Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vegetarian Pizza

Pizza Crust Ingredients:

1 tsp. instant or active dry yeast
1 and ½ cups warm water
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
⅓ cups olive oil
If you want a more flavorful crust then feel free to add in some herbs and  spices of your choice. Depending on what I'm in the mood for and the kind of pizza I'm making I like to add in dried basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, garlic, paprika, cayenne, or whatever else may be in my spice cupboard into my dough.

Pizza Crust Directions:

Sprinkle yeast over 1 and 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water. Let stand for a few minutes.

In a mixer, combine flour and salt. Also mix in any additional spices or seasonings you are using. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined, and the dough comes together in a sticky mass. If you don't have a large stand mixer then just use your hands to combine the dough ingredients.

Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside for 1 to 2 hours, or store in the fridge until you need it. It is best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance - 3 or 4 days in advance is even better. This gives the dough time to develop more richer, complex flavors (or get really tasty).

When you are ready to make the pizza, divide the dough into two equal balls (this recipe makes 2 whole pizza crusts). You can roll out the pizza with a rolling pin if you’d like, but it’s just as easy to throw it around and pull and stretch till it feels right. And when the crust is nice and thin, lay it on an oiled baking sheet or pizza pan.

Pizza Topping Ingredients:

1 cup pizza sauce
2 red peppers, finely diced
3-4 large handfuls of baby spinach
6-8 Crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 of a white or sweet onion, chopped
16 oz. Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to to 500 degrees F.

Roll/stretch out one pizza crust. Lay it on a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil. Spoon 1/2 cup of pizza sauce onto the crust and spread evenly. Top sauce with half the sliced mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle on half of the red peppers, spinach, mushrooms, and onions.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and toppings are bubbly. Remove from the oven, cut into squares and serve immediately. Repeat with other crust and other half of ingredients.

*Pizza dough recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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