Pizza is also extremely easy to make, and thank God too, because ever since we got our pizza stone, my hubby has been requesting it every weekend! I may have to cut him off for a few weeks... The beautiful thing about pizza though (aside from it's taste, smell, texture, and, well, everything else), is that you can be as creative as you want to be! In the mood for something simple? Then just use tomato sauce and cheese as your toppings. In the mood for something more elaborate? Then try different meats and veggies as your toppings. The opportunities are endless when it comes to pizza!
Pizza Three Ways!
For the Dough (enough for 2 large or 3 small pizzas):
-3 1/2 to 4 cups flour (Please Note: I use whole wheat bread flour, but in general, if you use all-purpose flour versus bread flour, just know that the texture and taste will be different.)
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 teaspoon sugar
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 packet rapid rise yeast
-1 1/2 cups warm water
Start with 3 cups of your flour, and add to a bowl with the salt. Set aside.
In another small bowl, pour in the olive oil, sugar, and yeast, and then pour in the water. Stir just a couple of times to mix in the sugar and yeast, but then let it stand for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid becomes frothy and foams from the yeast.
Once the liquid foams a little, pour it into the flour and mix. At this point, I usually just take off my rings and dig in with my hands. Slowly add more flour a little at a time if needed.
Turn the dough out on a floured surface and continue kneading for about 5-10 minutes, or until the dough because smooth. Lightly grease a bowl and place the dough in the greased bowl. Cover with a dry towel and let sit in a warm, dry, place for an hour. I sometimes put the bowl under the oven light if I am in a rush!
This is the dough prior to be kneaded...
...And after being kneaded
After an hour, the dough should have risen and doubled in size. Turn the dough out on a clean and lightly floured surface. Literally punch down the dough and knead again for a minute. Divide the dough in half (if making 2 pizzas) or in thirds (if making 3 smaller pizzas) and place the dough halves in separate greased bowls. Cover the bowls again with a towel and let rise for about another 45 minutes to an hour.
Once the dough has risen again, you can plastic wrap it and refrigerate it for later use, or roll it out to use right away.
If using right away, make sure to preheat your oven to 475 degrees F, and let the pizza stone sit in the oven while it is preheating. If you do not have a pizza stone, you can also use a regular baking pan.
Pizza Margherita Topping:
-1 recipe of your favorite tomato sauce
-About a 1/2 cup of Mozzarella cheese, sliced
Roll out your pizza dough to about 12 to 13 inches. Lightly drizzle just a little olive oil on the dough and spoon some of your tomato sauce onto the dough, making sure to leave about a 1 inch border for the crust. Once the sauce has been spread out on the dough, top with slices of mozzarella cheese and some fresh basil (use as much or as little as you like).
Slide onto your pizza stone in the oven and bake for about 10-12 minutes. In order to slide the pizza in, I use parchment paper and leave it underneath the pizza so it can be easily moved in and out of the oven.
-1 cup ricotta cheese
-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Basil and oregano to taste
-Fresh parsley for sprinkling on top
In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and a little basil and oregano. Set aside.
On your rolled out pizza dough, lightly drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle with garlic. Spoon out the ricotta cheese mixture onto the dough, leaving about a 1 inch border for the crust. Evenly spread out the mixture and then top with the shredded mozzarella. Finish the topping off by sprinkling some fresh parsley on top.
Slide onto your pizza stone and bake for 10-12 minutes. In order to slide the pizza in, I use parchment paper and leave it underneath the pizza so it can be easily moved in and out of the oven.
Caramelized Onion & Sausage Pizza
Caramelized Onion and Sausage Pizza Topping:
-1 pound ground sausage
-1 16oz package of mushrooms (optional - my hubs is obsessed with mushrooms so I always use them)
-2 onions, peeled and sliced
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 tablespoon butter
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Gorgonzola cheese for sprinkling
-Freshly chopped basil for sprinkling
Melt the butter and olive oil in a skillet and add the onions. Cook the onions until they begin to caramelize (turn brown and golden) - about 20 minutes. Once the onions are done, add in the sausage, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking for a few more minutes until the sausage has cooked.
Remove the meat mixture from the stove and spook out evenly onto a prepared pizza dough. Make sure to leave about a 1 inch border for the crust. Sprinkle the Gorgonzola cheese and basil on top.
Slide your pizza into the oven on the pizza stone and bake for 10-12 minutes. In order to slide the pizza in, I use parchment paper and leave it underneath the pizza so it can be easily moved in and out of the oven.
I hope you enjoy these three pizzas and venture out to create some of your own delicious concoctions!
For other delicious pizza recipes, check out the links below:
Jeanette's Healthy Living:Gluten-Free Grain-Free Mini Pizza Faces
Feed Me Phoebe:Deep-Dish Polenta Pizza With Onions and Pesto
Cooking With Elise:Chicago-Style Deep-Dish Pizza
Haute Apple Pie:Honey, Gouda and Goat Cheese Pizza
What's Gaby Cooking:Loaded Veggie and Prosciutto Pizza
Sweet Life Bake:Mexican Pizza - Tlayuda con Chorizo y Frijoles
Devour: Unexpected but Delicious Pizza Toppings
Virtually Homemade:Mashed Potato Bacon Pizza
The Cultural Dish:Pizza, Pizza, Pizza! Three Delicious Variations
Thursday Night Dinner:Beet and Goat Cheese Pizza
The Heritage Cook:Gluten-Free Pizza Focaccia
FN Dish:As Quick as Delivery Pizza Recipes