Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Best Pizza is Made At Home

The last few months I've been mastering the wonderful pizza dough recipes my mom always made. Which was a huge family favorite. It also won the hearts of every guest she served it to as well. I'll never forget when the missionaries ate at least 5 whole pizza's each. It's obvious they ate as much as they could before reverting back to their normal Ramen noodle and Mac & Cheese diet. Anyhow, after posting on Facebook how thrilled I am that I can actually make the pizza just as good as my mom's. I had some requests for the recipe. So I posted it here since this glorious pizza cookbook is becoming rare and getting harder to find. I'm still stoked my mom found and gave me my very own copy as a Christmas gift. It's called "The Best Pizza is Made at Home" (revised version) by Donna Rathmell German. Here are a couple of my favorites.

Lemon Pepper Thin Crust

1 tsp. active dry yeast
2 cups bread flour (you can do half white and half wheat if you want or whole wheat pastry flour)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 to 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1 tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 tbs. lemon juice

Garlic Herb Thin Crust

1 tsp. active dry yeast
2 cups bread flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
2 cloves minced or pressed garlic
1 tbs. olive oil
2/3 cup lukewarm water

Choose one of the recipes above or do one of each. In seperate bowls of course. And follow the directions below. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and bake each pizza and bake 8-10 minutes. Check on it around 6 minutes so it doesn't overbake. If you're feeding more than 3 people, double the recipe. (One recipe makes two medium sized pizza's.)

Place 1/4 to 1/3 of the warm water in a large bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar and the active dry yeast into water. Stir until dissolved and let sit in a warm, draft-free location for 5 minutes. Add remaining water and olive oil and stir well. Add all remaining ingredients and stir together until you can no longer work the dough with a spoon. Remove the dough onto a lightly floured counter. Pat the dough into a ball and flatten it slightly. Using the heels of your hands, push the dough away from you with a rolling motion. Rotate the dough one quarter each time you repeat this process. Copntinue kneading for 5-10 minutes. Place the dough in a large greased bowl and cover it with a clean towel. Place it in a warm, draft-free location (such as an oven/microwave) and let it rise for 30-40 min.

Roll dough on floured surface. Spray the pizza pan with olive oil or dusting it with cornmeal to prevent sticking.(Baking stones work phenomenol for this dough!) Transfer flattened dough to baking stone. Add sauce, cheese and any toppings. I love adding artichokes, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, cilatro, spinach, fresh chopped basil and pretty much any vegetable. And my motto of course, there's never too much cheese. I even make BBQ Chicken Pizzas! Have fun creating your own gourmet pizza!

Allow to cool 2-3 minutes before slicing.

I love making my own breads and doughs from scratch. Especially because I know what's going into it. I always love to cook healthy for my family, just like my mom did for me. I'll be posting my bread recipe soon when I a chance. By the way, making this pizza dough is really fast and easy. Just remember most of the prep time is rising the dough. And you can even make it ahead and refrigerate it up to one week wrapped loosely in a plastic bag. (Easiest to roll out when cold.)

So what are your favorite toppings for pizza? I'd love to know!

Whole Wheat Bread recipe will be posted as soon as I get a chance! :)

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