Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pizza Pizza!!

Pizza is one of the most perfect foods in my opinion. Salty, cheesey, carbey, yummyness. I love all kinds of pizza from fancy coal fire to the magic New York staple of the $1 slice (not Chicago deep dish though, that my friends, is not pizza) One of my favorite weekly treats is homemade pizza. You can put exactly what you want on it and make it as healthy or unhealthy as your little heart desires. The best part is you really don't need any fancy equipment to make it!

I used to buy my pizza dough from good old Publix. It was cheap, easy, and ready to go. You can usually purchase pizza dough from your local pizzeria as well if you are not blessed with a Publix. About a year ago, I decided to take the plunge and make my own dough. My history with yeast dough is a sad one. From failed breads to overly risen waffles, I just don't understand it. Homemade pizza dough would force me to face my fear. After a stressful afternoon, "of will it work? it will work. OMG ITS NOT RISING... wait no it is." I finally pulled a magical bubbling pizza out of the oven. There was no reason to worry.

If you do a Google search you will find tons of easy pizza dough recipes but I'm going to share with you a whole wheat version which has never failed me and will hopefully bring you success.

Bonus: My next post will talk about freezing the dough to make at home frozen pizzas!

Wheat Pizza Dough

3/4 cups all purpose flour 
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need a little more)
1 tablespoon olive oil (The better the quality of you olive oil the more flavor it will add to your finished dough)

1. In a mixing bowl combined both flours, salt and yeast.
2. Add water and olive oil. Stir with a spoon until the mixture comes together. (after a certain point I like to used my hands)
3. Dump contents of the bowl onto a well floured surface. Knead everything together until it becomes one ball of dough. 
4. Lightly oil a bowl, and place your dough in the bowl. Rotate the ball around so it is cover in a thin layer of oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm dark place.

5. Two hours later, uncover your dough and flip it on to your flour surface. Press down on the dough to let out the air. Fold the sides of the dough into the center to form a new ball. Leave dough on the counter and cover again with plastic wrap and an overturned bowl.

6. You leave this for 20 minutes. This is the perfect time to get the sauce, cheese, and any toppings together. This is also when I turn on the oven.

           OVEN THINGS: In order to create the perfect pizza crust there are a few steps to take when it comes to prepping an oven. First if you have a pizza stone stick it in the oven as it pre-heats. Second, if you don't have a pizza stone you can always use the bottom of a cookie sheet. I have read a lot of blogs where people preheat their cookie sheet just as they would a pizza stone but that freaks me out. My smoke detectors are sensitive as it is. The choice is yours. The main goal is to get you oven as hot as possible. I've had success with any where from 425-550 degrees. 

7. After the 20 minutes uncover your pizza dough and roll it out using a rolling pin or tin can or glass or whatever you happen to have lying around that can do the job. Top pizza with sauce, cheese, and toppings. If using a cookie sheet put dough on sheet before you top it. If not use a WELL floured board (cutting board/ back of a cookie sheet) and top dough on that so you can slide pizza onto the hot stone in the oven.

8. Cook pizza for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on whats going on in the oven so you can take it out as soon as it looks done. Looks are everything when it comes to cooking pizza. 

9. Remove from oven, slice, and ENJOY!

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