Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturday Afternoon QUICKIE - Easy Pizza Dough

It's never too late for an Afternoon QUICKIE -

Well, well, well...I'm finally back from the dead!  My precious kiddos will FINALLY be out of school within weeks, which equals more blog time for me.
So, I've been thinking....with gas prices so high and the general cost of EVERYTHING having gone up - it might be time for me to sharpen my skills.  It feels like the perfect time to begin producing some homemade family favorites.
First up? - something foodie :)
My husband is Sicilian, my kids beg for Italian food regularly - time to dial in a pizza dough recipe!
An easy recipe that requires a little extra time than calling the local pizza parlor ~
Let's get started:

Easy Pizza Dough makes 4 personal pizzas
1 package active dry yeast
1 ¼ (up to 1 ½) cups warm water, divided: 110 – 115 degrees
1 tsp. honey
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 TBL extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing

In glass measure cup, dissolve the honey then yeast in ½ cup warm water. Proof this mixture for 10 minutes, until yeast appears foamy.

In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Add oil, the yeast mixture and remaining warm water.

Mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 mins. The dough should be smooth and firm.

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap to seal. Place a clean kitchen towel over the bowl and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.

Punch down to express some of the air in the dough, then divide into 4 equal pieces. Work each piece into a ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the dough.
Then on a smooth surface (no flour), roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm.

Now there are a couple of ways to do this next step:
You can line a baking sheet with parchment, and place all four balls on top. Then, lightly cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel. OR, place each ball in it's own bowl, cover with wrap and a dish towel. Whatever makes you happy...either way, the dough needs to sit and rise for 1 hour.

At this point, the balls can be used immediately or wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Do what you like, but my pizza comes out like the picture at the top when I do the following:
Preheat oven to 485 degrees. **any higher and I end up with pizza bricks!**
To prepare each pizza, dip a dough ball into flour and shake off the excess. Place dough on a clean lightly floured surface, and start to stretch the dough. Don’t roll dough with rolling pin, use only your hands to assure fluffy crust.
When desired pizza shape is achieved, lightly brush olive oil in the inner circle of the dough.
Add toppings in this order:
-Mozzarella cheese
-any additional toppings. Finish with a light sprinkle of dried oregano and Feta/parmesan or goat cheese. YUM!
Lightly sprinkle baking sheet/pizza stone with cornmeal. Place prepared pizza in the center of baking sheet, and bake for approx. 13 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve immediately.

Thanks for the QUICKIE (wink!), I'll see ya next week!


Liz said...

I saw your post on Natalie Franz' website. You have a lovely blog! I'm a Tokio Hotel fan born and raised in TN.

If you want to communicate with me, I have a Twitter :)

ReluctantYankee said...

Thank you for stopping by Liz! My boys are huge Tokio Hotel fans...I actually began following Natalie when I discovered that she was the lead singer's MU (make-up artist). She's so very talented! Doing "male" make-up is something I might possibly study, so who better to follow, right?!
Thanks again :)

Crickets!!! I'm hearing CRICKETS!!

Welcome back to my archaic blog. Started years ago as merely a creative "mommy" outlet, now, it is simply therapy for boredom. ;) ...