When we have our weekly Family Night, we almost always make homemade pizza (the other default is taco party... letting the kids assemble their own tacos at the table). Homemade pizza is fun, because we can either make one big pie, or several small ones, and can change the toppings around as we feel like it! Oh, I love versatilty. So... here is the recipe for quick and easy homemade pizza crust. This is a no rise pizza crust... yes you read that correctly... no rising... no need to start thinking about dinner in the early afternoon (who has time for that, anyway?)... no getting to 5pm and thinking, "oh no! I forgot to make the pizza dough, we'll have to order out!"
1T (or 1 packet) yeast
1 T sugar or honey (we use our yummy raw honey from the farmer's market)
1 C warm water
2 1/2 C flour
1 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
In a medium mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar or honey in the cup of warm water. Wait until the whole mix is frothy and bubbly, about 10 minutes. This step is otherwise know as "proofing the yeast."
Add remaining ingredients, and mix with your hands until it forms a ball. Dough will be somewhat sticky. Knead for about 5 minutes (this is a great job for the kids).
Let the dough rest in the mixing bowl while you assemble the stuff to top the pizza, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle a baking stone (it really does taste better cooked on a pizza stone, but you can use a baking sheet if that's whatcha got) with cornmeal, and roll out the dough. Drizzle the top of the dough with additional olive oil before adding toppings.
Add desired sauce/cheese/topping combo and bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for around 15 minutes.
NOTE: This recipe comes out really well with whole wheat flour. You can substitute some or all of the white flour for whole wheat. For each cup of whole wheat flour, add about a tablespoon of water to the dough before kneading. And don't skip the drizzling the top with olive oil.
Favorite toppings at the Owl Nest:
shredded barbecue chicken and sliced shallots
riccota cheese dropped on in big blobs
whole cloves of garlic (they roast right on the pizza and cook up super soft and mellow... yum!)
leaves of fresh spinach
sliced baby portabella mushrooms