Thatsa Some Pizza!

I’ve been at my older brother’s house again for the past week helping take care of the kids (their second child was born just over a month ago). Things have settled down enough that I’ve also been able to encourage a shift away from prepackaged meals back toward cooking from scratch, and hooked them on the joys of dried beans. Ever since mozzarella cheese appeared in the fridge alongside the yeast I’ve long been eying, I’ve been determined to make homemade pizza. Never mind that I’ve never made pizza before (beyond sprinkling cheese and toppings over dozens of dining hall pizzas) and I’ve never really been that into eating pizza either. Watching Dana whip together two of the most delicious pizzas ever and reading Animal, Vegetable, Mineral was enough for me to finally catch the pizza craze most Americans are infected with from birth. So yes, I made pizza from scratch (or nearly, the sauce was from a jar, which I can’t yet claim to have cooked and canned myself), topped with mushrooms, chopped onion and peppers, mozzarella, and rosemary. And yes, it was an unequivocal, lip-smacking success. Not the best dough I’ve ever had, but quite good nonetheless. The dough recipe is straight from the bag of Bob’s Red Mill flour (except I substituted in half a cup of whole-wheat pastry flour). Turns out Bob’s Red Mill packages are a treasure trove of recipes… the cornbread and cornmeal pancakes were also exceptional.

Pizza Crust

1 tsp. active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

2 1/2 to 3 cup flour

2 tbsp. oil

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add oil, salt, and sugar, then and gradually stir in flour. Knead on a lightly floured board for several minutes to form a soft, smooth dough. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let double in bulk in a warm place, about an hour. Prepare toppings. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Punch down dough, divide in half, place each on an baking sheet, greased or lightly covered in cornmeal, and stretch or roll out edge. Make a raised edge, top as desired, and bake for 8-15 minutes, unril bubbly and golden brown. Let set for a couple minutes, then slice and enjoy!

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