**We now use our Nutrimill to grind our wheat. See recipe edits below.**
The final yeast bread I’ll cover is pizza crust. No, there is no throwing in the air involved…..unless you want to throw it in the air. I’m afraid to do that because my dog, Dottie, is a little too quick. Dottie would be having pizza for dinner and we’d be having sandwiches. It really is very easy to make your own pizza dough and it tastes sooooooooooooooooooo good. It’s also a really good air freshener for the house.
To make pizza crust, we’ll need yeast, warm water, bread flour, salt, sugar, and olive oil. Yes, I said sugar. Everything is better with sugar. When you get a boo-boo, what do you get? Sugar. Point proven.
First we’ll dissolve our yeast in the warm water. Stir it around a little bit until all the little granules are melted. I just figured out why people like beer with their pizza……it has yeast in it. Two wrongs DO make a right!
In a big, ugly, brown bowl combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Stir it around a little bit and then add the yeast mixture. It’s not going to stick together very well. It’ll be a little flakey, but stir it anyway until you get it as mixed as you can.
Now add the olive oil and keep stirring. It will look greasy, but that’s ok.
Stir, stir, stir. You’ll get your exercise for the day. You’ll need to stir it about 3 minutes to kind of knead it just until it sticks together in a big ball.
Now, when that’s done you need to oil a big ole bowl. Plop your big ball of dough into the bowl and turn it over so the entire surface is covered. Why? So that it won’t stick to the bowl when it’s raising. Genius, huh? I always use oil to grease my bread bowls, but I think some people like to use cooking spray. I did that once and it left a funny residue and color on the top of my bread. I’m a little OCD with my bread, and I didn’t like that……so now I stick with the good stuff – Canola oil. Cover your bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let it raise until doubled. Again, I usually put it in the oven with the light on. I’m consistent if I’m anything.
Here it is all nice and raised. It actually looked bigger and prettier than this, but I set it down too hard on the counter and it fell before I could take a picture. Handle your yeast bread like you handle another woman – nice and gentle. If you’re rough with her, she’ll deflate.
Punch the dough down and move it to a floured surface. Notice I use a big cutting board. One day I’ll have nice marble counter tops and can just plop it right on there. Right now I’m living like no one else, so later I can live like no one else…….and then someone else can dust my house. Right??? Knead your bread 2-3 times and then divide it into halves. Cover it with a towel and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Letting it sit is going to make it easier for you to pat it into the pan.
Now, grease your pizza pan and put one of the halves on it. Use your hands and fingers to pat it out. It’s going to take a little bit of work. It’s stretchy and wants to go back into it’s original ball. It doesn’t like change. Work with it, over and over. Eventually it will go where you want it to go. When it’s up to your specifications, then you can cover it with a towel and let it raise for about 20 minutes. This is when you can prepare the toppings you want for your pizza and also preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
I only wanted to make one pizza, so I froze the other half of my pizza dough. I just left it in its ball and put it into a Ziploc baggy that I labeled. If you don’t label it, you’ll forget what it is. Don’t say “I’ll remember.” You won’t. Later you’ll be like, “What the heck is this white ball doing in the freezer?” When I’m ready to use it, I’ll get it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator. Then I’ll pat it out and let it raise just like the first one.
I like to bake my crust a little bit before putting the toppings on. I think it keeps it from getting soggy in the middle. I hate soggy pizza. I think I baked this about 5 minutes.
Now, you can top your pizza as desired. My favorite pizza, currently, is Hawaiian – Canadian bacon and pineapple. Why on earth is it called a Hawaiian pizza if it’s made with CANADIAN bacon? Shouldn’t it be Canadian Pizza? Someone wasn’t thinking straight. They had too many beers with their pizza. Anyway, this pizza has pepperonis, peppers, and onions on it. I used Colby and Monterey Jack cheese, along with some Parmesan stuff out of the can.
I baked it about 15 minutes and it looked like this. Hallelujah! It was divine…..but Annie didn’t eat it. I think that might have had something to do with the fact that I was feeding her bread and cereal while I was cooking. It makes excellent leftovers……if you have any.
Don’t forget that today is the last day to enter to win the set of bread coupons for FREE products! Go here to enter. I’ll take entries until 8PM tonight (8/13)
- 1 package yeast
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- 3 ¼ cups white wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar/sucanat
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Dissolve yeast in warm water.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add the yeast mixture. Stir well.
- Add the olive oil. Stir about 3 minutes or until a smooth dough forms.
- Form into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning to cover the surface.
- Cover with lint-free towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Divide dough into two equal parts and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Press into oiled, 12 inch pizza pans.
- Cover with lint-free towel and let rise about 20 minutes while you prepare toppings.
- Top as desired. (Before topping the pizza you can cook it for 5 minutes, if desired.)
- Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15-25 minutes or until lightly browned.