Pizza Dough Recipe

Pizza, how I love thee.  For me, pizza is one of those foods I could have every day, or would love to eat every day (but don’t!!).  There are so many different options.  With toppings alone you could make a different pizza each day and not get sick of it.  As much as I love pizza, I don’t have it very often, as it is not very healthy.  Yes, I actually said that!  I would much rather have a healthy dinner so I can have a delightfully sinful dessert!!

I always hear friends saying that they made homemade pizza for dinner, to me that always sounded like too much work! I’m not big on putting that much effort into dinner. I can bake a recipe all day, but to put that effort into dinner? no thanks!  A few years ago I made a pizza dough, that was pretty good, but it was very time-consuming and had to rest overnight in the fridge, so it involved a lot of planning, something I’m not good at.  It didn’t work if you all of a sudden decided you wanted pizza for dinner TONIGHT!  I made it a couple of times, but haven’t in years.  Another thing that held me back was my unsuccessful relationship with ‘dough’ in general.  Me and yeasted recipes never really get along.

I had done some searching and asked some friends and decided to try this one, my friend Jen gave to me.  It looked simple enough and it didn’t take 2 days!

Pizza Dough

Adapted from KitchenAid book

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
2 1/2 – 3 1/2 all purpose flour
1 tbsp of cornmeal

1. In the bowl of your mixer dissolve yeast in warm water – let sit until dissolved and foamy

2. Add salt olive oil

3. Add 2 1/2 cups of flour. Mix for 1 min. Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time and mix until dough hook comes clean about 2 min. Knead on speed 2 for 2 more mins. I forgot to take pictures of a few of the steps…

4. Place dough in greased bowl, cover and let rise for at least an hour

Hour and a half later…


5. Punch down.

6. Then rollout and add toppings as desired. Cornmeal goes on the bottom before you roll out the dough. I did not have cornmeal, I lightly oiled the pan and it worked out prefect

7. Bake at 450 F until ready, we liked it at approx 20 mins

Delicious!  I was pleasantly surprised how well this pizza came together.  The dough was so easy, the mixer did all the work (I hate kneading dough!).  The texture was a little dense for ‘my perfect crust’ but was only my second attempt at making dough.  My confidence in dough making is back and I will use this recipe again. I will continue to search for a recipe with a bit more of a rise while baking and a bit more of a chew to it.  Anyone have one to share?

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Cheese Manicotti

For a while now Mike has been asking me to make him Cheese Manicotti that I made quite a while ago, I keep saying I’m going to but never do.  Well, today was the day.

Cheese Manicotti

2 Eggs — beaten

2 cups Shredded mozzarella cheese

1 1/2 cups Ricotta cheese

1/2 cup Grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Snipped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon Dried oregano — crushed

1 dash Pepper

As many lasagna noodles as needed, I used 10 1/2

Directions

in a medium mixing bowl stir together eggs, half the mozarella cheese, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, the 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and dash pepper.

Spoon onto pasta and roll

Pour half the tomato mixture into a 2-quart rectangular baking dish.

Arrange stuffed manicotti in the baking dish.

Pour remaining sauce over rollss. Sprinkle remaining mozarella cheese atop.

If desired, cover and chill manicotti for up to 24 hours.

Bake the stuffed manicotti, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until heated through

They were pretty good.  Normally I would make my own sauce as well but, quite honestly, I just didn’t feel like it today.

I used lasagna pasta because I like to use whole wheat pasta and they don’t sell whole wheat shells or tubes here.

Stromboli

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I was spoiled again!  Mike made dinner again last night, he made Stromboli.  Not something you see around here very often, infact I had never heard of it until I went to Jersey.

He used the “Basic Pizza Dough” recipe (see recipe in Italian section).   He made 3 different ones, all have mozzarilla cheese and rocotta cheese.  One had pepperoni, one had pepperoini peppers and onion and one had garlic.

They were all very good.  Bring the first time we made them, we learned that next time we would make the dough thinner, was a bit of a bread sale.

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Garlic Knots

Warning…Highly Addictive!!!

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Garlic knots are something I had never heard of until I was in New Jersey, just about every Pizzaria has them.  I was in love at first bite!  and im sure you will be as well.  They are a must try!

When we had our big pizza party I wanted to try out the dough before we made all the pizzas.  I wanted to make sure it was going to be ok.  So I made a batch of Garlic Knots.

Basic Pizza Dough
(From The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread By Peter Reinhart)

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (chilled)
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil (optional) ~ I left it for the simple reason of not having enough in the bottle
1 3/4 cups water (ice cold)
1 tablespoon sugar
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting

Instructions

Day 1

1. Mix together flour, salt and yeast in larger bowl of stand mixer  (we don’t have a stand mixer so a wooden spoon worked just fine)

2. Add the oil, water and sugar and mix well (with a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment on the mixer on low speed) until you form a sticky ball of dough. On clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes (or if using a mixer with a dough hook, set to the medium speed for the same amount of time) until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If the dough is too wet add a little bit of flour, too dry add a bit of water.

