Thursday, January 28, 2010

Homemade Pizza Night

I used to make homemade pizza on Friday nights.  Then my family got larger (they eat fast and they eat a lot), which made it hard to keep up with homemade pizza production.  After getting The Pioneer Woman Cooks, I am finally able to make homemade pizza for my family again.  The pizzas bake very quickly, so we can have several done in a shorter amount of baking time.  My kids are also older now, which makes them better at helping with the pizza assembly.

Here is her delicious crust recipe (this makes 2 generous pizza crusts):

1 1/2 c. warm water
1 t. active dry yeast
4 c. flour
1 t. salt
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

Pour the water into a med. size bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let it sit.
Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. 
With the mixer on low speed, drizzle the oil into the flour/salt.
Gently stir the water/yeast mixture and gradually add it to the mixing bowl with the flour/oil.
Mix until the dough forms a ball. 
Drizzle a little oil into a clean bowl.  Turn the ball of dough in the bowl to coat with oil.
Cover the bowl with a moist towel and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours.

To make the pizza:
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Divide the dough in half--1 piece for each pan. Lightly grease the pizza pans.
Using your hands, stretch the dough to edges of the pans, pressing with your fingers.
Layer on the toppings and bake for 8-10 minutes.

This dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 6 months.  (I haven't tried either yet. I usually double the recipe and  make 4 pizzas, in hopes of lunch leftovers. The pizzas in the picture above were made with the recipe doubled.)

We like to make chicken/bacon/ranch pizza.  We use ranch dressing in place of pizza sauce, then layer cooked chicken, crumbled bacon, and thin sliced tomatoes.  We top it with shredded co-jack cheese.
My family loves this crust--make it and enjoy!

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