Almost everyone loves pizza! Hot pizza or cold pizza, deep dish or thin crust, lots of cheese or lots of sauce, meat lovers or veggie, white or red. There are so many variations, pizza can make almost everyone happy. You can divide the dough into small balls and roll out little individual pizzas. Let everyone choose their own toppings; a particularly fun thing to do with kids. Pizza. It’s what’s for dinner.
Pizza night starts with the crust.
1 1/4 cups tepid water
2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 T olive oil
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp each dried oregano and basil (optional)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Place tepid water in a bowl and mix in yeast and salt. Add the olive oil. Add 1 1/2 cups of flour, garlic, and herbs and stir with a wooden spoon. Add remaining flour and knead for five minutes until you have a smooth dough. Grease a bowl and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, approximately an hour.
Divide dough in half or in smaller portions if making small, individual pizzas. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface.
Preheat the oven to 450.
Once you roll the dough out place on a lightly greased pizza pan. Fold the edges over, lightly rub down with olive oil and pre-bake for approximately ten minutes. This helps to keep the crust from getting soggy.
Now we are ready to top the pizza. There are many prepared sauces that you might like or you can use fire roasted tomatoes, a little olive oil, and some herbs.
Blend the tomatoes, 1 T of olive oil and herbs to taste. Spread the sauce on your pre-baked crust.
Choose your favorite toppings. Tonight I’m using onions, peppers, artichoke hearts, portabella mushrooms, tomatoes and some organic pepperoni.
Spread the toppings.
I used romano cheese and fresh mozzarella. Grate the hard cheese over the toppings and distribute slices of mozzarella.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Enjoy this thing of beauty with a cold beer, soda, a nice wine or a glass of milk.
Like I mentioned earlier there are countless pizza toppings for every taste. Sausage, bacon, ham, pepperoni. Spinach, fresh basil leaves, arugula. Sweet peppers, banana peppers, peppadews, green olives, kalamata olives, black olives. Mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, roasted garlic, artichokes, asparagus, zucchini. And pineapple…my least favorite topping. Love it in an upside down cake but leave it off my pizza.
Mozzarella is the most common of pizza cheeses but provolone, feta, Parmesan, Romano, asiago, goat cheese, even Gorgonzola are great options. Different cheeses pair well with different veggies and meats. Most grocery deli sections and frozen food aisles have countless types and brands of pizzas. If you don’t have time to make a pizza from scratch doctor a grocery pizza up with fresh toppings and extra cheese to make it your own.
Note: The crust recipe makes enough for 2 large pizzas. If you only plan to make one, freeze half the dough BEFORE you let it rise. Divide the dough and place half in a zip lock freezer bag. When you’re ready to make a second pizza let it thaw/rise and your ready for pizza #2.