So as usual, I got a wild hair up my butt and decided to make something from scratch for dinner. This time, the new jar of tomato sauce I’d been wanting to try, the fresh onion, basil and mushrooms from the farmers market, and my recent adventures in bread land all came together and made me want to make pizza. So I did. And it was more delicious than I thought it would be.
I used this dough recipe from allrecipes.com. I believe that any post with 1000+ reviews that has a rating of 4+ stars is worth trying. So that’s why I picked it. Okay, I also picked it because it didn’t require overnight rising. But as usual, I changed it up a little bit, because that’s just how I roll people. So the following recipe is that recipe, but with my adaptations.
WARNING: If you know anything about my recipes, you know that I pretty much wing it. In cooking, you just have to be adventurous. So use this as your guide, but don’t be afraid to eyeball ingredients, change them up, and keep an eye out for how long things should be cooked. Okay, except for the dough itself. When it comes to the ingredients in baking, you kind of want to keep it precise. But as far as cooking the baked good, that’s almost always a crap shoot. So shoot away.
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour (You can totally just do 3 cups of all-purpose flour. I just had whole wheat and wanted to use it.)
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
TOPPINGS (change as you like)
- 1 package of lean ground turkey
- 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil – my new favorite)
- 2-5 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste. We like lots so I did 5. Okay, I may have done 6 or 7. I like me some dragon-breath).
- a bundle of basil
- 3-4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon or so to cook the turkey with
- salt and pepper to taste
- Turn your oven on to 375 degrees.
- Combine water, yeast and sugar. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom. I used this time to gather all of my ingredients, slice my mushrooms and onions, and cut the basil into ribbons, so I wasn’t really waiting for anything.
- Combine flour, salt and oil in a bowl. Then add the yeast mixture. I kneaded it a little, mainly as the way to mix all the ingredients together. Then I set it aside in a bowl, covered in saran wrap. Yes the whole point of the original recipe is to not wait for anything. However, I found that in the time I prepared all of the toppings (in step 5), the dough had risen to pretty much double. So I did it accidentally on purpose.
- This is a good time to pour yourself a glass of wine. I don’t know. It’s just a suggestion.
- Brown the turkey in a large pan. Since I used pasta sauce instead of thicker pizza sauce, I browned the turkey in olive oil on high heat, only really cooking it 3/4 of the way, along with minced garlic, crushed red pepper, some kosher salt and pepper. I then added the whole jar of sauce, and let it simmer on low. This will help cook off some of the pasta sauce liquid.
- I don’t have a large pizza pan, so I just took out a large baking sheet, you know, the kind with about a 1/2″ lip. I covered it with a layer of cooking spray. Then I rolled my dough out on a piece of floured saran wrap that I had stuck to my counter. Next, I picked the dough up and quickly placed it on the sprayed baking sheet. (Or if you want, you can lift it with the saran wrap so the dough doesn’t stretch out, invert it onto the foil-lined baking sheet, and peel off the saran wrap.) Make sure to poke holes in the dough in several places with a fork. This will help the air escape from underneath. Otherwise, you’ll get big bubbles.
- Bake the dough for about 5-10 minutes. This really depends on how thin your dough is, but I just didn’t want soggy dough in the middle of the pizza. Eyeball and finger touch this one until you get it the way you want it. You can do it. It’s not brain surgery. I think I left mine in for about 8 minutes total. Take it out when it’s formed a bit of crust, but before it turns brown.
- Time for toppings! You get to put whatever you want here, really. But my turkey tomato sauce (which had thickened quite nicely, thank you) was perfect. We’re not big on crust, so I didn’t leave much room at the edges. Then I topped the sauce with mushrooms and onions, followed by a healthy layer of mozzarella cheese. If you do like crust, this is a good time to brush some olive oil on the areas of crust that are exposed. It turns out golden and delicious that way.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until you start seeing the cheese start to brown. The second you see that, throw on your basil ribbons and give it another minutes or so in the oven.
- Take it out, move to a cutting board, cut it up and enjoy the hell out of it.
We cut into it before I could take a pictures. What can I say? We got excited! But this is what it looked like….
It was absolutely delicious and we bargained over the leftovers : )
A couple of things to note, whole wheat flour has less gluten than regular flour, so you will not get the same rise with the whole wheat mixture. You can always get a gluten accelerator if you want the puff and the whole wheat. Or you can just get used to the fact that it won’t be as fluffy. We like our crust thin and crispy anyway, so it wasn’t an issue.
By the way, the next day I had a salad and one slice of leftover pizza (that I won from bargaining the night before). I put the slice in the toaster oven to warm up and it came out even better than the night before. It was so crispy and awesome. In short, it was heaven.
And once again, this is a fun project to do with kids. Anything dough related is fun to do with kids I find. Do I see a pizza night coming up with my niece? Yes, yes I do.
Please do this. It’ll be fun. Do it! Yep. Do it!