Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Last Minute Pizza

Last night I was home and hungry for pizza. It was getting close to dinnertime and I didn't want to drive out for pizza (don't do that often anyway), and didn't have time for pizza crust to raise. I was wishing I had stopped by the grocery store to by a premade crust, like Boboli.

The girl and I have gone through the Hallmark channel and DVR'd a ton of Christmas movie's.  I'm really glad to have someone to watch them with!

The fireman will watch romance movie's on occasion, but I really like to dive headfirst into the sweet and sappy Christmas movies. Hallmark has that covered. Thankfully, the girl really gets into them, too.

So, I remembered that I had seen quick pizza crust recipe's online a few times and thought I'd try one.

This recipe is slightly adapted from allrecipes.com

It turned out pretty great, actually.

First you bloom your yeast by adding a cup of warm/hot water and feed it with 1 teaspoon of sugar. This does not make your crust very sweet at all, but the yeast needs it to grow.

Mix with a fork and let sit until foamy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Then you add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose unbleached flour. You can mix the white and wheat, but the more wheat you use, the less it'll raise. Since it's a quick recipe, I decided to use just the white. I wanted to get as much raise as possible.

You beat this until it's smooth, I beat it for a good few minutes.

Let rest for 5 minutes.

It didn't raise much, but it looked like it started to. Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round.

I kind of pulled and stretched the dough. It was actually quite elastic and worked great. I didn't use hardly any flour and it had a nice stretch.

Too much flour makes it less stretchable. It bounces back too fast.

I put it on a large jelly roll pan, sprinkled with cornmeal. I spread on roasted garlic tomato paste and a pound of browned hamburger meat with sauteed onions. Then I topped with some frozen diced green bell peppers I had from my garden this last year and half a bag of mozzerella cheese. I didn't use any italian seasoning, but you could.

Note: Normally I mix my tomato paste with a little tomato sauce, about 2 to 1 ratio, but didn't want to open a can of sauce. You could mix with a bit of water to soften the consistency if you don't like it this thick.

I had preheated the oven earlier to 450, and slid this into the hot oven. I baked it for about 17 minutes, the directions said 15-20.

If you don't like it brown, go closer to the 15 minute mark, or whenever your cheese and the crust starts to brown lightly.

Now you have to let the pizza sit for about 5 minutes for the crust to harden. I've always found that cutting into it too soon makes it soft and soggy.


Looks great, doesn't it? I shook some parmesan cheese, outa the can *gasp* on it. The crust was puffy and had a nice flavor. The part of the crust under the pizza was very thin, but crunchy.

For a quick meal, I have to say I enjoyed it.

Biggest plus, this was on my plate in literally about 40 minutes. And it filled my pizza craving. You really can't argue with that.

The Recipe:
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup very warm water (110 degrees F)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Bloom your yeast with sugar and warm water. Let rest for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
Stir in salt, oil and flour, beat until smooth. Let rest 5 minutes.
Work dough on slightly floured surface into shape for your pizza pan. Transfer to a lightly greased pan or dusted with cornmeal.
Add desired toppings and bake in hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

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