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Posts Tagged ‘pizza’

We love making pizza at home. For the longest time I’ve been using the Olive Oil dough recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, which is good and easy to make. But this time around I decided to try Pioneer Woman’s pizza crust recipe, which she raves about, and when have I ever made anything of PW’s that’s been less than stellar? Answer: never.

So I got started and I wasn’t too far into the recipe when I realized it called for 1/3 cup of olive oil, and I had… none. There was no going back at this point, so I used regular ol’ vegetable oil. Did it make a difference? No idea. The crust was awesome. A definite winner over the crust I’ve been making. But I shouldn’t have been surprised. When has PW ever steered me wrong? Answer: never.

This was supposed to be a pepperoni and olive pizza. Unfortunately as I started to put the pepperoni on, I realized they’d been in the fridge a little too long and had mold on them. Sad 😦 So we had olive pizza. And it was delicious! I really didn’t miss the pepperoni at all. You can use whatever toppings you like, of course. Even if it’s just olives.

Pioneer Woman’s Pizza Crust (from her cookbook)

  • 1 tsp or 1/2 packet active dry yeast
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup olive (or vegetable) oil, plus more for drizzling

Pour 1 1/2 cups warm water into a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water.

Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.

With an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in the oil until just incorporated. Or, you can use a spoon. Which is what I did.

In a separate bowl, gently stir the yeast/water mixture, and drizzle it into the flour/oil mixture. Mix until the dough forms a ball. You can use your hands if you like, which I did here, until the dough comes together.

Drizzle a little oil into a clean bowl, or mist with cooking spray. Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil.

Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

To prepare the pizza, preheat oven to 500 degrees. Divide the dough in half. Lightly drizzle olive oil on a pizza pan or baking sheet. Or use parchment paper and no oil.

Using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape. Spread sauce and/or desired toppings over the dough and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges of the crust are golden brown.

The other half of the dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days before use, or frozen for up to 6 months.

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JW has been asking for a thin crust pizza for a while, so I decided to dig up some new recipes and see what I could find. This one really stood out because of the great reviews, and I was intrigued by the preparation and rising times. I used the quicker sponge method, but it can also be made as an overnight dough.

I – the person who does not like to knead – actually did knead this by hand, and for the recommended 15 minutes (I KNOW! Aren’t you impressed?) I wanted to follow the recipe as closely as possible. I think it did take quite a bit more flour than originally called for in the recipe, but it really was very easy to work with, especially when it came to stretching it out.

I stretched it thin, but left some nice edge on the side. I prefer to use my hands to stretch so the edges don’t get too flat, which has been my experience with a rolling pin.

Speaking of rolling pins, mine has gone on the fritz and I haven’t bought a new one yet. When I told this to JW’s mom, she asked if I had whacked him too hard over the head with it 🙂

I brushed some olive oil over the edges and sprinkled with a mixture of garlic salt, Italian herbs, and parmesan cheese. It turned out a tad salty for me, so next time I may use garlic powder instead of the garlic salt.

Ready to go into the oven…

And here’s the finished product!

Do you see the mini pepperonis? Aren’t they cute?!

I really did like this dough. The only thing I wish I’d done differently is bake it on a pizza stone – which I normally do, but mine got apple pie juice on it, which bubbled up and then burnt, and if it had been more expensive I probably would have tried to clean it, but as it was I just threw it out when we moved. So the crust wasn’t as “crispy” as if I’d baked it on a stone, but I guess it means I’ll just have to try it again, eh? 🙂

Premium Thin Crust Pizza (Recipe found here)

  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (or more)
  • 1 tsp sea salt

OVERNIGHT COLD RISE METHOD: In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Stir in 2 cups of flour and salt; mix well. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 15 minutes. Place dough in bowl dusted with flour cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

SPONGE RISE METHOD: In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup water. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour; mix well. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until foamy, about 1 hour. Blend in remaining water, flour and salt; beat well. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 15 minutes. Place dough in bowl dusted with flour and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 2 to 3 hours (less if rising in a warm place).

Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll dough out to half of its final size. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes (while you prepare desired pizza toppings). Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, or higher (higher temp will cook more quickly).

Stretch out dough over your floured knuckles and stretch or toss until desired size is achieved. Place dough on a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal or a lightly greased pizza pan. Spread with desired toppings and bake on a pizza stone in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let baked pizza cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Oh BOY have I got a lot of great things to share with you! Today you get two… but I still have one more up my sleeve for you later.

Pizza is a semi-regular dish in our house. I struggled long and hard to find a decent crust recipe that fit my preference, and I finally found it in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. If you (a) like bread, and (b) would love to make homemade bread without kneading, there is no reason why you should not own this book. If you don’t have it, order it here now. I’m not kidding. It will change your life. Click here for the book’s website.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’m sure there’s a copyright law that prevents me from sharing the exact crust recipe with you. So just in case, I won’t… (but I *might* send it to you if you email me privately). I will tell you that I use the Olive Oil Dough from the book, and the pizza-making directions. It is fantastic. I’d rather have this than Papa John’s. And that’s saying a lot, because Papa John’s and I have a long-standing relationship.

I had some basil pesto leftover from making the Tomato Basil Pasta Salad, so I spread that on the pizza in lieu of a tomato-based sauce, and topped with thinly sliced Roma tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Delicious!

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After dinner, I mixed up a batch of Cinnamon Cookies to take to the beach with us over the weekend. I discovered these at Christmas this year, and my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law both raved about them and asked for the recipe (you know it’s serious when your grandmother-in-law wants your recipe). JW’s brother Bruce in particular went crazy over them. Bruce requested them for the beach trip, so I gladly obliged.

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If you like cinnamon, you’ll love these cookies. They’re somewhat soft and chewy, but I’m sure if you particularly wanted crisp cookies you could try baking them a bit longer. I like soft cookies myself. Here’s the recipe:

Cinnamon Cookies (Original recipe here)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Cream together butter and sugar.
Mix in egg and molasses, blending well.
Mix flour, baking soda and cinnamon; add to creamed mixture, mixing well.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

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