4.17.2011

Sunday Special: Thick & Fluffy Pizza Crust

. Okay, so remember last weekend and the Margherita Pizza recipe?  Well if you don't recall, my boyfriend and I have decided to try our hand at pizza making from time to time, attempting to find that perfect crust recipe and testing out the perfect combinations of toppings.  For our first shot, I was very happy with the Margherita Pizza.  Yes, there were a few things here and there that we would change next time around but overall, it was very good!

So you would think that our second attempt would be a little better, right?  Oh, wrong!  It actually makes me laugh when I think about how so not good this last pizza was.  SO not good, that I'm only going to be giving you the crust recipe because THAT was fantastic!  But we'll get to that in a second.

As we all know, there are zero cooking skills that reside in our house.  None.  At.  All.  So I can't really blame anyone on our lack of know-how when it comes to certain things.  But for some reason, it never crossed EITHER of our minds that some toppings might need to be prepped and cooked before making their way on the pizza and into the oven.  So when we decided to make a garbage pizza, filled with ground turkey, green bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms, let's just say that our pizza turned out quite...natural tasting.  Don't fret, we definitely cooked the turkey!  But when it came to the veggies, they went on the pizza au natural, crunchy and all.  And when they came out of the oven?  They came out well...crunchy.  Let me tell you, there was NO flavor to those suckers whatsoever.  Obviously.  And we also decided to use tomato paste for our sauce, and we both agreed that was a major fail as well.  All in all, it was just plain bad.

However, the crust recipe I used, from A Passion for Baking by Marcy Goldman, was unreal!  It turned out super thick (my favorite!), soft and fluffy.  It was definitely an upgrade from the previous pizza crust we made, especially if you like thick-crust pizza.  I don't know what it is about Marcy, but she's got skills!

So since there really was no 'cooking' that went on last weekend, just some chopping of veggies and throwing them on a crust, I'm just going to give you a deliciously chewy pizza crust.  And I also love this recipe because it's one of those great base recipes I'm always looking for.  You can make this bread into anything you'd like, top it with some butter and cinnamon-sugar for a sweet treat or if you're looking for something savory, make it into garlic-parmesan bread sticks!  It's really very versatile and one of the many reasons that I love it.  So use this recipe for a fun, savory Sunday pizza or a scrumptious dessert pizza, either way you'll have a winner.  Just don't follow my lead when it comes to the Garbage Pizza failure, I know you're smarter than that ☺ .

Thick & Fluffy Pizza Crust
from A Passion for Baking

I'll admit, this looks good...but it was nothing but bland.  The crust was by far the star!

Ingredients:

1-1/2 c. warm water
5 tsp. rapid rise yeast
1/4 c. olive oil
4 tsp. honey
1 large egg
2-1/2 tsp. salt
4 to 6 c. bread flour

Directions:
  1. In mixer bowl, hand whisk water and yeast together and let stand 2 to 3 minutes to dissolve yeast.  Briskly whisk in oil, honey, egg, salt, and most of bread flour.  Mix ingredients; attach dough hook and knead on lowest speed 8 to 10 minutes, dusting in more flour as necessary to form soft dough.
  2. Remove dough hook and spray dough with nonstick cooking spray.  Cover bowl and let dough rise 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled.
  3. Heat oven to 500°F.  Pat out dough to fit pizza pan.  If making pizza, spread tomato sauce evenly on dough and bake 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and spread desired toppings over crust.  Bake additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.
Yield: 1 pizza

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