Yield: 2 pizza crusts
1 tsp or 1/2 packet active dry yeast
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
In a mixing bowl, pour the yeast over 1 1/2 cups of warm water, stirring gently. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Using an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, mixing until the dough forms a ball. (You can also do this by hand.)
Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl. Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil. Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Divide the dough in half, then using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape, pressing it into an oiled pan with your fingers. The thinner the better. The surface of the dough should be lumpy from finger marks -- all the better to receive and hold toppings.
Put Toppings on pizza then bake for 11 minutes at 500 degrees or until pizza crust is browning at bottom.
The other half of the dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days before use, or frozen for up to 6 months.
The first pizza I made was a grilled veggie pizza. I grilled up some zucchini and roasted some red bell peppers. I started with a layer of store bought pesto on the bottom. Then I sliced fresh mozzarella and placed that atop the pest. I threw the grilled and roasted veggies on top of all that and crumbled goat cheese atop. Half of the pizza is pictured below.
The 2nd pizza I made was a potato leek pizza. It was delicious, but whatever you do don't forget to salt the potatoes. I also subbed out turkey bacon for regular bacon.
Yield: 1 pizza
1/2 recipe for Pizza Crust
extra virgin olive oil
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 leeks, rinsed well to remove grit and thinly sliced
5 small red or Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced paper thin
1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the pizza crust by drizzling lightly with olive oil and sprinkling lightly with salt.
In a skillet over medium heat, fry the bacon until cooked but not crisp, then remove and set aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the skillet. Return it to the stove and, over medium-low heat, saute the leeks until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove the leeks from the heat and set aside.
Using a sharp knife or mandoline, slice the potatoes very thin. Be careful not to allow them enough time to oxidize. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer all over the crust, slightly overlapping the edges. Sprinkle the potatoes lightly with salt, then lay the mozzarella slices in a single layer on top of the potatoes. Place the leeks on top of the cheese, then sprinkle the fried bacon pieces over the top. Add a generous dose of crumbled goat cheese, grated Parmesan, and a sprinkle of pepper.
In an oven preheated to 500 degrees F, bake the pie for 8-11 minutes, until the edges of the crust are golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Slice it into wedges or squares and serve immediately.
The second item I accomplished was paying for someone behind me in the fast food drive thru line. I was on my way home from dropping Kohl, my foster dog, off with the rescue people in Chattanooga... oh did I tell you Kohl got adopted. Yay! It makes me sad that he's gone, but I know he has a great home with a new pug sis. Odd couple you say? Why yes indeed! Anyhoo back to the story. I was on my way home and decided to stop off at the outlet malls to do a little shopping. Post shopping and I was starving I made a quick turn into McDonald's. It occurred me that this was perfect and I could get my list item out of the way. After sitting in the slowest "fast" food line ever I got up to pay and told the country bumpkin lady taking the order that I wanted to pay for the person behind me. "Why you gunna do a thang like that?" she asked. Just said "'cuz" which seemed to placate her and she went on her merry ol' way. I wasn't around long enough to see the person behind me get told their meal was paid for which was a good thing. I hope it was a bright spot in their day though. Getting something for free from a stranger should always be.
Smoochies and I'll be back next week to tell you what 2 things I crossed off my list.