We try very hard to have at least one meatless day per week. We also tend to make pizzas on that meatless day as it corresponds to the only day of the week where I am home early enough to effectively rise some super kick ass dough. We each make our own concocted creation which makes for perfect pizzas each.
This week I made the following:
- A layer of pesto and light olive oil with sauteed onions and mushrooms with chopped fresh jalapenos & cabbage and sweet basil
- A little fresh mozz (which I will be finally making soon) and some grated parm and chopped green onion
- Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper – bake @ 400* for 15 or so minutes
Viola – the best little rustically handmade pizza you can get (at home). Something like this in a swanky restaurant would run you around $20 or possibly more. At home? Maybe $3. We use cheap ingredients on hand and have lunch covered for the next day too. Perfection.
It’s true. I finally did it. I managed to make an amazing pizza crust which was light, fluffy and delicious. My friend Ashley is the queen of all things homemade bread related, and even after a hands on demonstration I couldn’t replicate her pizza dough (I may have been drinking at the time, but whatever). I figured that I was fine with my hodgepodge mix of generic all purpose flour and random yeast. So wrong. After so many sad failed attempts, where my husband no longer pretended to say ‘good job’ I finally took the step and invested in the right ingredients: Bob’s Red Mill Bread Flour and Bob’s yeast (kept in the fridge). What a world of difference!!! We each made a pizza last night for Meatless Monday covered in veggies and fresh mozz cheese and I can’t wait for lunch so I can inhale my leftovers.
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. honey
2 tsp. dry instant yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. water (approx.), divided
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Combine your flour, yeast and salt with a dough hook in the mixer. Add olive oil and honey and slowly start to add your water (you may not need all of it). Combine until the dough is still just a little sticky. At this point you can take it out and knead if you want, or be lazy like me and let the dough hook knead it for 4 or 5 minutes.
- Set on your heating pad to rise for approximately an hour (double the size). In an oiled bowl of course – not directly on the heating pad – duh.
- Cut the dough in half and start to roll out your pizza shapes on a well floured surface
- Rise the dough on the pan on the heating pad for 10 or 15 minutes while you cut up your ingredients
- Load your pizza with the everything you want and pop into a 425* oven for 10-15 minutes.
- Your crust will rise and be flaky and amazing and you’ll be patting yourself on the back!
I have never been what you would call ‘outrageously successful’ when it comes to making and baking my own bread or pizza dough. I mean, it’s edible, and no one has ever died or complained, but I wasn’t pleased with the lack of rise. However, after a very informative and cider fueled (home brewed btw) lesson with my friend Ashley, I think I’ve finally gotten it!
Last night we had taco pizza for dinner with the best crust I’ve ever made (not as good as hers, but I’m getting there). The secret? Not only did I need to change my flour (done!) but I raised the dough on a heating pad, on the lowest setting, in the oven. Brilliant! Neither of our houses are ever warm enough for an effective rise, so this is the absolute perfect solution. Thank you Ashley!
So give it a try! This is the recipe I used:
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. dry instant yeast
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 c. water (approx.), divided
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. honey
In stand mixer, combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 cup of water, oil and honey. Using the flat beater mix on low until well combined. Remove the flat beater and add the dough hook. Gradually add remaining water until dough pulls away from the sides and hangs on the hook (about 5 min), you may not need all of the water. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface about 3 min. Place in a greased bowl turning the dough to coat both sides. Cover with a towel and let rise about 1 hour on your heating pad! Divide dough and roll out. Let rise for 15-20 min. Bake at 425 until desired doneness.