Wednesday, February 13, 2013

In a Pinch, I Get the Need to Kneed.


I don’t know why it took me so long to make homemade pizza.  It is now my favorite go-to!  Last night we were in a pickle… nothing planned and not in the mood to go to the grocery store.  But we had salad stuff, flour and cheese.   I still have a chunk of mozzarella, asiago and provolone left over from our open house. 
What I liked about last night’s dinner was that with a large salad, I was able to make mini pizzas to serve on the side.  This way, we ate our veggies and we had a  small treat.  The dough I didn’t need is sitting in the fridge and I will have a nice warm roll with my lunch today.  I am really glad I figured out the dough thing (I am no longer a yeast killer nor impatient with yeast) in time for Lent.  Fasting isn’t about suffering but obedience and self-control.  So this Lent, with the bean soups and increased vegetables, we can also treat ourselves to a fresh roll or two... in moderation of course!

Pizza Dough 

·        Combine 1 t sugar and 1 ½ c warm water.  Sprinkle 1pkg active dry yeast in water and set aside for 10 minutes or until foamy.
·        Stir in 1 T olive oil.
·        Combine 4 ¼ c all-purpose flour with 1½ t salt in a food processor.  With the machine running, add the yeast mixture until dough forms a ball.  If it’s too wet, remove dough from processor and kneed on a floured surface until elastic and smooth. 
·        Lightly coat a large bowl with oil and place dough in bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and cover with a large towel.  I usually heat the oven while I am mixing the ingredients and then turn oven off at this point.  This usually warms the oven enough and I let the dough rise on top of the oven.
·        The dough should double in size in an hour.
·        Turn oven back on to 350 degrees.
·        Punch down the dough.  Half of the dough is plenty for one pizza.  You can make a pizza or use smaller amounts for minis.  The dough you don’t use can be placed in a floured bag and stored in the fridge for a day or you can freeze in a floured bag, thaw in the fridge the night before you are ready to use it and rest on counter for 15 minutes. You can also thaw dough for 1 ½ hours on your counter before you need it. 

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