Homemade pizza is the best pizza
Now, it’s not like we can’t get a really good pizza around here. But sometimes, you’re just in the mood for something other than the usual pepperoni and cheese. We like to make our own pizza every now and then. Most of the time, I buy fresh dough from the local grocery store, but every once in a while I like to make my own dough.
- 1 package active dry yeast, (2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading and dredging
- 3/4 cup warm water, (105 to 115 degrees F)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- Stir together yeast, 1 tablespoon flour and ¼ cup warm water in a measuring cup and let stand until surface appears creamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t appear creamy, discard and start again with new yeast.)
- Stir together 1 ¼ cups flour and alt in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, oil and remaining ½ cup warm water and stir until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour (about ½ cup) so dough comes away from side of bowl.
- Knead dough on a dry surface with lightly floured hands until smooth, soft and elastic, about 8 minutes. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 ¼ hours.
Occasionally, I like to use pesto in place of the traditional tomato sauce. This is really good for those of us with sensitive tummies that can’t have a lot of tomatoes. Mix basil, parmesean cheese and olive oil (add pine nuts if you wish). Thinly spread the pesto over the dough, then top with fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced olives, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and crumbled feta cheese. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes.
This is a reasonable facsimile of a pizza Hollie enjoys eating at Via Napoli in the Italy Pavilion at Disney’s EPCOT theme park. After the dough is formed, brush a thin layer of extra-virgin olive oil over the entire surface. Evenly spoon about a tablespoon of minced garlic over the dough, then sprinkle dried basil and oregano. Top the pizza with fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded Fontina cheese, shredded Asiago cheese, and grated Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle parsley flakes over the surface for a little color. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes.