04 July 2012

Homemade Pizza we LOVE!!

Does homemade Pizza leave you wanting?  Not crispy enough crust, kinda doughy, doesn't have that same gooey cheese that's crispy, toppings are just ho-hum?

Well, look out!  I have the recipe for you!!  This recipe has gotten us through 3 teen-agers and all their friends, we-are-too-tired-to-cook evenings and lots of family over for supper nights!  Super easy and about 30 minutes of prep time (includes baking) plus you can make the dough ahead and keep in the fridge for hungry kids out of school for the summer.  If your kids are old enough to use the oven, they can make this pizza too!

1 cup hot tap water
1 Tablespoon INSTANT yeast
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2-3 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In your mixer with dough hook attached, combine water, yeast, olive oil and salt.  Stir to combine.  Set your mixer on the lowest speed and add 2 1/2 cups flour.  Allow to blend for about 4 minutes, check dough.  If it's stringy, wet and really stretchy, add another 1/2 cup of flour until a solid mass of dough that only clings slightly to the dough hook is achieved.  Knead until smooth and a bit shiny.

Allow to rise (here's where the instant yeast kicks in!) until double, about 15 minutes.

Grease 2 - 14 inch pizza pans with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of corn meal if you've got it.  Divide dough in half and begin stretching with your hands.  I put the lump of dough in the middle of the pan and spin the pan as I push the dough to the outer edges until evenly thick all over.  Crimp the outer edge of dough a little. Place in hot oven and cook crust 5 minutes.  It should be dry to the touch, but not browned.

Remove crust and brush with a tablespoon of melted butter immediately and sprinkle with garlic, parmigiano cheese and/or herbs of your choice.

We use a bottled pizza sauce as they are all pretty tasty.  Spread the sauce only about 1/4 inch thick over crust, coming up to an inch away from edge of pan.  Cover sauce with about 6 ounces of shredded cheese of your choice.  I usually use a combination of part skim mozzarella, asiago and parmigiano reggiano.

Place your toppings evenly over cheese.

(In these photos I used Smoked Fresh Mozzarella, Caramelized onions and Fried Mushrooms.  Cherry tomatoes, fresh Sage and Fresh Mozzarella.  If you're looking to make a "White Pizza", one of our favorites, I omit red sauce and throw a few small spoonfuls of fresh ricotta on top and drizzle the whole pizza with thinned pesto sauce.  (Options are endless!)  My personal favorite is a Mediterranean style with green olives, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, fresh diced onions, jarred banana peppers and feta or goat cheese.    

Bake pizzas on top and bottom oven racks for 7 minutes, exchange pans on racks (move top to bottom and bottom pan to top rack) and bake an additional 6 minutes until slightly browned and bubbly.

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