This is one of our family’s favorite meals. My problem is that I am not so organized nor psychic enough to know if we want pizza the next day enough to go through the trouble of making a pizza dough that needs to be refrigerated overnight. So I came up with this dough. It is a French bread dough tweaked a bit. What is nice is that it is ready quick, and we are having pizza.
Now I have been making pizza for a long time, and it was not until I got a pizza stone that our pizza started tasting really great. I have used a stone for years, and it is great. That said I recently got a new cast iron cookie sheet or baking pan. It works just as well if not better. Now I can not put as large pizza on the cast Iron as I can my pizza stone, but it work great because we all like our own individual size pizzas. The nice thing is that the cast iron cookie sheet is more versatile then the pizza stone.
easy homemade pizza
I will some times put my oven on broil for the last minute of the baking time especially if there are lots of toppings and extra cheese.
Another tip is that I cook the crust for a couple of minutes before I put the toppings on. This gets me a nice start on a good crust while the top is not doughy. Hate doughy pizza.
Active dry yeat - 4 teaspoons or 2 packets (20 ml)
White Sugar (granulated sugar) - 1 teaspoon (5ml)
Warm water - 1 1/2 cups (360 ml)
olive oil - 2 Table spoons (30ml)
Garlic (optional) - 1 teaspoon (5ml)
Italian Seasoning (optional) - 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
Salt - 1 teaspoon (5 ml)
Bread Flour - 3 1/2 - 4 Cups ( 950 ml)
bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes
In a large mixing bowl add the warm water, yeast and sugar. If you want you can cut the sugar in half. I like a sweeter dough. Allow the yeast to proof or activate. (If you are using instant yeast there is no need to proof the yeast). I next add the olive oil. You can substitute any vegetable oil. If I am going to add the garlic and Italian seasoning I combine it with the olive oil. ( Italian seasoning is a combination of Marjoram, Thyme, Rosemary, Savory, Sage, Oregano and Basil) You can substitute your favorite herb instead. I often use just Oregano or Basil.
Mix well. In my mixer I just give it a few quick pulses with my bread hook attachment. I next add the salt and then the flour.
Add one cup and mix well. After the first cup is well mixed I then gradually add the remaining flour 1/2 a cup at a time. In my mixer I am mixing at medium speed and keep on adding flour until the dough starts to pull away from the sides. I then let it mix on low for three to four minutes.
If mixing by hand I mix the first cup of flour by spoon then I use my hands to hand mix and knead the dough with the remaining flour adding flour gradually until i have a very elastic yet slightly sticky dough. I then place the dough on a floured surface and knead for several minutes.
I then divide the dough into about just smaller then fist size portions. On a floured surface I roll the dough out into a pizza-like a shape.
Then place in the hot oven on your pizza stone, cast iron sheet or cookie sheet for 1- 2 minutes.
Remove your pizza crust from the oven using a spatula or Pizza paddle. I like to place my crust on a paddle and then add the sauce and toppings. I generally use a higher quality spaghetti sauce for convenience. I spread on the sauce then some base cheese of shredded cheddar-jack mix. Then add your favorite toppings and top with mozzarella cheese. Stick back in the oven for about eight minutes. If the top is not quite done change the oven to broil for 30 seconds to a minute.
Once the pizza is cooked remove it and let it cool for a couple of minutes, cut and serve.
For a change, I will sometimes make a garlic butter topping instead of red sauces. Take 1/4 cup of butter add 1/2 -1 tsp of garlic powder, 2 Tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and 1 Tablespoon Chives and use that instead of sauce