Homemade pizza - Mmmmmm good!

Friday, February 5, 2010

My family loves pizza, and I've made my own dough for years. I used to have an Oster Kitchen Center (similar to the KitchenAid stand mixer, but it had a lot of different interchangable accessories), and I used the dough hooks to mix the pizza dough, which eliminated most of the kneading. After 18 years, the Kitchen Center died - and I couldn't decide on a replacement. That meant the pizza dough had to be mixed & kneaded by hand - not fun. Then last year, my daughter bought me a Sunbeam Programmable Breadmaker for Mother's Day. It has a dough option that totally rocks! You just put the liquid ingredients in first, then add the dry ingredients - turn it on - and 1.5 hours later you have perfect pizza dough! Minimal work, minimal clean-up!

I tweaked my pizza dough recipe several months ago, trying to make it a little healthier. The original recipe used all white flour, so I used mostly whole wheat flour instead - but my family protested vehemently. Eventually I settled on adding one cup of whole wheat flour to the recipe - it's better than no whole wheat flour at all & my family will eat this version. Here is my recipe:

Pizza Dough
(makes two 13X9 pizzas)
2 pkgs. rapid-rise yeast
2 c. warm water
1 tsp. salt
4 tsp. cooking oil
1 c. whole wheat flour
4 1/2 c. white flour

To use in bread machine: put water & cooking oil in machine's baking pan, add salt & flour. Make a small hollow in the flour (don't go all the way down to the liquid) and add yeast in the hollow. Set machine for 'dough' and relax!
To make by hand or to raise in a bowl: sprinkle yeast over water & let stand 5 minutes. Stir in salt & oil. Add whole wheat flour and 3 c. of the white flour. Mix to blend - beat until elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Stir in the rest (1 1/2 c.) of the white flour to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth & springy (you can add an add'l 1/2 c. flour as needed). Let rise until doubled.

Divide dough between two 13X9 cookie sheets - spread to edges. Add sauce & desired toppings. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until edges are golden-brown.

We had pizza for dinner last night, so I took some pictures of the entire process:

The ingredients in the baking pan prior to turning the bread machine on.

As the ingredients were being mixed.

Mixing completed; machine ready to allow dough to rise.

After 1.5 hours, this is what the dough looked like.

The pizza dough spread out in the pan.

The finished product - pepperoni pizza (mushrooms on one end) with provolone cheese!

If you try it, let me know how you like it!