04 January 2007

Homemade pizza extravaganza

This afternoon I've been making pizza crusts after having spent most of the morning dozing on the couch while PBS helped Annalivia entertain herself (if I categorized my posts, I believe this would go under "Bad Mothering.")
ANYWAY, this afternoon I've been pretty productive. So far, I've made 6 pizza crusts, which has been just about the easiest cooking I've done thanks to a recipe from Lynn at Choosing Home, my breadmaker and three foil pizza pans I bought at Kroger for $1.24 yesterday. I'm posting the recipe, which I altered a bit at the bottom of this post. Basically, I just let the breadmaker mix it, then as soon as one batch was raising, started the second. I might put in a third and make 9 pizzas!
One of the women at the CH Forum pre-bakes these crusts and wraps them and freezes them so as to have homemade crusts available anytime. My plan is to let these crusts cool and then freeze them for a couple of hours, take them out and top them quickly, then wrap them up tightly and freeze them again so that we will have homemade pizzas in the chest freezer. I'm also going to send some down to my sister, Lil, who could be giving birth at any moment and thus relieve a little of my I'm-a-selfish-big-sister guilt.
So -- this evening I'm making deluxe pizzas (sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, green olives and cheese), Garden Ranch pizzas (broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, red peppers and mozzarella over a garlic ranch sauce) and Spinach Artichoke pizzas. Don't those sound good? We're having pizza tonight, too, by the way!
I'm hoping this works and does not make soggy pizzas when they are reheated. We have a pizza stone which should help when baking them again. I'm a little worried about the frozen fresh veggies, but even if these pizzas are a tad soggy, they'll be FAR cheaper and much more healthy than the other options available to us post-partum.

Pizza Dough
2 cups warm water
2 T honey
1 T salt
1/4 c olive oil
5 cups flour (I've been using 4 cups whole wheat and 1 unbleached white today)
2 T yeast
Put in breadmaker in order listed. Allow breadmaker to mix. (Keep an eye on it -- you may need to add more flour to make a soft dough). When done, let rest 5 minutes or so. Divide into three portions and press into pans oiled with olive oil (can use a little cornmeal for a nice texture on the bottom, too!) If you want to make seasoned crusts, brush them with a little olive oil and add your seasonings (like Italian seasonings and parmesan, for example).
Pierce with a fork and let rise about 25-30 minutes til it is nice and puffy. (Lynn's original recipe doesn't have the time for the rise, but if you do take the time, you'll end up with much thicker, chewier crusts, which we really like).
Bake at 425 for 5-7 minutes. At this point, I slid mine off the foil pans and chilled for freezing. If you have a pizza stone and are going to continue baking, now we be a great time to put it on the stone, top it quickly and then stick it back in for about 15-25 minutes, or til done. Keep an eye on it til you figure out what time works for you.

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