Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rustic Pizza Two Ways

The thing that I love about pizza is you can enjoy it so many ways.  You can have it deep dish like they do in Chicago and thin crust like New York City.  Where I grew up in Buffalo, it is a happy medium.  I believe each type of crust serves a different purpose and all of them are enjoyable.

Today's recipe is for a thinner crispy crust.  I call it rustic because of it's irregular shape and very few ingredients.  The dough recipe included will allow you to make two average size pizzas or four personal ones.  I chose to make two.  Plain cheese for the kids and chicken bar-b-que for Jay and myself.

dough recipe

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1 tsp. honey
1 c. warm water (I run hot tap water)
3 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt (I use Kosher salt)
1 tbsp. olive oil (and extra for brushing)

In a large stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, dissolve the yeast in the warm water with the honey. Wait a few minutes for the yeast to bubble and "wake up".  Add the oil and 2 cups of flour.  Once mixed for a few minutes add the salt and the remaining cup of flour.  Allow mixer to knead for about ten minutes on low speed.  Remove the dough from mixer and knead on the counter top for a minute. Place dough into a bowl greased with oil and cover with a damp towel.  Allow to rise for an hour or so, or until doubled in size.

You can use this dough for any pizza, calzone, or stromboli.

To make the plain cheese pizza simply divide the dough ball in half.  Spread the dough onto a cookie sheet sprayed with baking spray.

Next add about a 1/2 cup of pizza sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese. Brush the crust with olive oil. Bake in a preheat 450 degree oven for about 15 to 17 minutes.

To make the chicken bar-b-que pizza, follow the same step for spreading out the dough.  Next spread with 1/3 cup of bar-b-que sauce.  Add one cup of cooked chicken breast, shredded. Top with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of cheddar cheese.  Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes.

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