Friday, August 6, 2010

poor girl's pizza

Y'all. I love pizza. There was a Mellow Mushroom near my office back home (not that this isn't home, but you know what I mean) and I would seriously eat there every day if it didn't cause tremendous amounts of health guilt. Every day, I'm not kidding. And I like just cheese and pepperoni, that's how bad I am. No veggies, just good ole kill-you-in-a-minute pepperoni.

Nowadays, thanks to my lifesaver (literally) Michael Pollan and his rock-my-world book AND because of this whole budget thing, pizza is not often on the menu. At least not the kind that comes conveniently to the door in the arms of a cute college boy. So what's a girl to do when she gets a hankerin' for some pizza? Make one, duh.

This recipe is for Margherita Pizza, made with farm-fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil from my very own pot out front. And it's made with a homemade crust - good for you and easy as pie (no pun intended. Ok, maybe a little bit). So here goes:

For the crust:
3 cups all-purpose flour/bread flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast (instant active)
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 cup water (more as needed)
2 tablespoons EVOO
  • Combine the first three ingredients. Add water and oil and mix for about 30 seconds, adding more water a bit at a time until the mixture forms a ball and is a bit sticky to the touch.
  • If it's too dry, add a splash or two of water, mix for 10 more seconds and repeat…until it's sticky to the touch.
  • Turn the dough onto floured work surface and knead by hand for a few second to form a smooth, round ball. Put it in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave it to rise (1-2 hours, until it’s doubled in size)
  • When the dough is ready, form it into a ball and let it rest about 20 minutes.
I made this in my breadmaker, which made things even easier, but the most involved part if you don't have one is to knead it. No too shabby. Now for the good stuff:
  • Flatten out the dough onto a baking sheet, to the desired thickness. Brush with olive oil.
  • Add: two diced tomatoes, as much mozz. cheese as your heart desires and about 10 leaves of fresh basil, or more if you're obsessed. (yummmm)
  • I sprinkled a bit of pepper and garlic powder, but that's your call.
  • Bake at about 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and it SMELLS DELICIOUS.
Papa who??

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