The Best of the Best
If you’re going to make a pizza, you gotta make the dough too. Honestly, it’s not even difficult to make, so let’s give it a try!
Water - 1 Cup - Temperature - Slightly hotter than your shower
Yeast - 1 tsp
White Sugar - 1 tsp
Stir and combine these three together in a bowl for ~ 5 minutes. You should see a bit of bubbling at the end, that’s the yeast giving off the Carbon Dioxide to make your bread rise
Brown Sugar - 1 Tbs
Honey - 1 Tbs
Olive Oil - 2 Tbs
Flour - 2 & 1/4 Cups - Bread Flour
If you started working everything in your kitchen aid, go ahead and put it on the mixer as you slowly add in the flour. Otherwise, stir it all by hand and add in half the flour at a time. After about halfway, I prefer to use my hands to begin kneading it into a ball. Being that you’re already on your PC, here’s a youtube video of how to knead dough.
Once that’s taken care of, place in a bowl covered in a towel in a warm place for ~ 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Once Risen, the next step is to roll the dough out.
The amount of dough you have is enough for one 15” pizza. So throw some flour over your workspace and get rolling.
With regards to baking, My favorite way is in a cast iron. Which, is where the dough should be placed in before adding any toppings. If you don’t have a Cast Iron that’s fine, but other pans function differently.
A Quick Lesson,
Cast Irons distribute the heat more evenly and slowly to the entire crust of the Pizza. This creates a softer bottom and a wonderful fluffy crust. The trade off with this pan is that your pizza will take ~ 4 minutes longer to cook in the oven when compared to a Stainless Steel Pizza Tray.
Stainless Steel, in contrast translates the heat significantly faster due to it’s lighter weight and thickness. This in turn results in a more crispy crust that develops a crunch.
Ceramic Baking Dishes are in the middle with regard to their heat conductance and cooking results. And being that they typically have low sides, it creates more of an airflow over top of your pizza for that extra crispiness. They are also significantly better for cookies than Stainless Steel is.
Now that your Pizza is waiting in what I am going to assume a Cast Iron, it’s time to stuff your crust. Take your string cheese and place them around the crust, folding the crust over and around the cheese.
To create a better bond in the crust, take a brush to wet the two surfaces before folding. But be careful not to use too much water, that will ruin the dough.
Now it’s time for The Sauce.
My favorite sauce is a mix between your favorite store bought tomato sauce and pesto (make sure they aren’t too watery / oily). Here’s the mixture:
Vincent’s Tomato Sauce - 1 Jar
Basil Pesto - 3 Tbs
Garlic Powder - 2 tsp
Smoked Paprika - 1 Tbs
Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Mix those all together well and spoon over your pizza. Use the bottom of the spoon to distribute.
Another good option, is just to use BBQ sauce. Slap some Sweet Baby Rays on there (not as much as red source). Goes great with any meats.
For the Cheese, you’re going to want a low moisture cheese as it won’t make your Pizza watery and low fat won’t make it oily. Therefore, I’m partial to a low moisture part skim Mozzarella, but you put on whatever you like.
This is the fun part.
I’ll give you a few combinations, but in the end, you put on whatever you think will taste good.
Onions, Garlic, Bell Peppers, Basil, Sausage or Leftover Chicken
Onions, Garlic, Bell Peppers, Basil, Jalapeños and Kale
Substitute the Cheese for Kale. Toss in a bowl with Salt and Olive Oil 5 minutes before putting on the Pizza.
Meat Lovers Pizza:
Use the BBQ sauce instead of the Tomato Pesto
Bacon, Pulled Pork, Sausage and diced Pineapple
Then add another layer of your favorite cheese
Baking Your Pizza
Set your oven to its Maximum Temperature (should be 500 F)
If using Cast Iron, Cook time is ~14 minutes
Ceramic ~ 12 Minutes
Stainless Steel ~ 10 Minutes
Cook Times are approximate as topping weight is a main factor.
Let me know what you come up with!