It’s Pizza time!

Pizza is something that happens VERY often in our house, almost once a week in fact. It happens to be Andrew’s favorite food and it also happens to be my fuel of choice the night before a long run, since there is some marathon training going on over here pizza is happening often. Though pizza is also something that both I and my husband are very particular about. I think we have finally gotten it all down, from the dough to the toppings.

Here are the methods we use to achieve our perfect pizza!

You have got to use bread flour, it is the best way to achieve that chewy inside.

Ever since we got a bread machine, making pizza dough has been the easiest thing ever! We used to have to make the dough a day ahead because we had to do all the kneading and rising ourselves. But now, we just put all the ingredients in before work, set the timer, and let it do its thing and you have fresh pizza dough waiting for you to put on a pan and top with your favorite toppings!

Place your pizza stone in the oven at 500 degrees to make it super hot! Then put some parchment paper down and spread out your pizza dough (we support it with a pizza pan, which you could also cook it on if you don’t have a stone). I added some Italian herbs to this dough which is why it looks like it has black flecks of stuff in it. Next we spread the sauce (we use regular tomato sauce), and a sprinkling of flour, so that the sauce adheres to the crust and doesn’t slide off and make a huge mess.

Next, we top the pizza. Our pizzas are pretty funny looking… Andrew loves meat pizzas and loads of cheese, I like veggies on my pizza and light cheese. So we compromise and make our own sections. He gets a much larger section because he happily eats it leftover for lunches. I generally eat my one or two pieces or so and I’m pizza’d out until the next pizza night.

On my side, which I think is the best combinations is some light mozzarella cheese topped with sauteed spinach, mushrooms, and garlic with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. I also enjoy fresh tomatoes and roasted chicken as toppings from time to time. One day I’ll get him to eat more interesting pizzas, until then this is our ideal pizza night 🙂

We have two recipes that we use, the one Andrew has perfected (thin crispy, and perfect!) and then one that I make from time to time which is SUPER thick and bready with a light crust. That is the recipe you see here, if you’re more of a thin and crispy pizza fan, stay tuned.. pizza night will come again soon!

Thick Pizza Crust

1 1/8 cups warm water ( 100-105 degrees)

3 tsp active dry yeast

2 TB Honey

2 TB Olive Oil

1 tsp salt

3 1/4 cups bread flour

3/4 cups AP flour (I use white -wheat flour)

Optional herb addition to crust (basil, oregano, garlic)

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a bread machine, and set to dough/pizza. Remove from machine and refrigerate in a bowl with a splash of olive oil when finished.

OR

In a large bowl combine water, yeast, honey, and olive oil. Mix and let sit until slightly foamy (about 10 minutes). Add flours , salt, and any herbs (optional) to the wet mixture and mix until combined. Using your hands is the best method to get everything together. Add additional flour (if too wet) or olive oil (if too sticky) if needed. Knead dough on a floured surface for several minutes. Rub a bowl with olive oil and place dough in a ball into the bowl. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise (about 1 1/2 hours). Take out of the bowl and punch down, place back in the bowl in a warm place and let rise 10 min. Remove and roll out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper.

THEN

Remove and roll out on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Smooth and shape into your desired pizza shape. Top with sauce, a sprinkling of flour, cheese and/or other toppings and bake for 15-20 minutes or desired crispiness is achieved.

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