Tonight I had a taste for pizza so instead of ordering out I decided to make our own pizza. Pizza with a homemade crust really doesn't take that long, all you need is a little planning.
I use a Cuisinart recipe for crust which is super simple. If you don't have a Cuisinart a mixer will work just fine. It really only takes about an hour to have the crust ready to use and the pizza will only need to cook about 30 minutes with the oven set on 450 degrees. I use a baking stone and put that in the oven first so that it can get nice and hot.
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2/3 cup warm water (105 to 115°F.)
1 2/3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoons table salt
¾ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
In a 2-cup liquid measure, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Insert metal blade in work bowl and add flour and salt.
With machine running, pour liquid through small feed tube as fast as flour absorbs it. Process until dough cleans sides of work bowl and forms a ball. Then process for 30 seconds to knead dough. Dough may be slightly sticky. Coat dough evenly with olive oil; transfer to a plastic food storage bag and seal the top. Let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and punch down. Roll into desired crust sizes and place on baking pans lightly sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray.
After your pizza dough is done and put into the shape you want just add the sauce and toppings you want.
We buy this really awesome pizza sauce from Williams-Sonoma. It is an Artichoke Garlic Pizza Sauce. (ingredients - artichokes, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, water, sea salt, thyme, pepper, red chili flakes, herbs, spices). One jar of it will make at least 2 pizzas.
On top of the pizza we used the sauce, fresh sliced tomatoes, canned artichokes hearts (well drained), and banana peppers. I layered it with a cheese mixture of sharp white cheddar, romano, and parmesan.
As you will see from the picture the pizza is not a perfect round or square shape. I had a problem with it sticking to the pizza peel (the board used to slide a pizza into the oven). Even with sprinkling cornmeal on the peel didn't work so good. That is okay though, it doesn't have to look perfect it just needs to taste good. At least this is one of my mottos.