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You know those puffy, cheese-sprinkled rounds of dough you can buy at the supermarket? The ones you can make into pizza by adding your own toppings? You can easily make them at home, and you can vary the taste by adding either cheese (for a savory pizza) or sugar and spices (for a dessert-type "pizza"). Make a batch and store in the refrigerator or freezer for a quick, healthy meal.
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups lukewarm (110°F) water
1 tablespoon salt
5 to 6 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, shredded Cheddar and/or mozzarella cheese OR melted butter, cinnamon sugar, chopped nuts
Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Add 2 cups flour and beat well. Add salt and remainder of flour, adding just enough flour to make a workable dough.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in a well-greased bowl, turning to coat, cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
Punch dough down, transfer to lightly floured surface, and divide into pieces. Dividing dough into 12 pieces will result in 4- to 5-inch rounds; six pieces will make 7-inch rounds; three pieces will make 10-inch rounds, and dividing dough in half will make 12-inch rounds. Shape each piece into a rough round. If you're making a savory pizza, sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on your work surface, take one round of dough, and flatten it atop the Parmesan. Make the middle of the round very thin, and the outside edge thicker. Set round on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining rounds. Follow the same procedure for sweet pizzas, but omit the Parmesan cheese.
Set baking sheets in a warm place and let rounds rise till very puffy, about 1 hour. After the first half hour, gently press down the middle of the rounds; you want the middle to remain fairly flat, while the edges rise.
When rounds are well-risen, brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese(s) of your choice (for savory pizzas), or brush lightly with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and nuts. Place baking sheets in a preheated 500°F oven for 10 minutes, or until rounds are lightly browned; switch position of sheets on racks after 5 minutes, moving lower sheet to the upper rack, and vice versa. Remove pizzas from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Eat right away, or store in the refrigerator or freezer for future use.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 4, March-April 1992 issue.