Tonight we had some friends over for dinner. Paula thought that it would be fun to make pizza. I made the pizza dough in the afternoon and let it rise. I used our usual recipe. It makes really terrific pizza dough. The only hitch is that you need to track down 00 flour but King Arthur sells it.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups of oo flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) of dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3/4 cup of warm water

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, warm water and olive oil. Let stand for a few minutes until the yeast dissolves.

In the large mixing bowl of your Kitchen aid mixer, mix the 00 flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt until they are mixed. With the machine running, add the  yeast mixture to form a sticky dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, 2-3 minutes. Oil a large bowl, put the dough in the bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for at least 1 hour. (We actually let it rise for about 2 hours…)

This recipe makes enough dough for two pizzas. We cut the dough in half and roll out each half separately. (Note: If we are not making two pizzas, we wrap the extra dough in saran wrap and store it in the refrigerator. It will last at least a week.)

When you are ready to make the pizza, heat the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is heating, place some flour on the counter and roll out the dough until it is the size that you want. We prefer it to be thin. Place the dough on a pizza pan or, better yet, a pizza stone. Cook the dough with no toppings for 3 1/2 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add the toppings (sauce, cheese, etc.) that you desire. Tonight I gathered some sauteed onions, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, mushrooms and pepperoni. Everyone got to put whatever they wanted on 1/4 of each pizza. After we put the ingredients on the crust, I put the pizza back in the oven and cook for another 7-8 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it sit on the counter for 2-3 minutes. Cut it up and enjoy!

Paula and I also made a simple garden salad to go with the pizza. Everyone enjoyed the meal. For dessert, we enjoyed some lemon-ginger marble cookies that Paula made. They were really tasty. The two flavors really complimented each other. Here’s the recipe in case you’re interested…

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of grated lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of molasses
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground allspice
  • Sanding sugar for sprinkling on top of cookies

Procedure:

  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated.
  5. Transfer half of the dough to a separate bowl and stir in the lemon zest and juice.
  6. Beat the molasses, ginger, cinnamon and allspice into the remaining dough.
  7. Lay out a large sheet of plastic wrap. Drop alternating spoonfuls of the two doughs onto the plastic to form an 11-by-8-inch rectangle. Use the plastic to roll the dough into a 2-by-11-inch log, twisting the ends closed.
  8. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  9. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  10. Preheat to 350 degrees F.
  11. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the dough into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and arrange about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  12. Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until the edges of the cookies are set, 14 to 18 minutes.
  13. Let cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer to racks to cool completely.
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