I love pizza. But I love a lot of food. I think it would be easier to give you a list of things I don’t like, but then you would be painfully aware of how unrefined my palate truly is. I like pizza SO much that I can sit down and eat an entire large pizza by myself. Really, I’ve done it more than once. It’s one of those fabulous dishes that you just keep going for that next slice, even when your already full and you know that it’s going to hurt…but you just keep eating. But one of the real reasons I like pizza because it can be a relatively balanced meal: a little carb, a little fat and lots of veggies. It’s the perfect meal. Now I’m not talking stuffed crust pizza from your local delivery or greasy pizza that’s more like soup and leaves a greasy puddle on your plate. I’m talking about a pizza with a thin, crispy crust a touch of cheese and loads of yummy veggies. The best pizzas are the ones you make at home.
That being said, I’ve had a difficult time finding a good pizza dough recipe that doesn’t get chewy or gummy so I’ve always just purchased pre-made pizza dough and then topped it myself. But after tweaking this recipe I will never purchase pizza dough again! J and I went on a pizza kick last week, testing this recipe with different toppings and it was, well it was a fantastic night of eating!
First, we made little pizzettes using a round 3” biscuit cutter, brushed them with olive oil and topped them with a teaspoon of caramelized onions, some crumbled bacon and a sprinkle of feta. They were just the right size for popping in your mouth!
The next day we used the leftover dough to make one medium sized pizza but instead of olive oil we brushed the dough with barbecue sauce…yum!
Not having quite enough of the pizza I made a half batch of the dough later in the week and we made another pizza with BBQ sauce but with red onion, mushrooms, sliced olives and a sprinkle of shredded mozzarella. On J’s half of the pizza we added some shredded chicken…and yes, I ate my whole half in one setting!
The possibilities with this dough are only limited by what you can imagine on your pizza! Hmm… I’m getting hungry thinking about pizza. Maybe it’s time to head to the kitchen!
adapted from Bobby Flay
Makes 2 medium pizzas
1 ½ cups warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons dry active yeast (or 1 envelope instant yeast)
3 cups all purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Proof yeast by combining water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Allow about five minutes for yeast to begin to bubble. (I know, I know, yeast should keep for along time, and it takes an extra dish to proof the yeast but I always do it! And it’s a good thing too!! Because our first batch of pizza dough had me in the kitchen staring at this bowl of yeast and water yelling “bubble already!!!” trying again, 3 times!! Just to make sure it I didn’t have my water too hot or too cold before I made J run to the store and buy new yeast! It was only 2 months old!!)
In a large bowl, combine flour, corn starch and salt. Stir to combine and add olive oil. Slowly pour in the water and yeast until the dough becomes to come together into a ball. (When I made a half batch, the dough turned out really dry so I added an extra tablespoon of water.)
Knead the dough on a lightly floured counter until it becomes a smooth ball. Grease or spray with nonstick spray the inside of a bowl and place the dough back in it, cover and loosely and place in a warm place to rise for about an hour, until doubled.
We were in a hurry because of the yeast disaster so I heated the oven to 375 F, turned it off and then placed the dough (covered with foil) in the oven to raise.
Split the dough into two balls and roll out to about ¼ inch thickness. Transfer to a baking sheet or pizza stone. Top with your favorite toppings.
Place in an oven preheated to 475 F and cook for 12 to 15 minutes depending on the type and quantities of toppings you select!
You can make this dough a day in advance and allow it to rise in the refrigerator overnight. Just remember to place the dough in a container or bag that allows plenty of room for the dough to expand.