I recently conquered my fear of cooking with active yeast. It happened while I was snowed in thanks to a record-breaking blizzard. I credit two things for my new found bravery in the kitchen: 1) too many hours spent watching Food Network and 2) boredom. Regardless, the homemade pizza dough is the perfect thing to introduce you to cooking with yeast. It’s so easy you’ll kick yourself for never trying it before, or maybe that was just me.
1 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
⅓ cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
veggies you love (red peppers, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, olives, hummus, basil, tomatoes, etc.)
1 bag mozzarella cheese (or 4 cheese blend)
Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water.
In a mixer (or fabulous food processor like mine with a dough attachment), combine flour and salt.
With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined.
Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until you need it. At lease one hour.
According to the Pioneer Woman, it’s best to make the dough at least 24 hours in advance, and 3 or 4 days is even better. However, I did not know this and my pizza was still fantastic.
Preheat your oven to 375. Divide the dough in half and wrap 1 half in plastic or put in a large ziploc bag. Label & freeze (or refrigerate). With the other half, spread it over an oiled/greased/buttered (all of the above? just kidding) baking sheet.
Combine 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil with 1-2 minced garlic cloves.
Smear over the pizza dough.
Place a thin layer of cheese and then a thin layer of the veggies you decide to use. You can either use raw vegetables or you can saute them with a little olive oil for a completely different pizza experience.
Layer your veggies and cheese until you’re satisified.
(please ignore any meat you see on my meatless Monday pizza)
Bake your creation in the oven for 15-17 minutes. Top with a little grated parmesan and crushed red pepper.