Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Homemade Pizza

Confession: For all of my uppityness where food is concerned, I love pizza. Normally, I refuse to combine veggies with cheese, until they're situated on top of a delicious crust and surrounded by tomato sauce.

In Knoxville, mine and Tim's favorite date spot is a restaurant on happening Market Square called The Tomato Head. It serves gourmet pizzas, calzones and sandwiches - some of our favorites. As a sausage connoisseur, Tim always orders a #3: lamb sausage, herbed tomato, black olives, capers and sun dried tomatoes. That's what I mean by gourmet.

Last night I had a hankering for a delicious Sicilian pie and a great suggestion from SmittenKitchen.com: Shaved Asparagus Pizza. (Do you ever see recipes and think, "Now, that's just too beautiful not to make?!") Usually, I bake a traditional supreme pizza, but this time, I wanted to try something different. I made the asparagus pizza and a Ranch Chicken Pizza that I added bacon to. Both were amazing.

Now that I've provoked you to bake a pizza, here's my recipe for pizza dough. I always make it from scratch, and this recipe is very consistent. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

1 1/4 c warm water
1 T yeast

2 T Olive Oil
1 T Honey
2 t Salt
2 1/2 c Whole Wheat Flour

Extra flour for counter top and hands while working dough.

Combine yeast and warm water and allow to sit until foam covers surface (~5 min). In large bowl or stand mixer, combine other ingredients until incorporated. With mixer on medium, add yeast and beat for 5-10 minutes, until dough pulls away from side and forms a ball around the mixer blade. If mixing by hand, roll up your sleeves and knead dough for 5-10 minutes until a slightly springy ball forms.

Place in an oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rise until doubled in size (1-2 hours). Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut ball in equal halves. Stretch crust by pushing your knuckles into the middle of the ball and rolling wrists to encourage dough outward. Or use a floured rolling pin. Bake for 5 min. Remove and add toppings. Bake for 12 min or until cheese is bubbling.

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