Monday

Best Pizza Dough Recipe

I have experimented with homemade pizza dough and I think I have finally found one that pleases the whole family.  It's very easy to make and I know that because if I can do it, it must be easy.

You will need:

2 cups of flour
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar

Optional:
cornmeal
garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil

Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in 1 cup of warm water.  Add the yeast and set aside until you see the yeast bloom.  Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and half the flour.  Flour measurements are never exact as humidity and temperature will determine how much flour is absorbed by the liquid.  Stir until the flour is mixed in and then add flour until the dough begins to come away from the sides of the bowl.  Turn dough out onto a floured surface for kneading.  Add flour as you knead until dough is no longer sticky but not too dry - it should be tacky.  Form a ball of dough and place in a bowl that you have coated in olive oil.  Turn the dough over so both sides have a thin oil coating.  Cover with a cloth and set aside for 30 minutes.

Use olive oil to coat your pizza pan.  I like to sprinkle corn meal on the pan to give the crust an interesting texture and a little extra flavor.  If you like, you can mix garlic powder and 1 Tbsp olive oil to brush over the top surface of the dough.  This recipe will make approximately two 12 inch round pizzas or one large rectangular pizza (I use a cookie sheet).  Bake the dough for ten minutes at 375 degrees, remove and add toppings.  Return to oven to finish baking the dough and the toppings together.

Tuesday

5 Reasons to go out for Pizza

Trying to decide where to take the family for dinner? Meeting friends and looking for the best place to eat that will suit all different tastes? My answer, as always, is Pizza! But in case you need convincing, here are my Five Top Reasons To Go Out For Pizza:

1. Everyone loves pizza. The whole family will enjoy it and your kids will be fed without fuss.

2. Pizzerias are kid-friendly and laid-back. You don't have to dress up and you don't have to muzzle the children.

2. Fancy restaurants are expensive. With the economy in bad shape, pizza is the perfect answer to a slim entertainment budget. Grab a couple of large pizzas and feed the whole family.

3. With a variety of toppings, you can customize pizzas to suit a number of people. Veggie pizza on whole wheat crust or deep dish meat extravaganza, there's something for everyone.

4. The price of cheese and other pizza ingredients has gone down since last year. Pizza is one dining alternative that isn't suffering from inflation.

5. You don't have to do the dishes after dinner.

Friday

Pizza Pan by Calphalon

If you're looking for a good all-round pizza pan but you're not ready to go all out and buy a pizza stone, then this Pizza Pan from Calphalon may be just the right way to start out.



Whether you make your own crust, use pre-made crusts from the grocery store, this pizza pan by Calphalon is a good buy for all-round pizza baking. It features heavy duty construction of stainless steel and an even heat distribution system that will bake your crust to golden perfection.

It's relatively inexpensive and dishwasher safe, so even the teens can use it to bake their favorite frozen pizzas.

I found this item at Target online for $11.99. Calphalon also makes a 16" pizza pan that is not dishwasher safe but for me this pan is the perfect item for a busy household where pizza is baked often.