Yes, I know… there are ten thousand of them out there, and now there are ten thousand and one!!! Ha!!! Yes I do humor myself sometimes. Anyway…. I am not a huge pizza eater. It’s not the Friday tradition as it seems to be in so many households. I guess we are just strange that way. However, when I do get a craving for some pizza, and I have the time, I have two recipes that I turn to, this one and one I have for St. Louis style which is crispy and delicious. The latter is actually a no yeast dough, and pretty quick to make. Today I had the time and I also had some fresh mozzarella and pepperoni (no, not that stuff you get in a bag, but that does work… just my snotty foodie comment) that needed to be used. For the adult pizza I’ll also put slices of tomato from my garden. If I’m going to make pizza down from scratch then I make extra to throw in the freezer. It really is nice to be able to pull out some dough and 20 minutes later be ready to roll it out. I have seen it at the grocery stores in bags, but I’ve never actually bought any. If you don’t have a pizza stone, don’t freak or run out and get one (unless you really want to). You can improvise and use a baking sheet. If you are going the baking sheet route, don’t do the “preheat in a 450 degree oven” step…
Recipe: 1 1/4 c. warm water, about 110 degrees (I go a little warmer since I put it in the cold mixer bowl and don’t want it get too cold)
2 1/4 tsp. yeast or 1 packet
1 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1 c. whole wheat flour
2-3 c. all purpose flour (the amount you need will vary depending on different conditions, I usually end up using 2 1/2 c.)
Put warm water in the bowl of a mixer, add honey and let dissolve. Add the yeast, mix it in, and let sit 10 minutes. Make sure your yeast has been activated and doing its yeasty thing. If for some reason the water was too cold or too hot you will need to start over. After the yeast has had time to grow, add the olive oil. Next, add the salt and flour, starting with the whole wheat first. Add the white flour slowly so you can make sure you stop when you have added enough.
The dough will have a nice smooth look to it and pull away from the bowl without leaving sticky stuff. It will still have a little bit of a sticky feeling, but not much. Let the mixer run for another 10 minutes. While you are waiting for the dough to finish kneading, put some olive oil (about a tablespoon or so) in a clean bowl. You will put your dough in this, coating it with the olive oil on all sides, but not mixing it into the dough.
Let it rest covered in a warm spot for 45-50 minutes, or until it has doubled in size. Once it has doubled, knead it 5 or 6 times and let rise again for about 30 minutes. Oven should be at 400F, whether that means reducing the heat from heating your stone, or preheating your oven. Next you are ready to roll it out and top it with whatever you want. Before putting it on my baking stone (or whatever you are using) I do sprinkle a little corn meal on the surface. This is purely optional. I don’t like to top my pizzas with too many toppings, I find it just makes them goopy and gloppy, but that could just me. Cook until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted.
**I use a pizza stone when I make my pizza. I like to heat my stone before baking my pizza by heating the oven to 450F and putting the stone in for 30 minutes. If you are using a baking sheet, SKIP THIS STEP!!! I suppose you could heat it a bit, but I wouldn’t get all cray cray and heat the thing for 30 minutes. Some of the thinner baking sheets will buckle, bend and do all kinds of ridiculousness in there…