Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pizza from scratch

 7. Don't you just love pizza...Sicilian or Neapolitan...New York Pizza is at the top of the list.  Especially the pizza shops in Oceanside, NY, Gigantes & Villa Formia or on the streets in NYC. It is hard to find a "bad" slice of pizza in NY.   I can have pizza once a week and never get tired of it.  Pizza made from "scratch" or made at home is another of my favorites.  No, it isn't baked in a wood fired oven at 500 degrees but still has a delicious flavor.

I like to make my own pizza dough, which is very easy!  I use my bread machine to mix the dough but I have also made it by hand.  Multi-tasking is part of my life, so the bread machine can do all the work as I busy myself with other tasks.  It takes about an hour and thirty minutes for the dough, or I'll put the ingredients in the machine and leave the house for up to three hours and the dough is ready when I return home.  It usually rises and falls only to rise again. Makes for a more crispy crust.

Pizza Dough
1 cup very warm water
1 tsp salt
2 Tblsp olive oil
3 cups flour
2 tsp dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
In a bread machine, add ingredients in this order.  Set for dough, approximately 1 1/2 hours.
By hand, place warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle yeast into water.  stir gently and let rest for 5 minutes to proof the yeast.  In a large mixing bowl place flour, salt and sugar.  Blend with a fork then add the proofed yeast and oil.  Begin to mix with hand until dough forms and all flour comes away from the side of the bowl and comes away from your fingers.  Dough will be an elastic consistency.  Place dough on a floured surface and knead for about 3 min.  In mixing bowl place a small amount of oil and coat bowl.  Place dough in the bowl and turn over so dough has been lightly coated with oil.  Place plastic wrap over top of bowl and cover with a clean dish towel.  Place in a warm spot free from drafts.  Allow dough to rise till double, approx. 1 hour.  Punch dough down and allow dough to rise once more.  Once dough has doubled in size the second time you are ready to bake.  

At home, I use my Pampered Chef stone bar pan for deep dish pizza.  It bakes evenly and makes the crust crispy.   I preheat my oven to 450 degrees, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and oil the stone bar pan.  
Today, I made a meatball pizza.  My honey made a pot of meatballs and sauce last week so I saved 6 meatballs and sauce.  I spread the bottom of the dough with the cut up meatballs and sauce and then covered it with 2 cups mozzarella cheese.  Bake till cheese begins to lightly brown on top.  This was dinner!  and a plate of cut up veggies and dip.

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