Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Have you seen that TV commercial (for Papa John's or something) with the Italian guy tossing pizza dough? It's pretty impressive. He manhandles that dough like nobody's business--throws it up in the air, whirls it in circles, even rolls it over his shoulders (no kidding!). All to some really upbeat music.

When I make pizza, I don't really get so Cirque du Soleil about the process. Not because I wouldn't like to, mind you. But I don't have the patience...or the skill. (Me trying to toss dough = dough plopped into a gooey mess on the kitchen floor.)

Anyway, dough-tossing abilities aside, I like pizza. I like the pizza-whirling guy. I like eating pizza. And I like making pizza.

Exhibit A:
Now, that was a Canadian bacon/pineapple pizza. Honestly, not my favorite. I like just plain old tomato, onion, and basil. And my family is big on BBQ chicken pizza. Still, I thought I'd post these pictures because...well, because they're the only ones I have at the moment.

Here are a few more:

Wanting pizza now? (Yeah, me too.) Well, don't worry...and don't call Papa John's. Because I love you, I'm also posting my pizza crust recipe. Enjoy!

Favorite Pizza Crust
1 cup warm water (105–115°)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons white sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour (sometimes I use half whole-wheat)
olive oil
Italian seasoning
garlic salt

1. Combine first four ingredients in large bowl; sprinkle yeast on top and whisk until dissolved.

2. Add 2 cups flour; stir until smooth. Gradually add remaining cup flour, mixing until soft, sticky dough forms and begins to pull away from sides of bowl.

3. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 6–8 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in greased bowl, turning once to coat. Cover bowl and place in warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

4. Heat oven to 450°, with pizza stone inside. Punch dough down; divide in half. On lightly floured surface, stretch/toss/roll each piece into a large circle. (Do not let dough rise!)

5. Slide dough onto pizza stone sprinkled with cornmeal. Lightly drizzle with olive oil (or spray
with cooking spray) and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and garlic salt. Puncture with fork. Bake 5–10 minutes, depending on crispiness desired.

6. Remove crust (still on stone) from oven (or just slide the oven rack out), and top as desired.

7. Bake about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Makes two 12–14-inch crusts

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