Monday, August 4, 2014

Simple Homemade Pizza Dough

After months and months of making this recipe almost weekly, I'm finally posting it!  My family looks forward to our Friday Night Homemade Pizza and Family Movie nights.  It's become a tradition in our house that I hope to continue for a long time...and I hope my kids will look back on our Friday nights together fondly.  My 2 year old son comes with me on our grocery shopping trips on Wednesdays, and he never lets me forget cheese for homemade pizza!  The best part about this recipe is that it makes enough for 2 pizzas, so you can make the kids' favorite pizza and one for the grown ups too!

The recipe was adapted from a recipe that came in my bread machine's recipe booklet (I have the Panasonic SD-YD250 bread machine).  I make my pizza dough in the bread machine, but you can adapt this recipe to make it in a stand mixer with a dough hook...or you can just knead it by hand.

homemade pizzas
Homemade Pizzas

Here's how I make my pizza dough:

Simple Homemade Pizza Dough (makes 2 large pizzas)

Ingredients
3 3/8 cups bread flour
1 3/4 teaspoons pure cane sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon butter
11 3/4 fl oz warm water (not hot, or it will kill the yeast)
Pizza Toppings (pizza sauce, olive oil, 1 lb of mozzarella cheese, and/or any other toppings you like!)

1. Add all ingredients to the bread machine according to the machine manufacturer instructions and run the "pizza" mode for pizza dough.  OR (if you're not using a bread machine) knead the dough for 10-15 minutes, allow to rise for 10-15 minutes, knead for another 10 minutes, and allow to rise for another 10 minutes.

2. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until it springs back when touched.

3. Separate the dough into 2 large balls.  Place on 2 lightly oiled (I use organic olive oil cooking spray) pizza pans in a warm area and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

4. Gently toss/stretch each dough ball into a flat circle that fits on the pizza pan.  Place the circles on the pizza pans and gently prick with a fork.  Let rest for 15 minutes.

5. Top your pizzas however you choose!  I usually brush one pizza with about 3 tablespoons of organic pizza sauce and the other with about 1 tablespoon of organic olive oil.   Then, I sprinkle each pizza with about 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese (sometimes I use more cheese and maybe a mixture of cheeses, if I'm getting crazy).  The kids pizza is usually just cheese and olive oil in our house.  But in addition to pizza sauce and cheese, the pizza for grown ups sometimes has crumbled browned Italian sausage, peppers, onions, olives, artichoke hearts, or just whatever sounds good that week!

6. Bake the pizzas in a preheated oven at 340 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  I remove my pizzas after 15 minutes, brush the crusts with 1 tablespoon of melted butter mixed with a heavy sprinkle of garlic powder, and put them back in the oven for another 5 minutes.  I allow the pizzas to cool for 2-3 minutes before slicing.

dough balls
dough balls resting

dough circles
shaping dough into circles on pizza pans

ready for oven
ready to go in the oven!

This pizza recipe is totally worth the effort (and with the bread machine doing most of the work, it's not really that much effort!).  Have you ever looked at the ingredients of pizza from a delivery place?  Or frozen pizza?  Or even store-bought pizza dough?  I won't say I never eat them, but it's worth it to make this special homemade pizza for my family.  The simple ingredients make me feel good about serving it on a weekly basis.  And the kids love it better than any other pizza they've tried!