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Homemade Pizza

October 17, 2011

Even though pizza would seem to be a quick and easy summer dinner, I tend to avoid making pizza at home during that season… keeping my oven at 500 degrees for an hour or so makes the kitchen pretty unbearable! But this weekend was cold and rainy, and we’ve been resisting turning on our furnace yet, so what better way to add a little bit of warmth to the downstairs?

This pizza dough recipe is my go-to source for any other recipe calling for a “tube of refrigerated pizza dough”… unless you’re trying to figure out a last-minute dinner right at the grocery store, why buy tubes of dough when you can easily throw together some homemade dough in the morning before work? (Unless you don’t have a food processor, in which case making dough is not so quick!) This recipe, from the ATK Family Baking Book, can be easily made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen, depending on how far in advance you want to make it. You can also modify a homemade dough as you wish: I like to substitute King Arthur’s white whole wheat flour for about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour to add a bit of whole grain.

My coworker had recently given me some homegrown banana peppers, which is one of my new favorite pizza toppings. You can barely see them in the picture, but they’re there! My old standby favorite, which my close friends can all attest to, is ham and onions. The beauty of homemade pizza is that you can top it with anything you can dream up, and you don’t have to worry about the cost adding up for all those additional toppings! What are your favorite unusual pizza toppings?

Pizza

The dough can be made ahead and either refrigerated or frozen depending on how far ahead you wish to make it. To make ahead earlier the same day, do not let the dough rise but keep in the refrigerator for up to 16 hours, then let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before using. To freeze, let the dough rise as directed, then wrap tightly in greased plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month; let thaw at room temperature for 2-3 hours before using.

Makes two 14-inch pizzas

Ingredients

Dough

  • 4  cups (22 ounces) bread flour (plus more as needed)
  • 2 1/4  teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons salt
  • 2  tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2  cups warm water (110 degrees F)

Sauce

  • 2  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper

Toppings

  • Olive oil
  • 12  ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 1/4  cup Parmesan cheese
  • Anything else you want!

Directions

  1. To make the dough: Pulse the flour, yeast, and salt together in a food processor (fitted with a dough blade if possible) to combine. With the processor running, pour the oil, then water through the feed tube and process until a rough ball forms, 30 to 40 seconds. Let the dough rest of 2 minutes, then process for 30 seconds longer. If after 30 seconds the dough is sticky and clings to the blade, add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time as needed. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a smooth, round ball. Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1.5 hours, before using.
  2. To make the sauce: Cook the oil and garlic together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until sizzling and fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. To assemble and bake: Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a baking stone on the rack, and heat the oven to 500 degrees F. Let the baking stone heat for at least 30 minutes (but no longer than 1 hour). Line a rimless (or inverted) baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, divide it into 2 equal pieces, and covered with greased plastic wrap. Working with one piece of dough at a time, press and roll the dough into a 14-inch round on a lightly floured counter. Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined baking sheet and reshape as needed.
  5. Lightly brush the outer 1/2-inch edge of the dough with oil. Spread 1 cup of the pizza sauce over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups of the mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Add any additional topping you desire.
  6. Slide the parchment paper and pizza onto the hot baking stone. Bake the pizza until the edges are brown and the cheese is golden in spots, 8 to 13 minutes. Prepare the second pizza while the first bakes.
  7. Remove the pizza from the oven by sliding the parchment paper back onto the baking sheet. Discard the parchment paper and slide the pizza onto a cutting board. Let the stone reheat for 5 minutes before baking the second pizza. Serve hot.

One comment

  1. Just use the bread machine to make the dough



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