Sunday, April 13, 2008

Homemade Pizza

I've found that pizza is a really easy option for weeknight dinners, provided you have some basic ingredients. Making the dough from scratch isn't hard either - you just have to start it about two hours before you plan to eat.

I like getting creative with my pizza toppings based on what I have around. Here are some combinations I enjoy on top of tomato sauce and mozzarella:

  • garlic, spinach, feta cheese, sliced red onion
  • sauteed mushrooms and onions
  • roasted red pepper and pesto
  • bacon and caramelized onions
  • roasted garlic and artichoke hearts
This is a reliable recipe for pizza dough from The Gourmet Cookbook. You can substitute some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour if you so desire.

Basic Pizza Dough


1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1 3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading and dredging
3/4 c. warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil


Stir together yeast, 1 tbsp. flour and 1/4 cup warm water in a measuring cup and let stand until surface appears creamy, about 5 minutes.

Stir together 1 1/4 cups flour and salt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, oil, and remaining 1/2 cup warm water and stir until smooth. Stir in enough of remaining flour (about 1/2 cup) so dough comes away from sides of bowl.

Knead dough on a dry surface with lightly floured hands (reflour hands when dough becomes too sticky) until smooth, soft, and elastic, about 8 minutes. Form into a ball, put on a lightly floured surface, and generously dust with flour. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/4 hours.

Do not punch down dough. Carefully dredge dough in a bowl of flour to coat and transfer to dry work surface. Holding one edge of dough in the air with both hands and letting bottom touch work surface, carefully move hands around edge of dough (like turning a steering wheel), allowing weight of dough to stretch round to roughly 10 inches.

Lay dough flat on lightly floured work surface and continue to work edges with fingers, stretching into a 14-inch round.

Top and bake at 425 degrees.

1 comment:

  1. Wish I had a kitchen here!

    But when I do have one (at home), I like to top homemade pizza with halved green and black olives and feta cheese (all Greek-y). I like my feta un-melted though, so I put it on after the pizza comes out of the oven. Spinach is good too.

    I need to try that dough recipe.



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