Pizza should be its own level on the food pyramid. There is nothing wrong with pizza. In fact, everything is right about it. From the crunchy crust, to the hearty toppings of your choosing, to the ooey gooey bubbly cheesy goodness that tops it all off- nothing could go wrong. It can be enjoyed hot, or cold, and goes will with a Diet Coke, a Miller Lite, or a glass of Malbec. They can be vegetarian, or topped with ten different kinds of meat. Red sauce, pesto, garlic or just olive oil. The possibilities are endless.
Best of all, it’s relatively easy to make your own dough at home. The best part of making your own dough, is adding as much cheese to it as humanly possible, and no high school kid at Papa John’s can judge me.
I was a little daunted by using yeast, but since I proofed it, all came out ok. I’m not sure that I let the dough proof properly, as it didn’t rise as much as I thought that it would. At the end of the day, the dough stretched out just fine, and there was plenty of space for everything that I wanted to get on it. Here, I used tomato sauce, thinly sliced tomatoes, caramelized onions, and a couple different kinds of cheeses. I cooked my pizza in a 12″ x 17″ jelly roll pan, as I don’t have a pizza stone, and I think that it turned our just fine. But what will make the pizza for you? Making sure that you add in your own favorite toppings.
1 ounce yeast
1 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 500 degree.
Place the yeast in a small bowl, and add in the 1/4 cup of warm water and the syrup. Stir these ingredients together and leave them for 5 minutes to dissolve.
Put the flour and salt in a mixer fitted with a dough hook, and combine. Then, pour in the yeast mixture, the remaining warm water and the olive oil at the same time.
Spin the dough mixture on low until the flour and water come together and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Put the ball of dough in a large bowl and drizzle it wil some olive oil to keep a skin from forming while it proofs. Cover the bowl with a towel and leave it in a warm place for 30 minutes to let the dough rise. When the dough has proofed it will double in size and look spongy.
When the dough has proofed, roll it out onto to a floured surface. When it’s stretched out, press the dough into an oiled 12″ x 17″ jelly roll pan.
Cover the dough with a generous splash of olive oil and scatter it with your desired toppings. Drizzle again with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
After 15 minutes, the pizza should be finished; the cheese should be bubbly and the dough should have a slight crunch.