Thursday, August 9, 2012

Veggie Pizza from Scratch
























If you think making homemade pizza from scratch is too hard, stop thinking that way. Homemade pizza takes about an hour, but most of that time is waiting for the dough to rise. The dough really consists of four ingredients (yeast, water, flour and oil) and the toppings are all up to you. I never thought about making my own dough until my friend and attorney partner at my law firm, Emily, taught me how to make pizza from scratch. I was amazed at how easy and delicious the result was!

Today, I am sharing my pizza dough recipe with you. The toppings are really up to you, but I used veggies and Italian cheeses.  I also used pesto as my pizza sauce, mostly because my husband is obsessed with pesto. You can go sauce-less or use a tomato-based sauce if you prefer.  All the other ingredients in the dough, like the herbs and spices, are up to you and completely optional. I like to put a lot of stuff in my dough, because why not? Make your pizza with toppings you love and sauces and herbs you enjoy.

I also was lucky enough to feature this recipe as a guest post on a blog that I enjoy, A Girl I Know. Please check out her blog!



Pizza Dough Ingredients:
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (9
  • 2-2.5 cups flour (I used all-purpose unbleached flour).
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • dash of garlic salt/powder
  • dash of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons white sugar
  • Italian herbs of choice. I used oregano & parsley

Directions:
 
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. I used instant yeast in water roughly 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I do not have a thermometer, so what I do is heat up the water and test it on the inside of my forearm. If the water feels roughly the temperature of my skin, then I put the yeast in the water. If its too hot, then I let the water cool for a minute or two and test again (and repeat if necessary). If its too cold, then I heat it up for a couple of more second in the microwave. If you do have a thermometer, then try to get the water between 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit before you put the yeast in. The yeast should look something like this when done. Yummy looking, right?


While the yeast is dissolving into the water, in a separate large bowl, combine the flour, olive oil, salt, white sugar, spices and herbs together and mix. Once the yeast mixture is creamy, add the yeast mixture into the large bowl. Hand or use utensils to mix well until a stiff dough has formed. Cover with a towel or damp paper town and let rise until doubled in volume, or about 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once the dough has doubled in size, kneed and turn the dough on a well floured surface. Carefully form and spread dough into a round or square shape, depending on how you want your pizza to look. 

Don't mind the messy counter-tops!

Once your pizza dough is formed, lay it on a pizza stone or a pan of your choice. I use a pizza pan that is circle and has circles cut out of it to make the pizza crisp. Cook your dough, with nothing on it, for about 4-5 minutes. This lets the dough get slightly cooked and to make sure the middle of the pizza will be cooked through. It should look something like this: 


Cover with your sauce of choice. Today, I used pesto on my veggie pizza. You can add whatever veggies you want as a topping. I used mushrooms, tomato slices and red onions. I also like to brush the crust with a little oil, but that is up to you. Add the cheese at the end. I used a mix of mozzarella and a local cheese, roughly 1-1.5 cups worth of shredded cheese. Cover with any more herbs you may want.

Put it in the oven and let cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on how you like your pizza cooked. I am partial to a well-cooked and crispy pizza. If you like it more gooey, then keep it around 15 minutes. Take it out and enjoy! Is there anything more satisfying then a home-made pizza? I think not.


I hope you enjoy this recipe. My husband always looks forward to pizza night. This recipe takes about an hour to make, but it is mostly waiting around. It's completely worth it, and it's completely personalizable, meaning you can add any toppings, sauces, cheeses or anything else you may want.



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