I imagine that when they make pizza pie, in the old country, the dough is as fresh as the pasta, the bread, and the air. Now that's pizza! (as my daughter says when I make this) I snapped a lot of photos when we made homemade pizzas last week. The recipe for the pizza dough could not be easier! Just give yourself an hour-and-a-half ahead of time for when you want your rustic country pizza to come out of the oven and get gobbled up.
I have also made many batches of the pizza dough for my daughter's sleepovers. We set up bowls and bowls of toppings, and each girl makes her own pizza. Now that's a real pizza party!
Old Country Pizza Dough
3 cups all-purpose flour
2-1/4-ounce packets of quick-rise yeast
Combine flour, yeast, and sugar in a mixing bowl.
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup lukewarm water
Mix salt, oil and water with the flour mixture. Knead (by hand or with mixer dough hook) for approximately three minutes, until dough feels smooth, or starts to pull away from sides of mixing bowl and easily forms into a ball. Place the smooth dough ball in a large bowl, coated with olive oil (wipe dough around it) and let it rise until doubled in size; approximately one hour.
Punch dough down. For a large, 16-inch pizza, roll out the entire dough ball. For two medium-size pizzas, cut the dough in half. Wrap one dough ball and set aside. Let the dough you are working with rest for a few minutes, and roll it out. Place it in your prepared pizza pan (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) and form the crust, pinching around the edges. Spread on pizza sauce to your taste.
Sprinkle on shredded mozzarella cheese, and/or cheeses of your choice. This time we made one four-cheese pizza, and one loaded with pepperoni. We've also made delicious veggie pizzas with mushroom, onion, and green pepper.
Place on the bottom rack of a cold oven, and bake at 500 degrees F for approximately 17 to 20 minutes--this will depend on your oven and the toppings. The crust should be golden brown--but not overly brown.
|My daughter's favorite: 4-cheese!|
|Princess Minnie - supervising my seedlings.|
I've got several cherry tomato plants I've started from seed. My favorite is Burpee's Sweet 100--those little tomatoes are the candy of the garden...so yummy eaten warm right off the vine, you almost feel like you're somewhere in Italy. I'm picturing a homemade pizza covered with them! That will be sometime in July. Hopefully, this is our last cold day in March. I'm ready to send all the coats to the cleaners and get out my sandals!
Good gardening...good eating!