Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Pizza Crust #2


Ingredients

1 package Dry yeast
3 tablespoon Butter ; softened
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Water ; warm (115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon Sugar
2 1/2 cups Flour

Instructions

To the cup of warm water add the sugar and dry yeast. Let stand 10 to 14 minutes. Add the butter, salt and flour. Stir well, turn out and knead until dough is smooth.

Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Punch down and allow to rise again.
Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness to fit pizza pan. (I don't bother rolling. I just press it into the pan and work it with my fingers to fit the pan.) Leave to rise again while you prepare the filling.

I like to bake the dough without any topping for about 5 minutes (400 degrees). Remove and then top with cheese, black olives, spinach, tomato sauce, mushrooms, sausage, etc. Or experiment with other toppings.

One of the best pizzas we ever made was when we topped this crust with some cooked spinach and some left-over peppers and onions (with plenty of grated Mozzarella and Mexican style Parmesan Cheese - they call it Cotija.).

Or try this: We've tried many different topping combinations, and this is one that we did recently with GREAT results.

Forget the spinach and the meat. Cook up a big batch of the peppers and onions (drain well). Slice or chop some black olives. Saute some fresh mushrooms in butter (thinly sliced). Top the pizza crust with a good layer of grated Mozzarella cheese. Cover that with the drained peppers and onions. Top that with chopped or sliced black olives. Sprinkle with pineapple chunks. Top with a light scattering of more cheese. Bake at 400 until the crust begins to turn golden.

And here's another way of going about this. We recently tried this method of grilling the crust on the Weber. We used veggies instead of chicken, and skipped on the BBQ sauce. But the smokiness of the crust was fantastic. I messed up by making my crusts too large (hard to handle with spatulas) - I should have divided my dough into fourths instead of into halves. The crusts would have been much easier to manage. But this is definitely worth exploring, my friend.

Did it again tonight, this time using a quarter of the dough. It worked out fantastic! This one's a keeper!
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