Sunday, August 28, 2011

Homemade Pizza

Makes 2- 12 inch pizzas

Dough Ingredients:1 ¼ to 1 ½ cups warm water, not hot (start with 1 ¼ cups and add to dough if needed)
1 package dry active yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoons salt

Sauce Ingredients:2- 8 ounce cans tomato sauce
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Pizza Ingredients
Olive oil
Fennel seed
3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 large green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 small handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
1- 3.25 ounce package pepperoni slices
1- 2.25 ounces black olives, sliced

Lightly coat a mixing bowl with oil. Tear a piece of cling wrap large enough to fit bowl and set aside. Either by hand or using a Kitchen Aid mixer with a paddle attachment, add warm water to mixing bowl. Add yeast and let sit for about 4 or 5 minutes. Add in flour, honey, oil and salt. Mix until just combined. Switch out to the dough hook and knead on medium until smooth and elastic like. This process will take 8 to 10 minutes. smooth and elastic. Alternately kneed by hand. If dough is too sticky add more flour. If dough seems to dry, add a few drops of water at a time, until dough is desired consistency. Kneed into a ball and place into oiled bowl, turning once to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size about 1 to 1 ½ hours. When dough has doubled, deflate by punching down. Divide and shape into two balls. Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise again for about 15 minutes.

During this time mix all sauce ingredients in a microwave proof bowl and microwave for 5 minutes, stirring halfway though. Set aside.

When dough is ready, sprinkle a work surface with flour. Pat or roll balls into 13 inch circles. You will need to stretch and push the dough until the diameter is large enough to fit the pans. Pizza crust should be about ½ thick, although sometimes this soesn't happen evenly : ). Just work with it and get it as even as possible. Place crust in pans. Stretch to fit and conform to the pan. Using your fingers, fold edges inward to form an otter lip or well to hold in sauce.

With the tips of your fingers, press indentions in the crust. I have seen some people use a fork, but I don't recomment it.  Brush lightly with olive oil to prevent topping from making the crust soggy. Remember, you will need to divide the meat, cheese and vegetables between 2 pizzas. Ladle on sauce and arrange meat and vegetables anyway you desire. Don’t go too heavy on the sauce, as your pizza will not cook properly. A few tablespoons to just cover it nicely is all you need. Sprinkle with fennel seed to taste and top with cheese. Bake each pizza on 375 degrees F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until crust is golden and toppings are bubbling.
Serve hot with your favorite salad.

Other additional or alternate toppings are:

Red pepper flakes
Jalapeno pepper rings
Imported cheeses
Cooked Italian sausage
Canadian bacon
Ground beef
Green olives
Hot sauce