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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Do it yourself pizza crust

Each week, my husband and I would stop at our local take and bake shop and pick up a pizza. I've always been intimidated by making pizza so I have always leave left it to the expert.

For Christmas, I asked for the The Pioneer Woman Cookbook and have been trying the recipes over the past year. I was so intrigued by her potato leek pizza that I decided to go all out and make the crust recipe in the book as I usually buy a box mix or pre-made crust. The verdict ...  I will never buy a box of crust or pre-made crust again.

I'm happy to say, we've been making a lot of veggie pizzas based on our weekly CSA. One week it was fennel and caramelized onions. Another week it was caprese pizza and tonight we had cheese pizza topped with arugula micro greens dressed in a lemon vinaigrette (something I made up). My husband and I were fighting over the last piece.


Basic Pizza Crust by Pioneer Woman 
makes 2 pizzas (I half the recipe and only make one)

1 teaspoon Instant Or Active Dry Yeast
1-½ cup Warm Water
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
⅓ cups Olive Oil

Preparation Instructions
Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water. Let stand for a few minutes.

In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined, and the dough comes together in a sticky mass.

Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside for 1 to 2 hours, or store in the fridge until you need it.

Note: it’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better.

When you are ready to make the pizza, grab HALF the pizza dough (recipe makes 2 crusts) and squeeze the dough toward the bottom to form a nice, tight, pulled ball. You can roll out the pizza with a rolling pin if you’d like, but sometimes it’s just as easy to throw it around and pull and stretch till it feels right. And when the crust is nice and thin, lay it on an oiled baking sheet or pizza pan. Drizzle a little olive oil on the dough and spread it with your fingers. Very lightly sprinkle some salt on the crust.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Top your crust with your toppings of choice. Then bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and toppings are bubbly.

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