrap or a dish towel.  Leave unattended for at least an hour and up to 24 hours.

When doubled - turn the dough out onto the floured counter.  Need 3-4 times, reform the dough ball and cover by turning the bowl upside down over the dough.  Let rise for an additional 20 minutes.

* I do this usually just as I turn on the oven to preheat and begin prepping ingredients.

Pre-heat oven to 515F  (or as high as your oven will go).  If available, oil a pizza stone or alternatively the back of a metal cookie sheet.  Add to oven during the pre-heat so it gets hot.

Toppings:

8 oz ball fresh mozarrella - sliced
1/4 c. Parm
tomato -- fresh if you have it, Alternatively sauce or dried tomatoes
Herbs (fresh basil!!) or dried pizza or italian seasoning
Meat, veggie, fruit, etc... as you like it. Our most common toppings are: left over steak, turkey pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, asparagus, pineapple, left over meatballs or hamburger (cut up), obviously not all together!

Roll out the dough or stretch it out if your talented -- just to the size of your pan.

Set the dough on the pan and skim with olive oil.  Shake some dried herbs over the crust or add your fresh herbs.  Then add cheese, veggies and/or meat.  Place the tray in the oven for 8-13 minutes (depends a bit on your crust, temperature, pan and toppings).  Remove when golden and the cheese is melted.


We make pizza and love both the process and the taste delight.
Enjoy!


Ps. Unless someone else sends me a recipe, I think this will conclude recipe week for now, but I promise we'll do it again soon if there is interest.  I'd love to hear what you're cooking and share it here if you're willing! Thanks for reading!

3 comments:

Erin said...

Just wanted to say that I LOVE recipe week! I'm going to try some of them soon. I've been wanting to make pizza dough for a while, but I have this little Nathaniel who despises pizza in all its forms, so I haven't had much incentive to do it. Now seeing this recipe I may just have to make some. The little guy can have a corndog instead. :)

Amy Jo said...

We eat pizza at least once a week...sometimes more. I don't mind making it myself, but I love it from a pizzeria. Mine tastes ok, but I'm anxious to try some of your tips to see if I can make mine taste even better! Thanks for sharing! I found you through the Daily Peppermint e-mail.

Laura Evangeline said...

You're making me so hungry!

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