Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cheesy

We eat a lot of pizza at our house - about once a week, actually. It may be a kick back to the days of living downtown and having "Office Parties" on Thursday nights with the McBrides, Allens & Papa Johns...

But now, instead of calling, picking up or having something delivered in 45 minutes - we just make our own. And it takes less than 45 minutes (plus clean up...If Holden's helping, add in bath time.)


video


Yeast used to scare me. But I've faced my fears, and now it's friend instead of foe. Here's a few samples of our tastings from the past:

Roasted Red Pepper spread (RRP, garlic & toasted almonds)
with fresh spinach and feta cheese before it hit the pizza stone


Grilled red onions with pear & feta

BBQ Chicken with Gouda
(obviously before I gave up slaughtered animals for Lent)


Basic Veggie with Tomato sauce and Mozzarella:
This is the pizza that taught me I ought not put topping on unless
I'm certain it's time to bake any moment...

True story - I got the pie all decorated and then we left for some reason. We came home to an ever expanding dough, with soppy ingredients and sticky unmanageable crust. I'll be the first to admit that not all of my food creations work. This is NOT the food network...


But we ate it anyway.



When I started the Pizza journey, I was making crusts/dough with white flour exclusively - AND using a tablespoon of sugar with my yeast to speed the process and aid in taste. Fast forward to the present: I leave out the sugar, and use either whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour; and make my dough in the morning so I can give it time to raise/proof and give it a little work throughout the day.

I know people think it's crazy to eat carbs these days: but somehow, with exercise and a new love affair with food, Danny and I continue to lose weight while Holden gains. Something about making your own food (without preservatives), portion control and high quality ingredients has been a winning combination for us.

So you probably already have one that works, but if you're interested, I've included our super easy pizza dough recipe below:

Add
2 tsp (1 pkg) *yeast
1 C very warm water
1 T sugar (optional)

Combine
2 1/2 C Flour (plus more for dusting)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs oil (plus a little extra to grease sides of the bowl, if you're letting the dough proof for a while)

Mix yeast and dry ingredients together, add the oil. Mix well. I don't even use a bread maker, just mix it by hand --give it a good massage with my hands (this makes my engagement ring very dirty, since I hardly ever take it off for cooking... but as far as I can tell wearing your wedding ring doesn't really affect the taste of the pizza.)

From here you can use the dough straightaway, but I prefer to lightly oil the sides of the bowl and let it sit for at least an hour (usually several) covered with plastic wrap.

Bittman's recipe is similar, but it's really the technique with the dough that can help. I have not yet mastered throwing it up in the air or tossing it with one finger. But I'll be sure an You Tube myself once I have gleaned that talent.

To cook, I divide the dough in 1/2 for 2 medium pizzas that fit easily on my pizza stone, and bake at 425 for 8 - 10 minutes depending on toppings, etc.



*I've used both regular and quick rise...but for the past few months I've been sticking with the regular yeast
**white, wheat, pastry wheat, combo...I've used them all, but am pretty married to Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat and Pastry Wheat varieties, though white flour worked over throughout the day, will give you a more restaurant tasting crust

4 comments:

Bergeson Family said...

All I have to say is YUMMMMMMM!

Erin said...

Oh I miss those Office parties... this brought back good memories.

We are huge pizza fans too- I'm SO happy to have a good crust recipe- the one I have is just not good, and the frozen kind I've been buying is really pricey. My very favorite pizza is fresh mozzarella and fresh basil, but Mike would be thrilled if we branched out a bit. I'm serious my friend, write a cookbook... with your skills in the kitchen and your writing ability you'd make a million dollars.

Erin said...

wait... how much oil do you add?

Sabrena Suite-Mangum said...

Duh me! OK, I just tweaked it on the post.. it's 2 Tbs.

We did a fresh mozz and tomato this weekend along with the feta/roasted pepper.

I really think it was one of the best pizzas I've ever made.