Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mama's Pizza Kitchen

Mmmm….  Can you smell that?  Welcome to Mama's Pizza Kitchen.   I wish the internet had smell-a-vision because this kitchen smells absolutely scrumptious!! 
It’s Saturday night, Pizza Night around here.  The flavorful aroma of cheesy pepperoni pizza just fills the air.  Everyone’s tummy is grumbling, and kids are repeatedly crying out, "Is it ready yet?"   A movie is ready to be played, the sodas are chilling in the fridge, and the obligatory salad has been made.

I say obligatory, because every good Mama should have fresh veggies prepped for the meal…  but we all know that when there’s fresh homemade pizza coming out of the oven, the salad might just go untouched.  Consider it great planning to have tomorrow’s salad already made!  Yeah, that’s right…  Act like you planned it that way!

Making the pizza dough isn’t very hard at all.  I haven’t purchased a premade pizza crust in years, because these are just so easy to make.  You can even freeze the dough if you parbake it for 10 minutes or so, cool it, then wrap it well. 

Don’t let all the steps in this tutorial scare you.  I really broke it down, so you could get a good look at the whole process.

If you don’t have a mixer, then mix it up by hand.  It will only take you a few minutes longer, and you can get an arm work out too!!!

As for the toppings, do what you like.  Anchovies, pineapple, ham, sliced tomatoes, cheddar cheese, taco meat, jalapenos…  the sky’s the limit here!
Are you ready to make some pie?   If the answer is yes, then gather the following ingredients:
Ingredient List

3-1/2 Cups flour
2 teaspoons yeast or 1 packet yeast
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water

STEP #1:  Dissolve the yeast in warm water

 Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of WARM water.
You can do this in a cup or in your mixing bowl.
If you dissolve the yeast in warm water in a cup,
transfer it to your mixing bowl when you are done.

You can see that the yeast it completely dissolved.  It's even a bit bubbly after mixing and sitting for a bit.

STEP 2: Add the rest of the ingredients
Add 2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2 teaspoons olive oil to the bowl.
We're ready to start mixing now....

STEP 3: Mix the dough (Make a mess)

On medium speed, mix until the dough is pulling from the side of the bowl.
Did you read that little post script on the photo?  It says, "P.S.  You are going to make a mess.  It's okay."
And if you're doing this by hand in a large bowl, you can read that out loud twice.  And smile while you're doing it.
Don't forget...  the kids can clean this up.  What did we have them for anyway???
STEP 4:  Add flour and knead your dough

Mix that dough up, then when you see it pulling away from the side of the bowl, it's time to start adding flour.

Add 1/2 cup of flour, then mix.  Then start adding flour 1/4 cup at a time until a ball forms.  When you have a nice ball that isn't sticky, STOP adding flour. 

Kneed your dough in your mixer for 2 minutes. Your dough should be soft like Play Dough.  Don't make it stiff.

If you're not using a stand mixer, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get a work out!  Knead your dough by hand for 5 minutes.
STEP 5: Roll the dough into a ball

When you are done kneading your dough in the mixer or in a bowl, take it out and form a large ball.
Pretty, isn't it?  
STEP 6: Grease your bowl

It's just about time to put our little dough ball down for a nap, but first we need to give the bowl a quick spray with non-stick cooking spray.  You can oil it with some olive oil instead if you like.  Just make sure the bowl has been greased so the dough doesn't stick.
STEP 7: Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover

Put the dough ball in the bowl and say goodnight!

Cover your dough with plastic wrap or a plate.  The goal is to keep the air out.  We want our dough to stay slightly warm and we don't want air to dry it out.

STEP 8: 
Oops....  looks like miscounted my photos!!!  Go on to #9.  Don't tell anyone that I'm not perfect.

STEP 9: Get the dough out of the bowl

After about an hour,  your dough should be much larger, smooth, and puffy looking.  It smells good too!

Take it out of the bowl and place it on a floured surface.  I use a roulpat, which is a flexible rolling mat.  That keeps my counter clean.
You can leave your dough ball all intact so a large pizza can be made, or you can cut it into smaller chunks of dough. 
As you can see, we are having individual personal pizzas tonight!
STEP 10: Sprinkle cornmeal in a pan

Whether you are using a pizza stone or a cookie sheet, if you sprinkle some cornmeal on the pan, your pizza won't stick.  The dough sort of rides on top of the cornmeal. 
Don't forget to do this part!

STEP 11: Roll it out

Roll out the dough on your floured surface and transfer to your pan!
The traditional way to prepare pizza dough is to pat it out, and the fun way to do it is to throw it up in the air... but I like to roll it. 
I've tried throwing it, but ended up tossing it to the floor.  The 10-second rule does not apply to dough landing on the floor.  You pretty much have to chunk it and call Dominos.
STEP 12:  Add your toppings!

This is where the real creativity begins.  We have pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, freshly sauteed mushrooms, cooked sausage, green bell pepper, freshly grated parmesan cheese, sliced onions, sliced olives.

Put your favorites on your pizza.  Go crazy! 
 Load it up and try new stuff.  Be wild and have fun!

STEP 13:  Bake and serve!

That's it!  Although I broke it into a lot of tiny steps, it really is super easy and you'll never want a store-bought pizza again.  Have a blast making pizza memories with your family!
Peace to you all,

The Menu Maker Mom

Feeding the family ~ One menu at a time