Last week, we had a craft night that ended up not being so crafty. Instead, we sat around and ran our mouths for a good two hours while we made homemade pizza, then my guests went home. It turned out to be just the kind of evening I needed.... relaxed, lighthearted, and an all around good time. Also, it was a reminder that when people come over you don't have to be productive to have fun. Sometimes I forget that...
Anyway, I highly recommend making your own pizza, especially if you have kids. What could possibly be more fun than dipping your hands in flour, tossing dough around, topping it any way you want, and then (in our case) watching it cook on your countertop? My dad gave me this amazing Pizazz countertop pizza oven a couple years ago and I get a total kick out of it. Get one. They're cheap. And once you taste this crust you'll never order a pizza again.
The Dough (I doubled this recipe to accommodate the number of guests I had and it was perfect.)
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit til good and foamy. I set a timer for ten minutes and it was just right. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl and add in the yeast mixture and oil until a strong dough forms. Cover and let rise to double, about half an hour. Turn out onto floured surface and either shape into a round crust or, as I did, divide into separate, smaller dough balls and let each person round out their own. We used a countertop pizza oven and made 10" round pizzas with different topping choices (olives, canadian bacon, pepperoni, diced onion, chopped bell pepper, mozzarella, pizza sauce) and cooked them for around 9 - 11 minutes. They were amazing! If you do one large pizza I'd recommend probably 20 minutes at 450, or until golden.
We had so much fun! Every time I bring out the pizza oven I get all giddy with excitement. This dough is so flexible, and is also delicious brushed with garlic butter and baked, then sliced into breadsticks. So many options! And check out Christian's artistic abilities. I love it...