I think I have reached my dough limit. As a third installment to "Face Your Baking Fears" week, I decided to make homemade pizzas last night, and everything worked perfectly, but I'm just kind of over it. After making bread and then pie crust this week, I think I just don't want to look at flour for a little while. But even though I was overcome with dough apathy, these pizzas were tasty and well received.
Were these the charred, chewy, thin crusted pizzas that dreams are made of? No, they weren't. The crust wasn't right and my oven isn't hot enough anyway. But were they good, basic, crisp crusts with delicious toppings? Indeed they were. However, once I get over my ennui I know I will need to tinker with the crust recipe a bit. For a basic crust, though, it is reliable and easy to make.
Basic Pizza Dough
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)
.5 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
2.5-3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp cornmeal
Warm your mixing bowl, then dissolve yeast in warm water. Add salt, sugar, olive oil, and 2.5 cups of flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to a stand mixer, turn on speed 2 and mix about 1 minute.
Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour gradually, and mix until the dough clings to the hook and cleans the sides of the mixing bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes longer.
Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Brush a pizza pan or baking sheet with oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Press dough across the bottom of the pan, forming a "collar" of sorts around the edge to hold toppings. I wanted to make two smaller pizzas, and as you see that worked out fine--just divide dough in half and proceed accordingly.
Add toppings as you wish. I pureed a mixture of marinara and plain tomato sauce, because I like my sauce thin. Chris' pizza had eggplant (pre-roasted to soften), mushrooms, pepperoni, and mozzarella. My pizza had eggplant, mushrooms, kalamata olives, feta, and mozzarella. Bake for 20 minutes, brushing a little olive oil in the crust edges halfway through.
Both pizzas were crunchy and fresh, just the way we like them, even if the dough was somewhat uninspired. And so ends the baking, for a little while at least. My mixer is tired, and so am I.