Saturday, May 28, 2011
I make the pizza dough in batches of four, and freeze them. I make the sauce ahead of time and freeze it too. The toppings are always what we have on hand. Now that summer's coming, the variety will change, as veggies will be plucked from our garden and thrown on a whim.
This pizza was topped with pepperoni, cheese, pickled banana peppers, and fresh spinach from the garden. And it was heavenly. Now, I'm not saying that I will never order for pizza delivery again, but I tell you, when you can make it so easily, it's hard to justify dialing up Domino's.
My online friend, Cherry, gave me her recipe for pizza dough. She said she found it online long enough ago that she doesn't remember where, but has tweaked the recipe enough that it probably doesn't matter.
1 package yeast (or 2 1/4 tablespoons if you buy your yeast in bulk)
1 tsp sugar
1 c very warm water
2 1/2 c bread flour
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp italian seasoning ( I just used powdered garlic and crushed basil)
Combine the water, yeast and sugar. Let it rest til the yeast starts to bubble (about 10 minutes). Add half the flour, the oil, salt, and Italian seasoning, Gradually add as much flour as needed to make a soft dough, Dump onto floured surface and knead for 5 to 6 minutes. Let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Divide into 2 equal portions. Roll out to desired thickness/size. I usually prebake the crust for 6 to 7 minutes at 400, top, and bake another 6 to 7 minutes. Of course, the baking times will vary with how thick or thin you roll your crust.
I also poke the crust with a fork several times just before putting it in the oven for the blind bake so that it doesn't puff up any more. We like our crust thin here at the micro mini-ranch.
As I said, I double this recipe, and make 4 crusts at a time. I ball the unbaked crust into ziplock baggies and freeze what I won't use in a week. Cherry has said that she rolls out her crusts and does the first bake, then freezes them. If I had more space in my freezer, I would probably do the same thing, as it would be quicker to throw the end product together at night after I get home from work, but I don't. The frozen dough takes about 2 hours to thaw, or is thawed if I take it out in the morning and put it in the fridge before work. It's a little wet and sticky, but that is handled by tossing on a bit of flour and doing a quick knead prior to rolling out. The dough also stays fresh in the fridge for about a week.
I challenge you all to make a fresh pizza from the ground up. Tell me what fresh veggies you use, odd combos that work for you and your family. Making something from scratch is so satisfying, isn't it?