we love pizza

Ken and I used to buy frozen pizzas from the market and would normally split one. It seemed like the same amount we would eat from a restaurant so we were fine with it. One day though, Ken happened to look at the calories, fat, sodium, etc. The amount of sodium is out of this world! Like, one slice (which is small) was like 65% of your sodium for the DAY. We were not doing ourselves any favors.

So we tried to make our own dough and every recipe I tried looked more like flat bread than pizza dough. Until I got a great recipe that we have loved, and never looked back. The funny thing with yeast is that it is always different, pending on the weather. Baking and dough making is all about the flour. It can make or break you. After making this dough for a about 9 months now, I have been very careful when adding the dough. The recipe calls for 3 cups, but some days I only use 2 and it's perfect.

We made whole wheat dough the other night and it turned out great. The thing with whole wheat dough is that it works best when you still use regular bread flour with it. All whole wheat flour makes a 10 pound pizza, no one wants that. Here's the recipe:

Note: this is not a food blog, and I'm not a pro photographer. Grace is appreciated.

Flour, active dry yeast (this is key...), salt, olive oil, sugar

These amounts are for one pizza. The original recipe was doubled and for one pizza, but it was so thick. You can do whatever you like, this is just what we do.

1 packet of Active dry yeast and 1 cup of warm water, with a pinch of sugar. Let it double in size in a window sill or some place warm, but not hot. Finicky yeast...

When yeast is ready, mix by hand with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Then, begin with the flour. If you're doing whole wheat, add the whole wheat cup first, and then supplement with bread flour. I always start with a cup, and then gradually add till it's the perfect feel for me. This normally results in 2 to 2 1/2 cups of flour total.

Place in a separate bowl, because you're probably need the mixer to make chocolate chips cookies.

Let it double in size. (Takes about 30 to 45 minutes.) If you use rapid rise, this won't happen as well. That's why Active Dry is the way to go. For baking nerds like myself, I found this chart showing the difference.

The next step is more of a tip. I roll out the dough, place it on my pizza sheet and I paint olive oil all over it. Then I sprinkle some garlic powder. I bake the dough for 5-7 minutes at 425 degrees. This preps the dough well for the toppings.

Toppings we dig:

I buy the whole milk mozzarella, not the stuff in the bag that's already shredded. Working at two pizza places in high school made me a pizza cheese snob. Gotta be whole milk, or fresh mozzarella. I slice the cheese and place it all over the pizza after adding another base of olive oil. Then I slice some cherry tomatoes and put drops of marinara sauce in random spots, but not all over. I bake that for around 10 minutes, then I add some big ole basil leaves all over and cook for about 5 more minutes. Since it's really hot, the basil looks burnt but it isn't. Yummy in my tummy.

If you try it, let me know. I have made CPK's BBQ chicken pizza before with the same dough and it was bomb diggity. Little cilantro, red onions, pineapple, chicken and BBQ sauce; you're good to go. I don't normally have those ingredients on hand, so it's a rare happening in our house.

In my mom fantasies, I picture Avery having some friends over for a sleep over and we make personal pizzas with this dough and then all make different ones and they go, "Wow, Avery's mom, this is the best pizza ever!" I reply, "Oh thanks sweet children."


Ali said...

hahaha i love your future dreams of a pizza party ;) i love making pizzas at home too. the kids and i always have a ton of fun making them together. but, i usually cheat and buy dough from whole foods. i need to make my own!

Shannon said...

Love the mom fantasy!

CPK's BBQ chicken pizza is our fave!!!!! Although I do add jalapenos also.

I've never found a pizza dough recipe that I love, so I can't wait to try this. I care more about counting calories than flavor, so I will use part-skim mozzarella... I know, so un-foodie of me!

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