One thing that we like about living in New England is all the great pizza spots. Dominoes and Pizza Hut have become a thing of the past. Instead we get takeout from our favorite Greek-owned diner or Italian take-out joints.
We always have a pizza in the freezer (Tombstone pepperoni) for a quick Sunday evening meal or at the ready for a quick meal when we can't cook a full meal from scratch.
Because of those two things, I had stopped making homemade pizza. It used to be one of my staple meals--a real yeast crust, topped with rich sauce and lots of veggies and cheese. But if we got takeout two or three times a month and perhaps had a frozen pizza once or twice, having pizza on the meal rotation seemed a bit too much.
I love dinners that can be pulled together without advance preparation--you know, defrosting, marinating, anything that needs to be done more than an hour before I want to eat. Homemade pizza is one of those for us.
I got this crust recipe from Fleishchmann's Yeast Best Ever Breads book (which I remember sending away for when I was a new bride).
Master Pizza Dough
3 to 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 package Rapid Rise Yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup very warm water (120 to 130 degrees F)
3 Tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil, but I always use olive)
Combine 2 cups of the flour, undissolved yeast, and salt. Stir in very warm water and olive oil. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes. Cover; let rest on floured surface 10 minutes.
Roll out dough, top as desired. Bake at 400 for 20 to 30 minutes or until done.
Some Snapshot techniques:
I rarely add much more flour to the bowl initially unless it's a completely wet mess. Instead, I dump about 1/2 cup of flour on my kneading surface and incorporate it this way. I keep adding flour until the dough is smooth.
While it's resting, I cut veggies--I love peppers and onion and mushroom.
I roll out the dough onto my Pampered Chef large pizza stone, and top with sauce. My "pizza sauce" is jarred spaghetti sauce--it's cheaper than pizza sauce and richer as well (I personally love Prego Onion, Tomato and Garlic or Ragu Robusto Sauteed Onion and Garlic sauce, but my daughter told me today she likes the Ragu pouch sauce, because it's smooth).
I also use bagged, sliced pepperoni and pre-shredded mozzerella.
Tonight Amanda made the dough on her own. Pizza dough, like all rising bread, can be a temperamental creature (much like Amanda the tween), but it came out quite nicely.
We missed you, homemade pizza. We won't keep you off our menu for so long this time.