Friday, August 29, 2008

Homemade Pan Pizza

The great thing about homemade pizza is you can easily satisfy your picky eaters. My daughter had two friends over who are the typical "cheese pizza only kids." My daughter, on the other hand, loves pepperoni. And I like fresh basil baked on top of my pizza. We were all happy!
The crust is a yeast crust, it rises for about 40 minutes.

Pan Pizza Crust
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil - and more olive oil to generously brush the pan
Cooking oil spray

I dissolve the yeast in the warm water in the bowl of my KitchenAid artisan stand mixer. Then, I add the salt and olive oil, and put the mixer with the dough hook on speed 2 for a few seconds, then speed 3. You may need to add a bit more flour, you'll be able to tell because the dough will make a little "tornado" with the bottom end just sticking to the mixer bowl - it's ready. Spray another bowl - big enough for the dough to rise - with the cooking oil spray. Scoop the dough into the bowl and cover with a cloth. Let it rise for about 40 minutes. Brush your chosen pizza pan with olive oil and be generous. If you want, you can sprinkle cornstarch on top of the oil, but that just means more mess when eating the pizza. Punch the dough down, and then stretch it and plop it into the pan. Stretch it to the corners of the pan. If it breaks, just patch it up, it's very forgiving. If it is too elastic and doesn't want to stay put - let it rest for five minutes and stretch again, that usually works. Spread with pizza sauce (I like the kind that comes in the squeeze bottle) and then top with whatever makes your socks go up and down. I cook this pizza on the middle rack of my oven at 425 degrees. It's done when you see the edges turn golden brown, or when the cheese gets bubbly and brown. Enjoy!

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