Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pizza Night

(cross posted at Ninja Poodles!)

construction begins

I haven't gotten to the stage where this is all fun and easy like everyone says it's supposed to be, but maybe if we keep trying, huh? Maybe individual pizzas would be better, like Mir does. It's a heck of a mess to clean up, but maybe if I could get everyone involved in that, just like with making it, it would help? Yeah, I'm a genius. Someone let me know how that works, m'kay?

Pizza Night has potential, though. And I do REALLY love this recipe for pizza crust, adapted from the recipe that comes with Ricki Carroll's 30-Minute Mozzarella Kit, which I've discussed here already. This is one of those activities that has a very high "kid-friendly" rating, if you're keeping score.

Quick & Easy Pizza Dough (makes one 14" thick crust or two 12" thin crusts...or, you know, several that are smaller than that--whatever)

3-3.5 cups all purpose flour (I used white whole wheat)
1 pkg. or 1 Tbsp. rapid-rising yeast
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup very warm--not hot--whey (you could also use buttermilk, or even regular milk)
2Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
Cornmeal for dusting pan

Combine 2 cups flour, dry yeast and salt, then stir in warm whey, olive oil, and honey until mixture is moist throughout. Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover, and let rest on floured surface 10 minutes.

If you're in a hurry, just go on ahead with the next step after the 10 minute rest--it'll turn out fine. But if you have time, let the dough rise until doubled. It rises pretty quickly, so just get it ready 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time, and you'll have plenty of time for a rise. Then punch dough down and continue.

Lightly oil pizza pan(s), sprinkle with cornmeal, and roll dough out to fit pans. At this point, you can top your pizza(s) and bake them at 400F for 20-30 minutes 'til done. OR, if you have a few extra minutes, pre-bake the crust before topping it. Just prick the crust with a fork, and bake it for 5 minutes or so, until the surface is a little toasty. Then top and bake as usual.

Again: The steps you may omit are the rising of the dough and the pre-baking of the crust.

this is where you put your preschooler to work

Yum! Now, since we've conquered the crust and the cheese, if someone has a great homemade pizza SAUCE recipe, let's have it!

when I say from scratch, I mean from SCRATCH


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