Growing up we always had (and my parents still have) homemade pizza on Friday nights for dinner. I eat pizza less now because I can’t handle all that mozzarella, but I still love it.
This is the recipe we all use for our pizza dough, it is from a Pizza recipe book my parents have, but i regret that I do not remember the name of the book. The recipe can be varied to make it a whole wheat or cornmeal crust, but the basic steps are the same. My little sister is always in charge of making the dough, and she always makes it best ( I still don’t know her secret, perhaps just a lot of practice)
My standard is a white pizza with an olive oil and garlic base, shredded mozzarella, broccoli, spinach, onion, mushrooms and feta. Sometimes I throw on some pineapple chunks. I think everyone’s all time favorite is pesto pizza. Once I replaced the mushrooms on my standard pizza with some sauerkraut, I only put it on a small section because I was worried it might be a mistake, it was surprisingly DELICIOUS, ive gotta do that one again sometime.
BASIC PIZZA DOUGH
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees, warm to the finger, NOT hot)
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
3 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Mix the granulated sugar in the water, stir in the yeast and let it sit.
Add 3 cups of the flour and the salt to the bowl of a food processor, and give it a whirl to mix.
Your yeast mixture should have some foam on top by now. This is how you know the yeast is active. If there is no foam, pour it out and try again. If there is foam you are good to go. Add the olive oil to the yeast mixture.
Turn on the food processor and pour in the liquids.
Keep mixing until the dough forms into a big ball.
Turn off the processor and pinch the dough, if it is sticky add the rest of the flour, if it is dry add water a tbsp at a time until it is smooth and not sticky. (Water and flour amounts may vary by time of year and climate)
You can continue to process the dough for 2 more min (what I normally do) or knead the dough by hand for 2 min on a floured surface.
Pour about 3 tbsp olive oil into a large bowl. Form the dough into a bowl and roll in the oil. Rub the dough around the bowl to grease the sides. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place in a warm place ( the oven with the light on).
Let the dough sit and rise, until double in size (a few hours).
Punch down the dough, roll it out, and top with your favorite toppings.
Bake in the oven at 450 degrees until the cheese bubbles.
You can also cook pizza outside on the grill. Cooking on the pizza stone yields a nice crisp crust.