Pizza Party

REB and I were waffling between making stir fry or pizza for dinner. Since there was football on TV, I think the obvious choice was pizza. However, my thoughtful sweetie said it might be fun to make our own dough. So we did, and it was amazing.

I can’t take any credit for this recipe. We used Ina Garten’s recipe for pizza dough. I mean, she can be really annoying and she says smarmy, cheesy things, but she has some OK recipes. If you don’t know who she is, she’s the Barefoot Contessa lady on Food Network.

We just used one of her pizza recipes for the dough. It can be found here. We didn’t make California grilled pizzas, but the dough recipe was outta sight! Now, we have a stand mixer so we used that (as the recipe will note to use). However, if you don’t own one, I imagine using a hand-mixer with dough hooks would work just the same. Or use your best tools: your hands.

Here’s what you’ll need (if you don’t want to visit the link):
• 1 1/4 cup warm water
•2 packages dry yeast (we used Red Star brand dry active yeast)
•1 tablespoon honey
•3 tablespoons olive oil
•4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
•2 teaspoons salt

Add the warm water, olive oil, honey and yeast to your mixer bowl

On low speed, mix the ingredients to combine

With the mixer still on low speed, slowly add 3 of the cups of all-purpose flour and the salt. Add the flour slowly so it combines slowly and you’ll see it start to look like dough!

Reserve the last cup of flour to sprinkle little by little to help the dough become smooth and not so sticky. You may not end up using the entire cup (we didn’t…I don’t think)

Once the dough is smooth in the mixer, stop it and take it out. Place it on a lightly floured cutting board or counter and continue to knead it until it’s smooth.

Oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl. Roll the dough around so it gets lightly covered with the oil

Cover with a dry towel and let it sit for 30 minutes so it can rise

After 30 minutes, uncover and you’ll see that the dough has risen! Take it out of the bowl and place on a cutting board.

Cut the dough into six pieces (we cut it in half and then cut each half into thirds) and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Don’t they look like cute little pillows of nomminess? Cover the cookie sheet with a damp towel and let it sit for 10 minutes

While the dough sits under the damp towel, prepare your toppings

We used some roasted red pepper cut into thin strips, sliced black olives, Roma tomatoes and fresh basil

I love, love, love the way fresh basil smells. Mmmm! So fresh and so fragrant!

Preheat your oven to 500ºF (Yowsa! That’s hot!)

When the dough is done sitting, take a piece and pull and stretch into a 6-to-8-inch round

First ya sauce it (I lightly brushed the dough with olive oil before spreading the sauce)

Then ya cheese it

Then ya top it

Then ya bake it for 10 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is fully melted

REB let out his non-existent Italian and decided to be a pro

(….it worked…)

His was quite happy to have been created – smiiiile!

Voila! This was mine. A simple Caprese with Roma tomatoes, cheese, fresh basil. It was delicious!

His was an “everything veggie” with the black olives, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, cheese and basil.

What we learned after making mine was that the basil almost got burnt. It didn’t taste bad whatsoever, but it was a little darker than I wanted. For his pizza, we put the basil on 5 minutes into baking so it wouldn’t crisp as much or as fast. Worked like a charm!

The third one we made was sliced and put into the fridge for leftovers. We only used half the dough pieces. The rest were put into the freezer to be used at another time!

Like I said, I can’t take any credit for this dough. It turned out so well and I can’t ever imagine ordering pizza again. It was so simple to make and so delicious to eat.

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