Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bread isn't just for Loaves

Everything is better made from scratch - and homemade pizza is no exception! I mean - think about it - where can you have whatever toppings you want, and as many as you want, without being charged extra? At home!

My favorite... Caprese pizza! 

Pizza dough is simple and easy - you can even make it the night before and let it rise slowly in the fridge!

For whole wheat pizza dough you need: 

2 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp yeast
2 1/2 Tbs sugar (or another sweetener)
1 Tbs salt
6 cups flour (I did half white and half whole wheat)
Olive oil to brush the crust

I read about a different way to mix dough from Bread Matters, so I decided to give it a go. Rather than adding a cup or so of flour at a time, I measured out all the flour (with salt) and put that in one bowl. Then I mixed the water, yeast and sugar in another.

After the yeast and sugar are dissolved in the water, pour it over the flour and dig in with your hands! It worked very well!!! I think I am going to continue using this method.
As usual, set it in a warm place to rise for about an hour.

Once it has risen, cut the dough into 2 or 3 chunks. Two if you desire a thicker crust, 3 for a thinner crust (or more pizzas!)

Roll the chunks into a ball, then form your pizza! I typically use a combination of roller pin (lightly floured) and tossing.

Once you have formed your pie - place it on an oiled pizza pan. Then - top to your hearts desire!

Another you can do at home that you can't necessarily control at restaurants is the ingredients - it is natural or Organic? Fresh or frozen? While organic is not necessarily to the perfect solution to any health or environmental concerns relating to food, it does tell you a lot about what the food isn't - and organic food isn't genetically modified or processed using synthetic chemicals or added artificial components. Typically, we use all organic ingredients. If not organic, I painstakingly read the labels and every ingredient and purchase only if I know what all the ingredients are (and can pronounce them!). 

We did a variation on a BBQ chicken pizza - with Annie's Organic BBQ Sauce, red onions, green peppers, turkey bacon, and cheese! Topping the pizza is the most fun - my husband really gets into this part. (I need to take pictures of us in addition to the food!!)

Brush the crust with Olive Oil, then bake for 10-15 minutes at 400 F. (For thinner, crispier crusts, put it at 450-500 F for 8-10 minutes, but keep an eye on it!) 

 The Caprese pizza - spread a garlic Alfredo sauce over the dough (or some olive oil, or nothing at all!), then topped with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.

After the pizza is done baking, I add on the fresh basil. Otherwise - the basil just gets too crispy.

Question of the week: What are your favorite pizza toppings? 


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love your blog! This was an awesome post with great pictures! My favorite kind of pizza would also be Caprese.

Lydia said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Your pizzas look and sound delicious, Jenn! I also enjoy making home-made pizza, but I'll be honest: I haven't made the dough myself before. (I buy fresh pizza-dough from Trader Joe's or John makes it.) After reading your post, I may try making my own next time. yum!

Irka said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I am definitely going to try this recepie. My family loves homemade pizza but the crust never turns out right. So i am doing this and then i will let you know how it turned out.

You are rocking this blog!

Jenn said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Awesome, I can't wait to hear about it Irina!