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Personal blatherings, living simply, gardening, cooking, canning, dehydrating, knitting, spinning and more.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

My Infamous Absolutely Killer Pizza (dough) Recipe

I love to cook, and I love to cook things one can get easily at a restaurant or store, but i (and the family agrees), mine is much, much better. I know that is not a humble thing to say or feel. I do not think it is wrong to be proud of the things you do well.

I use primarily organic ingredients, except for Himself's pepperoni. I have not found an organic version. I used my last jar of homemade pizza sauce. It was a little thin, the flavor made up for that. The ingredient amounts are rather strange. I geared the recipe to make exactly 4 crusts to fill my 2 steel cookie/baking pans- 15-1/2" x 14". You can make the pizzas any shape you prefer, ours are rectangles. The dough recipe is a form of focaccia bread. The flavor it gives the pizza is amazing. You can also use the dough recipe for making a focaccia bread if you have a hankering for it.

Pizza Dough

1-1/2 cups warm water (to the temp your yeast prefers- about 105°F to 110°F, normally)
1 tbsp. yeast
3 tbsp. + 1-1/2 tsp. olive oil
3 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. + 1/2 heaping tsp. Italian herb seasoning blend
1 tsp. garlic, powdered
4-1/2 cups unbleached flour

In a large bowl, mix the yeast into the water and let the yeast soften, about 10 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients except for 1/2 of a cup of the flour. Mix well, kneading a few minutes. Sprinkle a little of the remaining flour on your kneading surface. Place dough on top and let rest a few minutes. I use this time to wash up, then butter my bowl and set it aside.

Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that is no longer sticky, but not dry. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat in the butter. Cover the bowl with a tea towel ran under hot water and wrung out well. (Do I need to write that the tea towel should be clean? Really?) Let rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled.

Grease two baking or pizza pans, (see my size in the beginning blather), with olive oil. Dust the pans with cornmeal. Set aside.

Punch down dough. Divide into 4 pieces. Roll each out to your desired pan sizes, flipping the dough over constantly to get a good, thin dough. I do not make the rolled edge crusts. Of course, you can if you prefer a "bumper" on the edge of the pizza. Place the pizza dough on the prepared pans.

Cover with the tea towel that had been freshly ran under hot water and wrung out again. (Do I really need to add the tea towel should be clean again?) Let the dough rise for 1/2 to 1 hour.
 Preheat oven to 450°F. Uncover dough.

Stab the tar out of the crusts with a fork. Trust me here. They will puff up oddly and it makes any sort of topping slide, the sauce to run and your oven a mess.

Pop one pan at a time in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the crusts are lightly brown. Let cool a few minutes while you gather your favorite toppings.

Note: At this point, you can let the crusts cool completely, then wrap tightly and freeze up to 6 months for future use.

I use for the 4 pizzas-
about 16 oz. jar of pizza sauce
1/2 a cup, more or less, of grated Parmesan cheese (NOT the ick in the green can. ew!)
about 2 or 3 cups of grated cheeses (I used Colby jack and jack cheese this round)
bell peppers
sliced olives
sliced onions
sliced mushrooms (I was out of mushrooms last night)
chopped spinach (gathered from plants that were about done producing)
...and so on...

Preheat oven to 350°F. (see note at end.) I spread the sauce to within about 1" of the crust edge. I then sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese then the other cheeses. I top with our favorite toppings. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the pizza looks as done as your prefer. Eat! Even Himself cannot eat more than half of one.

Note: I found pre-baking the pizza crusts for 15 to 21 minutes first, THEN making the pizzas to be better. There is no chance the crust is under-cooked. I can also freeze the crusts for another time. Freezing a pizza with its toppings is awful to me. It makes the toppings and cheeses rather nasty.

 Edit: I now make 8 small personal pizzas. I can either freeze the pre-cooked dough for another time, or eat on them for days, depending on how many are in your family.

G'night. I had a busy day, I will have one tomorrow, too. Friday, Sally goes in for a bath, toenail trim, and female hygiene cut. Her hair curls around one area, ahem, and she gets widdle on her hair in another. It is easier to have someone else bath and trim things up.

Except for the daily watering of the garden, that will be a nice, slow day. Cool.

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