3. Flour the counter and line a jelly pan with parchment paper (I don’t have a jelly pan so I just used a large cookie sheet instead). Lightly oil the paper.

4. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (I would cut them into less, they were fairly small)

5. Sprinkle flour over the dough and flour your hands as well. Round each piece into a ball.

6. Transfer the balls into the lined jelly pan, and mist generously with spray oil. Wrap the pan with plastic wrap.

7.  Place the ran in the fridge and let rest overnight or up to three days.

Day 2

8. Two hours before you make the pizza remove the pizza dough from the fridge. Place on parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle again with flour, mist with oil and wrap lightly. Let sit for 2 hours.

9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C). (If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan)

Before you start making the knots prepare your garlic butter, just as you would for garlic bread.  I use butter, garlic, parsley and Parmesan cheese.  Melt and let the flavours infuse while you prepare the knots.

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands

** now instead of making the dough into pizzas, cut them disk into strips and tie it in a loose knot.

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Brush the tops with melted butter, not the mixture, just butter

Bake until lightly golden and cooked through.

Remove from oven and place in a large tuperwear container.  Pour butter mixture over top, put lid on and SHAKE!!

Best served hot and fresh…

Pizza Party!!!

Picture 023For a long time now Mike has been after me to make homemade pizza.  He is a bit of a pizza freak!  I have been putting it off and putting it off, mostly because I figured it would be hard to make.  After hearing how good the Daring Bakers October 2008 challenge of Pizza dough was, I thought I would give it a try.

Basic Pizza Dough
(From The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering The Art of Extraordinary Bread By Peter Reinhart)

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (chilled)
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/4 cup olive oil or vegetable oil (optional) ~ I left it for the simple reason of not having enough in the bottle
1 3/4 cups water (ice cold)
1 tablespoon sugar
Semolina/durum flour or cornmeal for dusting

Instructions

Day 1

1. Mix together flour, salt and yeast in larger bowl of stand mixer  (we don’t have a stand mixer so a wooden spoon worked just fine)

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2. Add the oil, water and sugar and mix well (with a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment on the mixer on low speed) until you form a sticky ball of dough. On clean surface, knead for about 5-7 minutes (or if using a mixer with a dough hook, set to the medium speed for the same amount of time) until the dough is smooth and the ingredients are homogeneously distributed. If the dough is too wet add a little bit of flour, too dry add a bit of water.

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3. Flour the counter and line a jelly pan with parchment paper (I don’t have a jelly pan so I just used a large cookie sheet instead). Lightly oil the paper.

4. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces (I would cut them into less, they were fairly small)

5. Sprinkle flour over the dough and flour your hands as well. Round each piece into a ball.

6. Transfer the balls into the lined jelly pan, and mist generously with spray oil. Wrap the pan with plastic wrap.

7.  Place the ran in the fridge and let rest overnight or up to three days.

Day 2

8. Two hours before you make the pizza remove the pizza dough from the fridge. Place on parchment paper and sprinkle with flour. Press the dough into disks about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle again with flour, mist with oil and wrap lightly. Let sit for 2 hours.

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9. At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone on the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven as hot as possible (500° F/260° C). (If you do not have a baking stone, then use the back of a jelly pan. Do not preheat the pan)

10. Generously sprinkle the back of a pan with semolina/durum flour or cornmeal. Flour your hands and pick up One piece of dough. Lay the dough across your fists in a very delicate way and carefully stretch it by bouncing it in a circular motion on your hands, and by giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Once the dough has expanded outward, move to a full toss.

11. Place the pizza dough on the back of the pan, making sure there is enough semolina/durum flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide and not stick to the pan.

12. Lightly top the pizza with toppings of your choice.

sauce, pesto sacue, white sauce, peperoni, bacon, peppers, onions, mushrooms, black olives, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, pineapple, hot peppers, mozza cheese, chedder cheese and feta!
sauce, pesto sacue, white sauce, peperoni, bacon, peppers, onions, mushrooms, black olives, roasted red peppers, sun dried tomatoes, pineapple, hot peppers, mozza cheese, chedder cheese and feta!

13. Put pizza on the pizza stone or pan and place in the oven. Cook for 5-8 minutes.

14. Take the pizza out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board or your plate. Allow the cheese to set a little by waiting a few minutes before slicing.

Everyone made something different, They turned out great!

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The recipe was amazing!  Everyone raved out it, people who normally don’t eat pizza even like it.  This is something I will defiantly be making again.  It was so simple and easy.