Friday, September 22, 2006

Pizza pizza pizza pizza

Tara and I have pizza 3 or 4 times a month. We love pizza and it is fairly healthy (we use mozzarella and feta which are both lower-fat; only the pepperoni could be considered 'unhealthy'). Pizza is also a pretty quick meal and there is always leftovers for the next day's lunch.

Some people are amazed that we make our own crust. They think it takes too much time or is really hard. It's neither. And once you have done it a few times, you won't go back to store-bought crust except in an emergency.

The recipe below is isn't the best crust I make, but it is the quickest. Perfect for when you come home after work and are hankering for something carby and cheesy.

Richard's Homemade Pizza Crust (1 extra large pizza or 2 medium pizzas)

1 Cup warm-hot water
1 Tbsp honey
1 package yeast
2.5 C flour (some combo of white and whole wheat)
1 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp olive oil

Step 0. Preheat the oven as hot as it will go. We crank ours up to 550F

Step 1: Dissolve the honey in the warm-hot water and then dissolve the yeast in the water.

Step 2: Mix the salt and oil into the flour and put into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the water/honey/yeast mix.

3. Slowly incorporate the flour into the liquid. Mix the dough and kneed for about 5 minutes (the longer the better)

4. Shape into a ball and let rise for 10-15 minutes.

5. Roll out into one or two disks as thin as you like. Top (the less the better) and bake for ~10 minutes or so until the crust and cheese are browned.

Total time, with baking - 40 minutes.
Just a few ingredients Liquid in the well Let it rise Hmmm, ready for the oven

a. The longer the dough rises the better. If I have time in the morning, I make the dough then and throw it into the fridge.

b. If you put the pizza on a pizza stone it will get a better crust - but don't roll the dough out too thin or the crust will burn before the topping cook. If the pizza consistently sticks, put it on a sheet of parchment paper. It'll scorch a bit, but it won't burn.

c. If you have a wife/husband, get them to prepare the toppings while you are making the dough. Seriously.

d. Use real Mozza. This is something that I have just discovered; real Mozza (ie, in a ball) makes a better tasting pizza (as opposed to block cheese). The cheese will be the most expensive part of the pizza, but I can get one recipes worth of cheese for $4.50. Not bad for a meal, IMHO.

e. This ultra cheap wine is perfect with a typical pizza. Available at the LCBO.


Deborah said...

Why the less toppings the better?

Interesting about the Mozza ball thing. I haven't used pre-grated parmesan for years, but I didn't know there was a big difference between the block and the ball.

I've made dough in my breadmaker in the past (far, far past) but haven't tried the real homemade kind. I just might have to try this one!

Richard Siemens said...

Too much topping prevents the top of the crust from baking. This isn't a problem with a pre-baked crust, but it is with a 'raw' crust. Lately I have been putting on pepperoni, mushrooms and olives. Tara likes to stack hers a little higher – she often adds onions and peppers to hers.

We have used brick mozza, marble and cheddar on pizzas before (Kraft, Cracker Barrel, non-name). They work well. But there is something about ball mozzarella; it's mild and stringy and just tastes good. I won’t go back.

If you put the ingredients in the breadmaker, it might work (I take no responsibility for broken or messy breadmakers). Doing it by hand is really easy. Give it a whirl. Or invite yourself over one night and we’ll do it together. We’ll probably need another pizza stone though…

Deborah said...

We can have a BYOPS party!