Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Pizza, the default dinner of many of people. And why not? One bite of it will get you points from all sections of the food group(well, if you order the toppings wisely anyway). While ordering pizza can be really enjoyable and affordable (especially during the middle of the work week when pizza restaurants offer awesome deals), making your own pizza can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. The crust recipe is pretty standard compared to the water/flour/yeast ratio of some my other yeast bread recipes, only with the addition of olive oil for taste. It actually took less time than I thought to make! The only difficult part was the kneading process since I didn't have access to my kitchenAid mixture, but it was a great arm workout! While the dough started to rise, I marinated and grilled some chicken, roasted some eggplants, and sauted some onions. I also chopped up some other toppings like peppers and tomatoes. About an hour later, the dough more than doubled from the original size, so my sister and I each grabbed half the dough and had a blast trying to shape it by tossing it in the air. It wasn't as hard to toss as I thought, and ours actually turned out pretty round looking! We brushed the crush with some garlic oil, spread some pizza sauce on the dough, dressed it with all the cheese and toppings, and popped it in the hot oven for about 10-13 minutes. There's definately a difference in taste between homemade and the ones from the restaurants...homemade tasted cleaner and didn't leave me with the greasy, heavy feel that I usually get after I eat pizza. One day, I might invest in a pizza stone, which will make the dough extra crispy on the bottom. For now, I'll just continue to do what I did today...to use a piece of aluminum foil and place it directly on the rack. Good enough for now, and best part yet, there's way more than enough for lunch tomorrow!
makes two 12 inch pizza crusts
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 packet of instant yeast
1 cup warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups flour
1. Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water and let sit for 10 minutes, until yeast becomes foamy, indicating that it's active.
2. Mix together the salt, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 2 and 1/2 cup of flour, and the yeast mixture in a large bowl.
3. Turn onto a slightly floured board and start kneading, incorporating the extra 1/2 of flour as needed. More or less flour may be needed to get the correct consistency. Knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
4. Rub the other 1 Tbsp of olive oil over the dough, transfer to a bowl and let rest in a warm environment until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
5. Divide the dough in half and knead each briefly. Shape into a round disc about 12 inches in diameter.
6. Preheat oven to 500 F. After topping the pizza with desired toppings, bake for 10-13 minutes.