Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pizza...plain and simple

 Often the simplest foods are the best foods. This couldn't be more true of pizza. It often does take much less effort and definitely less cost to make a pizza from scratch than to buy or order one. And it's always healthier when you know what goes into your food. This time around, I made a whole wheat flour pizza dough (because that's all I had in my cupboard) with fresh ingredients.

For the dough, here's a good recipe which makes quite a bit of dough:
6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used a slightly less amount of whole wheat flour)
3 cups warm water (77° to 81°F)
4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 tsp salt

Let the yeast dissolve in the warm water for about 5 minutes.

Combine the flour and salt and dump the mixture onto a flat surface. Make a depression in the middle, pour the yeast and water into it, and combine the dry and wet ingredients until the dough starts to come together. Keep working the dough with the palms of your hands for 7 to 8 minutes, and then let it rest at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until it doubles in size. You can cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and leave it somewhere warm. Once risen, punch it down, squeezing out all the air bubbles. Cut the dough into four equal pieces and shape them into balls. Place them in the fridge for another 2 hours.

You can cut the rising time but your dough will make a thinner crust for your pizza. Once its ready, shape out your pizza crust with your hands and put it on a pizza stone or pan. Then top with whatever ingredients you like.

I used some olive oil, tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese. Bake the pizza at 400 C for about 20 minutes or until the crust is browned and firm, and the toppings are baked through. Plain and simple. And Delicious!


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