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Monday, February 1, 2010

Homemade Pizza

Take-out pizza or store bought pizza just isn´t in our vocabulary anymore.  Our family enjoys this homemade pizza and it gives everyone a chance to make their own! 

Makes 6 pizzas

For the dough
1 1/4 warm (100 to 110 degrees F) water
2 packages dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups flour, plus more for kneading (I use 2 cups of whole-wheat & 2 cups of white flour)
2 teaspoons salt

For the toppings (choose 6-8)
1 pound shredded mozzarella
Beef, pork or turkey sausage, cooked
Cherry tomatoes, quartered
Basil leaves, julienned
Chives, chopped
Pineapple chunks
Ham, chopped
Red onion, thinly sliced
Mild goat cheese, sliced
Red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and julienned
Crushed red pepper flakes

For Prep
1 jar tomato pasta/pizza sauce, warmed
Olive Oil

For the dough, combine the water, yeast, honey and olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Add 3 cups flour, then the salt, and mix.  While mixing, add 1 more cup of flour, or enough to make a soft dough.  Knead the dough on low to medium speed for about 10 minutes until smooth, sprinkling it with flour if necessary to keep it from sticking to the bowl.  When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured work surface and knead by hand a dozen times.  It should be smooth and elastic.  Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it several times to cover it lightly with oil.  Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel.  Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and roll each one into a smooth ball.  Place the balls on a baking sheet and cover them with a damp towel.  Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.  Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Roll and stretch each ball into a round 8-inch circle and place them all on baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal.  Two pizzas will fit on each 18 x 13-inch baking sheet.

Brush the dough with pasta/pizza sauce and add any toppings you wish.  Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is crisp and the toppings are cooked.

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