Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pizza Crust

I make pizza dough that is quick, easy, and best of all cheap. It can to me through The Tightwad Gazette. In 1990, a woman by the name of Amy Dacycsyn started the Tightwad Gazette newsletter, that as she puts it “promoted thrift as a viable alternative lifestyle”. She got it from a cookbook called “The Food Processor Bread Book” by the editors of Consumer Guide. At the time I followed the newsletter pretty closely and still today use some of the basic tenets. We hang our clothes to dry, make most if not all of our food from scratch, go to garage sales, and remake/reuse most things. This pizza dough recipe is one of the best take-away things from the newsletter. I, of course, can’t leave anything alone so I’ve included my changes as options.

Thick and Chewy Pizza Dough

½ to ¾ cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
1 package (1 tablespoon) dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar (I like mine a little more sweet so I add a little more to the dry ingredients)
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
½ teaspoon salt.
Optional: teaspoon dried rosemary, minced garlic, dried basil, roasted garlic, etc

Combine ¼ cup of the water with the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir to dissolve the yeast, and let stand until bubbly, about five minutes.

Put the flour, oil, salt (and/or extra sugar and optional ingredients) into a food processor, and process about five seconds with a steel blade.

Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, and process about 10 seconds, or until blended.

Turn on the processor and drizzle just enough of the remaining water through the feed tube so the dough forms a ball that cleans the sides of the bowl. Process so that the ball turns around about 25 times.

Put the dough ball onto a 14-inch greased pizza pan or large cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap or a bowl, and let stand 10 minutes. Here’s where you can get creative*.

Pat the dough out so that it covers the pan, leaving a ridge on the edges. (Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, spin the dough in the air a few times.) Spread with pizza sauce, and add cheese and toppings.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbly.

*I have used this dough recipe for calzones, for baguettes, for dinner rolls, etc. It is very versatile.

Now, a dog update. Tripper has lost 4 pounds in the last 2 weeks and it shows. He feels good too. My family asks me how I know how he feels. I just say that we have a transcendental bond that they could never understand. Nessa is growing like a weed. I liken her to a cross between a fluffy bear cub and a shag rug. When is she going to lose those razor sharp puppy teeth? I’m losing blood here!

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