I think that my family could eat pizza just about every day and be perfectly fine with it. I know I would be A-OK with it… you just can’t go wrong with pizza. When you live outside the delivery range though, calling the local pizza shop isn’t as much of a convenience as it is for you “city folk” lol. Luckily, we have a great go-to pizza dough in our house that can’t be beat. The original recipe is from How Sweet it Is and with only minimal changes it has really become my absolute favorite pizza dough.
3T active dry yeast
1C warm water ( adding more 1T at a time as needed)
1 1/2 T honey ( or the honey substitute from yesterday if you are a flake like me and forget that you used the last of your honey on another recipe)
3C flour ( preferably organic, however a whole wheat mix works great in this recipe also!)
4T unsalted butter ( again, organic is preferred. At the very least, I suggest using real butter vs. margarine here as it holds up a bit better)
1 1/2 T minced garlic
2T Parmesan cheese
Italian spices ( I use my own table blend in this which includes basil, oregano, garlic, onion, and a few other things. You may use Italian seasoning, or your own mix… play around and find your own signature flavor!)
Place yeast in bowl of stand mixer ( or mixing bowl if you do not have a stand mixer). Add warm water and honey and mix lightly with a whisk. Allow to sit for around 8-10 minutes. If your yeast bubbles up as shown in the photo then you are good to go. If you do not notice any bubbling or foaming this means that your yeast is not alive and you need to start over. This can happen for a variety of reasons. You may have used water that was too hot, you could have a bad batch of yeast, or perhaps it wasn’t stored properly.
Once 10 minutes have elapsed begin mixing your flour into your liquids. Slowly add flour into the mixture 1/2C at a time. Only add the first 2 1/2 cups at this time. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for up to 10 minutes until a smooth consistency of the dough is reached. I prefer to add the spice mix into the dough as kneading it so that the spices are evenly distributed throughout the dough through the kneading process. If you prefer to add them in earlier in the mixing process then go for it! Once kneading is finished oil up the original mixing bowl ( or a new one if you are a clean freak lol) and place the dough into the bowl, turning to coat completely. Cover with a clean, dry towel and let rise for about 60-90 minutes. After a while of making dough you will be able to tell by the looks of it when it is ready. If you are just beginning in making dough, you will want to wait until it has just about doubled in size. You can wait the full 90 minutes if you want, it won’t hurt anything ( you won’t end up with any humongous possessed marshmallow men don’t worry!) Once you near the end of your rising time, begin preheating your oven. You will want the temperature to be 375F
Now for the fun part! After you have given your dough time to rise, remove the cloth and punch that bad boy back down to right around the original size. ( turning it back out of the bowl and onto your lightly floured surface first, of course) If you are using a pizza pan or pizza stone you can shape the dough into a pizza using that as your guide, or you can do a square pizza using a cookie sheet… or if you’re feeling adventurous you can free hand it. Once you have the shape sorted out add the toppings you prefer. My family usually prefers a simple pepperoni and cheese, but the beauty of homemade pizza is that you can go absolutely crazy here and make up your own combinations. What’s your family’s favorite pizza?
In a small bowl, mix Parmesan, melted butter, and garlic into a thin paste. Personally, I like to put this on AFTER topping the pizza but as you can see it gets a little messy so if you’re a neat freak you can easily do the mix and coat the edges of the dough before topping. If you like, you can even put it all over ( even under the toppings!) I have done both ways but really like having a big glob of it around the edges because as it cooks up the Parmesan will crisp up a bit.
Bake your finished pizza in a 375F oven for around 25 minutes. ( Time will vary depending on your oven but it’s a pizza..keep an eye on it and you should be able to fairly easily tell when it’s done. ) This dough is great because it will be chewy yet crunchy. I just love it!
The pizza as shown above with dough, marinara style pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and shredded Parmesan cheese comes in at 8 Weight Watchers points per slice. However, I really was not trying to make this one low on points since it was more for the kids… by using reduced fat cheese, skipping the pepperoni for more veggies, and making other ( smarter) choices you could really get the points down on this one!