Apr 6
2009

Pizza night!

When the moon hits your eye
Like a big pizza pie,
That’s amore.


I was smitten by the movie, Moonstruck, once again. It was on TV on Saturday night, and even though I’ve seen it a thousand times, I couldn’t help but be drawn in. “In time, you’ll drop dead and I’ll come to your funeral in a red dress.” I loved Cher in this movie…that is, until I saw her in this little number.

Kind of speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

The whole point of this journey down Moonstruck Lane is to tell you that it gave me a hankering for pizza. We usually have our regular Friday pizza night, but it didn’t happen this week. I was too busy posting to this blog. (Sigh – hand laying across forehead) I am dedicated to my fans. All three of you can thank me later.
So, Friday pizza night turned into Sunday pizza night. It has been my personal quest to perfect a homemade pizza crust and I think I am finally there. I’m going to show you how I make my crust, but don’t feel that you have to do the same. Raw pizza dough is available in most grocery stores – either in the frozen foods section or fresh from the bakery/deli.
If you don’t want to make the crust, scroll down to find out about the yummy toppings.
Thanks to my good friend, JS, for her help in perfecting the crust recipe.
The Crust
The measurements are for one recipe, which makes one large pizza, but the pictures show a double recipe. I always make a double recipe so that we can make one kid-friendly and one adult-friendly pizza. Plus, we love leftovers.
Open one package of dry yeast and empty it into a large bowl. 


Add 1 cup of warm water (they recommend 105-115 degrees – measure the temp if you’d like) and 1 tsp of honey or sugar. Stir.

Using yeast used to scare the “H-E-double hockey sticks” out of me, but I think I finally conquered the little buggers.
 

Wait for about 10 minutes until there is a layer of foam on top of the water. That means the yeast has come alive (or has been activated, for those of you who are squeamish about eating living organisms). Actually, I love to watch the yeast bubble up as they come alive. Let me tell you, it is non-stop fun at the M. house!
Add 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp olive oil. If you’re using traditional pizza toppings, also add 1 tsp dried oregano. The addition of the olive oil is essential. If you don’t add it, you’ll find that you have to add a lot of flour while kneading to combat the stickiness. This will make your dough tough.
Mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5-6 minutes. 


Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, put the ball of dough in the bowl, lightly spray the top of the dough with cooking spray, and cover the bowl with a dish towel.

Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free room for an hour. It should double in size. Punch down the dough. Come on – I said, “PUNCH IT!” Like a man! Or Grace Jones! (If any of you tell me that you don’t know who Grace Jones is and she must have been famous before your time, I’ll have to open a can of whoop-a** on you!)

Lightly flour the counter and roll out the dough into a large circle. 


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Sprinkle cornmeal onto a pizza paddle or cookie sheet. Put the toppings on your pizza. If you are using a pizza stone, place the stone in the 500 degree oven for 15 minutes before putting the pizza in the oven. Bake the pizza for 8-10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.

For Thai Chicken Pizza toppings, check out the next post. 


Pizza Crust

1 package dry yeast
1 cup warm (105-115 degrees F) water
1 tsp honey or sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
Cooking spray
Flour for kneading and rolling
Pour the yeast into a large bowl. Add water and honey, and stir. Let the mixture sit until foamy bubbles appear on the surface of the water, about 10 minutes. Add the flours, salt, and olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5-6 minutes. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray, place the ball of dough in the bowl and lightly spray the surface with cooking spray. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let the dough rest in a warm, draft-free room for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. After 1 hour, the dough should have doubled in size. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a circle. Place it on a cookie sheet or pizza paddle. If you are using a pizza stone, place it in the 500 degree oven for 15 minutes. Cover the dough with desired toppings and either place it in the oven on a cookie sheet or slide it from the pizza paddle onto the stone.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.
Makes one 12-inch pizza.
For Thai Chicken Pizza toppings, check out the next post.
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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Anonymous April 6, 2009 at 9:14 pm

I love this blog! Thanks for the detailed instructions and pictures. I’ll definitely try the dough.

Reply

2 kathy April 19, 2009 at 4:03 pm

I love “Moonstruck,” too! The breakfast table scene is one of my all time favorite movie moments. And, as for Cher in that pic, it is classic Cher — I used to watch the Sonny and Cher show every week, and she always dressed far out — I think Bob Mackey is her designer. And being Cher, she can get away with it!

Reply

3 Cookin' Canuck April 19, 2009 at 4:44 pm

You’re absolutely right, Kathy – she can get away with it. And yes, it is Bob Mackey. He probably has a ball dreaming up outfits for her. I used to watch the Sonny and Cher Show, too when I was a kid.

Reply

4 kathy April 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm

Hey! We’re dating ourselves!

Reply

5 Food o' del Mundo April 13, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Dara – I must have missed your comment last week. Thank you so much for sharing – my next pizza dough will be yours!
Cheers Sister,
Mary

Reply

6 amy June 19, 2012 at 12:06 pm

My husband is on a very low sodium diet — do you know if you can make this pizza dough without the salt?

Thanks!

Reply

7 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) June 22, 2012 at 7:49 am

Hi Amy – Yes, you can make this dough without the salt. The salt is there for flavor, rather than texture or rising of the dough. You might want to compensate with extra herbs to add more flavor.

Reply

8 Jessica August 14, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Hi! I just found your blog (through pinterest, of course!).

I was wondering how long you can store the raw pizza dough (can you even store raw dough at all…? in the fridge…? freezer…?). You obviously have pizza often so I doubt you ever have to store it very long.

Let me know if you can! Thanks!

Reply

9 almshnwi.com December 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Have you ever thought about creating an e-book or guest authoring
on other blogs? I have a blog centered on the same ideas
you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information.
I know my audience would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

Reply

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