Since I’ve gotten back from Hong Kong, I haven’t really been cooking much … or at all.
Why is that?
Sometimes, it’s because eating out is more convenient, especially when running errands.
Other times, it’s because I want to retry a favorite restaurant, like the Cheesecake Factory.
But more often than not, it’s because I let my mom prepare my meals.
I still live at home, as a poor college student, so if my mom voluntarily cooks dinner every night, who am I to reject her offer??
Well today, I had an itch to cook and bake again, so Wesley and I spent the afternoon cooking up pizza from homemade crust!
I had some grand expectations for this pizza dough, but it didn’t turn out the way I expected.
Maybe having a pizza stone (or brick oven) would help, but the crust never baked up crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Instead, it was still a bit on the raw side, even after 20 minutes.
But the toppings were still delicious!
To begin, I heated up 1 1/2 cups of water for one minute.
Then, I dissolved 1 teaspoon of sugar into the water, and sprinkled active dry yeast on top.
Make sure not to stir the yeast, but just let it float and bubble on top.
After 10 minutes, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Finally, throw in your flour, I used 2 cups whole wheat and 1 cup regular all-purpose, and 1 tablespoon flax seeds.
Stir with a spoon to combine, until all the flour is wet and the mixture comes together.
Lightly dust flour on your kneading surface, and tip your dough out.
Flour your hands and begin kneading, adding more flour when necessary.
Once the dough is smooth and elastic, form it into a ball and place into a large greased bowl. Cover with a wet towel and place in a warm place.
Here’s where patience comes in.
Let the dough rise to twice its original size, for around one hour.
After the hour, punch the dough down and tip again on a lightly floured surface. If you’d like to make smaller pizza crusts, you can divide the dough at this point. Just make sure to make sure to roll every piece of dough into a tight ball.
Place back into the bowl, covered, in a warm place for another 45 minutes.
After 45 minutes, take your dough and place on a lightly floured surface and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Flour a rolling pin and roll out your dough until it can’t stretch anymore, making sure to maintain a consistent thickness.
Flour the back of your hands, and drape the rolled out dough onto your fists.
Lightly use the backs of your fingers to stretch the dough outwards and then turn the dough about 15 degrees. Repeat the stretching process until the dough is evenly thick and thin.
Flour or oil your baking surface and lay your stretched dough on top.
I used a basic cookie sheet, but there would probably be better results with a pizza stone.
To make the pizza even fancier, you can add a ring of cheese around the perimeter of the crust, then fold the edges over the cheese to create a stuffed crust!
Lightly grease the dough with a teaspoon of olive oil, to give additional crispiness.
I flash baked the pizza dough for seven minutes to cook and crisp it up first.
Then, taking the crust out, add toppings and place back in the oven for 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of the pizza. Cook until the crust is browned and crispy and the cheese is melted.
While the pizzas were cooking, the kitchen smelled irresistibly, deliciously like melty cheese and sweet tomatoes.
Wesley’s pie was topped with tomato sauce, pesto, Parmesan cheese, spinach and chorizo.
He really loved the toppings, but didn’t think the crust was up to snuff. It wasn’t crispy, but more like bread.
My pizza was (as usual) a bit crazier in toppings variety.
There were three kinds of cheese: Stella blue, fresh mozzarella and Parmesan, along with tomato sauce, pesto, black beans, spinach and Craisins.
The combination of cheeses were so delicious, creamy and mild. But the best part was the surprising bites of sweetness from the Craisins.
This pizza dough may not have been a roaring success, but I’m not giving up!
Tell Me About You!
What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Do you have an awesome pizza dough recipe to share?