Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Who doesn't love pizza?

The very first thing that I learned how to make really well was pizza. My mother-in-law showed me how to make the best pizza ever and I couldn't believe how easy it was! Please forgive my photos as I'm not a great food photographer - I promise to work on it, though.

Here is the recipe:
1 tsp sugar
1 cup very warm water (but not boiling)
1 TBSP yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt

1 ball mozzarella cheese, grated

You will also need your favorite pizza or spaghetti sauce and toppings. I like bacon, onions, hot peppers, chipotle peppers and artichokes on my pizza, but you can put whatever you like.

  1. If you have a mixer that kneads dough, pour the sugar and water into the mixer bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved. If not, then use a large bowl. Once the sugar is dissolved, sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water and let sit for 5-10 mins for the yeast to activate.
  2. After the yeast has activated, pour the oil into the mixture and stir to combine. If using a mixer, now secure the bowl to the mixer and add 2 cups of the flour and begin kneading. If doing by hand, add the 2 cups of flour and stir together with your hands until the flour begins to come together.
  3. Mix the salt into the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour (this will prevent the salt from killing the yeast) and pour the rest of the flour into the bowl. If using the mixer, let it work until you have a nice dough that is soft but not sticky, approximately 2 mins. If it is sticky, add another 1/4 cup of flour. If you are not using a mixer, begin kneading the dough to incorporate the flour. Continue kneading until you have formed a dough ball. If it is still sticky, add another 1/4 cup of flour. Continue kneading. This takes approximately 8-10 mins.
  4. After the dough has been kneaded, cover with a piece of wax paper or a damp cloth and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise for approximately one hour or until doubled in size.
  5. While the dough is rising, prepare your toppings and grate the cheese. Also, lightly grease a cookie sheet with edges.
  6. Once the dough has risen, punch it down. For a thicker crust, allow to rise again for 20-30 mins. Otherwise, move right to step 7.
  7. Preheat your oven to 410 degrees F if using a convection oven, otherwise 425 degrees. Spread the dough out evenly onto the cookie sheet. Cover the dough with your pizza or spaghetti sauce, leaving a small edge as a crust.
  8. Arrange your toppings on the pizza and cover with the grated mozzarella. Let the pizza rest for 10 mins, then bake for 22-25 mins or until golden brown. Then cut, serve and enjoy!