Tuesday, November 29, 2011

perfect pizza crust

Pssst... I have a secret to share. Truthfully, I have been keeping this information to myself for several months and it's time I let it out. I found a recipe for the perfect pizza crust. A while back, I had my heart set on finding such a recipe, and luckily the first one I tried was a keeper.

It's thin, it's crispy, and... healthy! Well, healthier than store-bought dough and take-out! With a few simple ingredients, you, too, will be on your way to making gourmet pizza that will impress friends and family! You can thank me later.

Ingredients for 2 pizzas (adapted from SparkPeople.com)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (if you don't like wheat, just use all-purpose)
1.5 tsp (or 1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1/2 - 1 tbsp olive oil
Cornmeal for sprinkling (optional. I didn't use it)
1 tbsp each garlic powder, italian seasoning, onion powder, or whatever spices you want (to taste)
Pinch of sugar

1. Mix a pinch of sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Wait for 10 minutes or until it gets all foamy.

2. Pour into a large bowl and add flour, salt, seasonings, and olive oil. Combine. Let me just say a good dose of garlic salt or powder is an excellent addition and adds tons of flavor!

3. Knead dough for 6-8 minutes until you have a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (add a bit more flour if it's too sticky.)

4. Cover and let dough rest for 20-30 minutes.

5. Lightly grease 2 12-inch pizza pans (or cookie sheets. I made rectangle pizzas.) Sprinkle the pans with cornmeal if you choose. I skip this step.

6. Divide the dough in half. Place each half on a pizza pan and pat it with your fingers until it stretches over the whole pan.

7. Try to make it a little thicker around the edges.

8. If desired, pre-bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. This gets the crust extra crispy! You can skip this step and go ahead and add toppings if you want.

9. Spread pizza sauce on crust and add toppings of your choice.

10. Bake at 425 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until bubbly and hot. Bake 10-15 minutes if you did not pre-bake the crust (step 8).

[half tomato & basil, half pepperoni]

*If you don't want to use all the dough, you can freeze it. Just form the extra dough into a ball, rub a little bit of olive oil over it, and place it in a freezer bag. When you want to make a pizza, take the dough out of the freezer and allow to thaw a few hours before using. One pizza is definitely enough to split between 2 people! [Picture shown is half of dough.]

Bon appetit! xo.

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