Monday, June 13, 2011

For the Love of Pizza

I am not from an Italian family. My father's side is German and my mother's Scotch-Irish. But for as long as I can remember, we have all had a love affair with pizza. Now, I'm not talking about delivery (or Digorno), but made from scratch dough, add your garden veggies pizza. My mom was never much into baking or crafts, but from a young age my grandmother took it upon herself to instill in my sisters and I (and my cousins) all things homey. This included making pizza dough from scratch. It was one of the very first things I learned to make. I can remember standing on a chair pulled up to her counter, wearing a homemade apron and as much flour as the counter, helping her add ingredients and knead the dough. Since then I've grown up and gotten married and had a kid of my own, but I still love making pizza. This is a dinner, though, that has to be planned. No thirty minutes or less here. You have to allow time for the dough to rise. It's worth it in the end though. This weekend we had some friends and their kids over, and since I don't know any kids who don't like pizza, I thought this would be a nice treat
Ingredients: (this makes enough dough for two 12inch pizzas)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/ 45 degrees C)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and the brown sugar in the warm water and let sit for ten minutes. In should smell a bit like beer

stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution and mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Turn the dough out into a clean and well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky.

place the dough into a clean and well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth.

Let the dough rise until double; this should take about an hour. Punch down the dough and form into a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out
Use a rolling pin to roll out your dough, and arrange on pizza pan. Make your crust as thick as you like it!

Now top with all your favorite goodies! Sauce! Cheese! Veggies! Meat! Have fun! (I normally like lots of different stuff, but had some particular eaters that night, so our pizza has tomatoes and green peppers with extra sauce and cheese)

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