Making pizza provides a fabulous kid friendly activity and meal. It’s amazing how many vegetables I can get Bobby to eat just by offering them as pizza toppings. He likes piling them on his little pizza. And, then when it’s all baked, he’s so proud and happy to gobble up his creation.
To be honest, it took me a long time to find a good pizza dough recipe. In the process, I made many a pizza dough Frisbee, that ended up being tossed into the trash. To save you that trouble, here’s my “go to” pizza dough recipe adapted from Alice Waters, the Art of Simple Food. The dough even freezes well! So, make a batch and freeze half of it.
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
3 3/4 cups unbleached white flour (can use mix of flours as well)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup olive oil
(if you like it sweet add a tablespoon of Honey)
(consider adding herbs to the dough)
Stir together yeast and warm water until yeast is dissolved. Add 1/2 cup flour and stir well. Allow the mixture to sit until bubbly (30 minutes). Add flour, salt, cold water and olive oil.
Mix thoroughly. I use a KitchenAid Stand mixer with a dough hook. Knead on low until the dough is soft and elastic, about 5 minutes. If the dough is too wet and sticky, add more flour, but only enough to form a soft, slightly sticky dough.
The dough is the right texture when it pulls away from the sides of the bowl of the mixer, but still adheres to the bottom.
Put the dough in a large bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours. For an even better-tasting and more supple dough, let the dough rise overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from the fridge 2 hours before shaping.
Divide the dough into balls. Allow the dough balls to rest at room temperature, for an hour or so. Shape pizza dough on Parchment Paper. Shape into desired shapes. If doing fogaccia, you can make it into rectangles. For a thicker dough, let the shaped pieces sit for about an hour before baking. Brush with olive oil and garlic.
Top with desired sauces and toppings. My favorite is brushed with a salted garlic oil, then top with prosciutto, pears, white cheese and fresh herbs. Bobby’s favorite is brushed with garlic olive oil, then topped with marinara sauce, veggies (mushrooms, zucchini & broccoli), and sausage.
Preheat the oven (and a baking stone if you have it) to its maximum. Preheat for about a half hour. Put in pizza and turn down oven to 400. Bake for about twenty minutes. Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Enjoy!