Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Pizza Pizza!

Another pizza recipe??? What can I say, my family loves pizza! My husband really likes pizza and the kids are coming around to liking it. Since we were "home bound" for the ice day, we decided to make homemade pizza for lunch. We used the bread machine to mix and rise the dough- can't get much easier than that! This dough was really easy to work with and made a very good pizza! We made one pizza for the kids and one for us (spicy sauce). I baked theirs on a greased baking sheet and baked ours on a pizza stone. Both came out very good ! The one for the kids came out with a soft crust that they both loved. And ours came out with a crust that was crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside- perfect! I would say that this recipe was definitely a success since Daniel had 6 pieces!! (That is saying A LOT for my picky eater!) We will definitely be making this one again!

This recipe is a compilation of many recipes that we have tried. The fun thing about making pizza is that you can add whatever toppings you like and everyone can help! We went simple and opted for cheese pizzas this time, but there are so many options!

**This pizza has quickly become a very requested thing in our house which still amazes me- my kids LOVE it! I wanted to add a few tips from the various times I have made it so far. First, the recipe says to divide the dough into 2 and work with your hands to spread it out to desired shape. The first time I made this, I was quite sure one half was not going to spread out to a good size. So, I decided to leave it as one piece and spread it out. MISTAKE! The pizza puffed up about 2 inches high in the oven and it was a crazy mess. Initially, it will seem impossible to spread it out with your hands. But trust me- it is very easy to work with on a greased pan. I can easily get one half of the dough to a 12" pizza size or even a little larger. If it seems hard to work with, let it rest a few minutes and try again. Second: There are times that the kids want pizza and we don't so 2 pizzas is too much. While my son loves the pizza, he isn't too fond of "reheated pizza". So, the last time I tried to refrigerate half of the recipe to use another day, but it just didn't work out :-( But on another occasion, I was able to halve all of the ingredients and make just one pizza.

**If you do not have a bread machine, you can still make this! If you have a stand mixer, combine the ingredients and use the dough hook attachment to knead the dough. (If you don't have a stand mixer, you can mix the ingredients by hand and knead until smooth) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Spray an oven safe bowl with cooking spray. Put the dough in the bowl and turn it around to get the cooking spray on all sides. Cover the bowl with a towel and place in a warm area until the dough doubles. My trick for letting the dough rise is to turn your oven on to 170 degrees- once it gets to 170, turn the oven off and put the covered bowl in the oven until doubled- usually about 30-40 minutes.


1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast (I use bread machine yeast)
pizza sauce (canned or homemade)
shredded cheese
toppings of choice

Put ingredients in bread machine pan in order given above. Turn on dough cycle.

When dough is complete, remove from pan and put on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Spray a heavy pizza pan with olive oil or cooking spray. Use your hands to flatten and stretch the dough to fit the pan. If you have trouble stretching the dough, let it rest a few minutes before continuing.

Layer sauce then cheese and other toppings. You want to keep the ingredient load in check- if you put too much, it will cause the crust to be too soggy and take too long to bake. Bake in oven preheated to 450 degrees. Let cool 2-3 minutes before slicing. As much as you will want to cut right into the pizza, allowing it to rest a few minutes will keep the cheese from sliding off!


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