Saturday, January 17, 2009

Pizza Party!

Tonight we're having friends over for pizza. Homemade pizza that is. And, as promised, here is my favorite dough recipe. We'll use the whole recipe tonight but our family of five typically uses only half the dough. The other half goes into the freezer for another day. Simply pull out and thaw in the refrigerator when ready to use.

As for toppings -- here are a few of my favorites:

* Grilled asparagus, prosciutto and roasted garlic topped with parmesan (I squeeze the garlic onto the dough and use as a paste instead of sauce).
* Sauteed mushrooms and onions with fennel topped with goat or blue cheese. Sometimes I'll toss mixed greens over the top and sprinkle with white cheddar. Mmmm, mmmm!

And for the kids ... peanut butter pizza (peanut butter topped with cheese --really!)

1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar

Combine in a food processor or the bowl of a mixer:
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour

Set aside: Small amount of corn meal

Combine water, yeast, olive oil and sugar. Set aside. Assemble dry ingredients in food processor or mixing bowl (I use my kitchen aid mixer with the dough hook).

Add the bubbly yeast mixture to the flour mixture while blending and mix for about 2 minutes. If too sticky add small increments of additional flour. If too dry add small increments of water. After two minutes turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a well oiled bowl. Spin dough in bowl so all dough surfaces are lightly coated in oil. Cover (I love to use pretty dish towels) and set in a warm place to rise until doubles in size (about two to three hours).

After the dough has risen punch down then divide into eight equal pieces. Roll pieces into a circle about 1/8th inch thick and store between sheets of lightly oiled waxed paper (note if dough is sticking to the waxed paper put in the freezer for a few minutes).

Place corn meal on a pizza peel (it will allow the dough to slide), place dough over corn meal and top as desired. Cook on a pizza stone in a 450 degree oven until edges golden brown and toppings bubbly.

Slice and enjoy!


Have a great weekend!


Bridge said...

thanks for the idea! pizza party!
have fun.

Gayle said...

Oh. My. Goodness! Shalet, can I come over for dinner? Your pizza topping ideas sound so delicious!

Your mention of a pizza stone reminded me of something funny. My husband's brother gave us a pizza stone a long time ago. The first time we used it, the pizza stuck firmly onto it and we couldn't pry it off! It was like the pizza became part of the stone. I don't know why. We did use cornmeal.

Shalet said...

Gayle - I don't know why either ... I've never had that problem. Our stone is well worn and full of stains but has always worked great. We've even used it on the barbeque!

Maiz said...

Mmm... pizza party! My favorite easy topping is a layer of thinly sliced pears (instead of sauce) and topped with crumbled gorgonzola. Maybe that's what we'll have for dinner!

Shalet said...

Mmmmm - that sounds delish! I'll have to try that one!

ELK said...

i was not invited? oh it looked like fun...sounded yummy!

alice said...

A pizza party is such a great idea! :)

Jessica said...

thank you for the recipe! I've been looking for a good one. . . now I need a pizza stone