Lori's Homemade Pizza Crust (and topping ideas)
3 c. flour (I use white bread flour or a mixture of it and whole wheat.)
1 T. or 1 pkg. dry yeast
1 t. sugar
3/4 t. salt
7 oz. very warm water
1 1/2 T. olive or vegetable oil
Mix dry ingredients with only 1 1/2 c. flour in mixer bowl or food processor. Blend in water and oil. Add
remaining flour, 1/2 c. at a time. Mix well. Knead in mixer or by hand for 10 minutes, or in Cuisinart-type
food processor for 2 minutes. Let dough rise in a greased bowl, covered, for 15 minutes -- 1 hour.
(Whatever you have time for!) Punch down; roll out to fit pan. Place dough on greased pan; If desired,
prick in several places with a fork and prebake dough for 5 minutes in a 450 degree oven. (I do this.)
Top with sauce and other toppings; bake prebaked pie for 13 minutes or unbaked pie for about 15
minutes until center of pie is beginning to bubble. This yields enough dough for a 16 -- 18 inch pizza. I
always double it for our family of five -- feeds us plus leftovers for 1 or 2 people for lunch.
I used canned sauce because that's what we like -- Chef-boy-ardee or Giant grocery store's Finast
For "sausage," I do what my mom does: brown ground beef, drain, and add pepper and ground sage
to taste. We use this with cheese and green pepper strips for a yummy pizza.
One of my favorite things to do with any typical pizza is to make it as usual, but pull it out of the oven
and top with thin slices of garden-ripe plum tomatoes about 3 minutes before it is done. Bake a few
minutes longer, remove it from the oven and sprinkle with fresh basil leaves. Mmmm...
When my husband and I went to Italy two years ago, we discovered a strange but delicious pizza: top
crust with typical tomato-based pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, and chunks of canned tuna (or
fresh, grilled tuna -- spectacular!). Add fresh basil leaves after baking. No fooling -- this is really good!
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