Thursday, October 29, 2015

Easy Weeknight Pizza. No it is not delivery!

We were scheduled to have Cheeseburger Pizza for dinner last night, but I left early and was gone all day and had forgotten to take out the hamburger.  I had also had a late lunch with Mom Klik and Amy after bingo.  Mom Klik's treat since she was the big winner of the three of us.

I walked in the door and was thinking that I would love to take a nap and perhaps we would order pizza in tonight instead.  Then Frank said "take a look at your dogs out there".  There they were all 3 of them next to the pond. All you could see were their butts sticking up in the air because their heads were buried in a muskrat hole and they were busy hunting.

So much for a nap. We called them each in, one at a time, and gave them all baths.  One at a time so that the other 2 didn't get the house filthy waiting their turn.  The puppies are getting much better about their baths now and while they don't get excited about it, they no longer try to escape during it.

Once their showers were over and I thought about dinner again I figured I may as well make the pizza. It wouldn't take much longer than delivery and it would taste much better and cost much less.  I had half a jar of marinara left from the eggplant rollatini that I needed to use and an unopened package of pepperoni in the refrigerator so it was silly not to make my own especially with this easy weeknight pizza dough recipe that I am going to share with you.

The entire process from starting the dough to eating the pizza only takes an hour and a half.  Very doable, even for the busiest of days.  You can use any toppings you have on hand for this pizza or you can make four 7" pizzas and let everyone choose their own toppings.  Last night ours was just a plain cheese and pepperoni pizza because that was what I had available and I was lazy. My recipe for pepperoni pizza follows the dough recipe.  Enjoy!

Easy Weeknight Pizza Dough
slightly adapted  from Cuisine at Home, Issue #71

1 c. warm water (100-110*)
2 1/4 t. (1 pkg) active dry yeast
1 t. honey
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. bread flour
1 T. kosher salt
2 T olive oil

Combine water, yeast and honey in a small bowl and let set until foamy, about 5 minutes.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Whisk the flours and salt together in the large bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the oil and yeast mixture.  Mix on low speed, using the dough hook, for 7-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and springs back when touched.  Form dough into a ball, spray bowl with cooking spray or olive oil and return dough ball to bowl.  Place bowl in a cold oven with the pot of boiling water next to it.  Close the door and let rise until double in size, about an hour.

The dough is now ready to use, be wrapped in plastic and placed in the refrigerator for up to an hour or frozen for later use.  Print Recipe

Pepperoni Pizza

1/2 of the above recipe pizza dough or your favorite dough, rolled into a 14" circle
1 c. marinara sauce
1/2 of a 3 oz. package of sliced pepperoni
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
handful of cornmeal for pizza peel

Place a pizza stone in a cold oven on the lowest rack and preheat to 500*. 
Place the rolled pizza dough onto a pizza peel or baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.
Spread the sauce on the dough, leaving a 1" border at the edges.  Sprinkle the mozzarella over the sauce.  Arrange the pepperoni on top of the cheese and sprinkle the parmesan over all.  Slide from the peel onto the heated pizza stone and bake for 10-12 minutes, until crust is browned and cheese is melted and bubbly.  Print Recipe

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