I almost did a end zone happy dance. Twice.
I may be able to make a mean lemon cake and a most irresistible brownie, but when it comes to bread making, I'm solidly in the novice category. After several failed attempts, I am trying my hand at yeast breads. I think much of the problem lies in my patience (as in I have very little).
I decided to give making homemade pizza a go this past weekend. It's inexpensive and the DIY version means we could top them any way we pleased.
Fortunately for me, the pizza dough turned out beautifully, though the cool, Autumnal weather darn near destroyed my dough-making effort. After a two hour rise outside, the dough was barely bigger than before. It took a good hour longer on our kitchen table, under the warmth of our incandescent chandelier, to double in size. Whatever gets the job done.
The best news, however, is that my preschooler loved it. When asked if he liked it better than the restaurant pizza, he said "Mama's is better." I couldn't stop smiling.
This recipe for dough yields enough for two pizzas, perfect for parents and kids to top as desired. I did a spinach, garlic, bacon, onion and mushroom mixture atop the adult version, while the kids voted for cheese.
Follow the link below to get the recipe.
Prep time: 5 minutes for toppings, 1 1/2 hours for dough
Cook time: About 8 minutes for toppings, 10 to 12 minutes for dough
Serves: 2 to 4 people
Notes: The recipe for the dough is adapted from "The Joy of Cooking."
For the dough:
1 package active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit)3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to coat bowl
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon dry basil
5 slices bacon, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup mushrooms (any variety you like), sliced
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fresh spinach
3/4 cup prepared marinara sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese
In the dough of an electic mixer, pour in content of yeast packet and add warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add the dough hook to the mixer.
Once bubbles form on the surface of the water, add flour, salt, olive oil, sugar, garlic powder and dry basil and mix on low or medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. Knead a few times with your hands and place in a large bowl lightly coated with olive oil. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot 1 1/2 to 3 hours, or until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, brown bacon until almost cooked through. Remove bacon to a bowl and discard all but about 1 teaspoon of the drippings. Return the pan to medium heat and add mushrooms and onion. Saute until softened and the onions begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, spinach and reserved bacon and sauté until spinach is wilted, stirring constantly.
Punch down dough and separate into two balls. You can save the dough for up to two days in the refrigerator. Start pulling out one of the dough balls into a circle and shape onto a round pizza pan lightly coated with nonstick spray. Press little indents with your finger in the crust so it doesn't puff up too much.
Add sauce to crust and spread around. Sprinkle cheese and then spread spinach mixture over cheese.
Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and crust is cooked through.