Recipe no. 5: homemade pizza.

Ok, I’m at my final food week post.  Tonight is pizza night.
This dough recipe, borrowed again from one of my favorite reads, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, makes enough dough for 4 pizzas.  It’s worth making the whole amount.  Once it’s risen, cut into 4 equal pieces, and freeze whatever you aren’t using right away.  Or, in a pinch, you can buy a ball of dough at the supermarket:)

Mix 1 1/2 tablespoons (2 packets) of yeast, 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon sugar with 2 3/4 cups lukewarm water.  Add 6 1/2 cups all purpose flour using a spoon or dough hook attachment on a standing mixer (see photo below). 
If using your hands, you might need to wet them to make it easier to incorporate all the flour.

This mixer is worth the initial expense. It will save you so much time and energy!

Cover, and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses, about 2 hours.

For the pizza:
Using your fingertips, spread, do NOT stretch, the dough over a pizza pan.  If you stretch it, the dough will just shrink back in the oven.  This would be bad.  

Spoon over the dough a few spoonfuls of crushed tomatoes from a tin, our favorite brand is Pastene.  

Sprinkle dried oregano flakes, garlic powder, and black pepper onto the sauce.  

Sprinkle on grated mozzarella cheese, and add sliced onion and pepper.  I like to add a few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes.  

The final touch: sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.  

Cook at 400 degrees until the toppings are cooked and the crust in golden, about 20 minutes.

Use your fingertips to make dimples in the dough when you spread it out. This gives the sauce somewhere to go.

Before you take the pizza out of the oven, use a spatula to check the bottom. It should look like this.

Some of our favorite topping combinations include:
Sauteed mushrooms and goat cheese
Sauteed zucchini, shredded pepper jack, and fresh basil
Sauteed onion and sliced avocado
Sliced deli ham, onion, and calamata olives