Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pizza Dough

I don't know about you, but I love pizza! I honestly could eat it every day without getting tired of it. I think the great thing about pizza is that there are SO many different combinations and varieties. Once you have a good dough recipe, you can top it however you would like, and you can eat pizza every day (or as often as you'd like)!

This is my favorite pizza dough recipe. It is very simple, and it can be used not only for pizza, but also to make calzones, breadsticks, stromboli...the list goes on and on! My family eats pizza about once a week. We have cut back a little bit lately since I can't eat cheese; however, I have made some cheeseless pizzas and calzones, and they really weren't as bad as I expected them to be. I would still prefer to have cheese, though. Hopefully we'll be past this non-dairy phase very soon!

Here's the recipe. Make pizza sometime this week!

Pizza Dough

1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. rapid rise yeast (about half a packet)
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 c. flour (I like to use 1 c. all-purpose flour and 1/2 c. whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp. salt

Pour the warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top, and let it do its magic!
*Sidenote:  I'm frequently amazed by little things...yeast is one of them*

Add the sugar and olive oil.

Whisk it all together, so it looks something like this.

Now for the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the flour(s) and salt. In the picture, you will notice I have added more than flour and salt. Thanks to a great tip from my wonderful sister-in-law, I occasionally add a little bit of Italian Seasoning, Garlic Salt, and Crushed Red Pepper. You could add all of this or none of this...simply your choice. The dough is good either way, but the herbs and spices give it a little something extra!

Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients. Then, pour in the wet ingredients.

Stir everything together until it forms a ball. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more water. If the mixture is too wet and sticky, add a little more flour.

If you are planning to use the dough right away, let it sit in a warm place to rise for a few minutes before you use it. You can also wrap the dough in plastic wrap or put it in a freezer bag and freeze it to use later. It is always nice to have extra dough ready and waiting in the freezer!

Then you can roll the dough out to use it for pizza. You can break it into smaller portions to use for calzones. You can cut it into strips and sprinkle it with cheese to make breadsticks. Use your imagination...the possibilities are endless!

Some of our favorite pizza varieties include:
BBQ Chicken
Pesto Chicken
Tomato Basil
Sausage, Onion, and Peppers
Jalepeno Cheeseburger
and of course, good ol' Pepperoni

I found a recipe just this week that I can't wait to try...Black Bean Pizza! I'll let you know how that one turns out.

This is a great recipe to have because it gives you so many options. Have fun, be creative, and enjoy!

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