Thursday, December 16, 2010

Homemade Pizza Crust

Yeast intimidates me. There. I said it. But my sister recently gave me a bread machine, and it's time I put it to use.

I made my first loaf of bread in it last week, and it was actually pretty pain-free! Go figure, the machine does all the work for me. Yay! Earlier this week, I made another loaf, and also remembered that mom said she uses her machine to make pizza dough more than anything else. Hmmmm, I says to myself, I'm hungry for pizza. Buppy & I scored a major deal at the grocery store on some "gourmet" pepperoni the other day. By that, I mean it wasn't Hormel. More along the lines of Soppressata than Hormel pepperoni. When eaten alone, it definitely had the feel of something one would find on an antipasto platter at an Italian restaurant. It wasn't what I was expecting when I purchased it, but I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor it added to the pizza. Anyway, we had it on hand already, and I was dying to try it out on some 'za. So . . . I made dough!
Bread Machine Pizza Crust

3/4 c. water
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1 Tbsp. dry milk powder
2 1/4 c. bread flour
1 tsp. active dry yeast

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select "dough" cycle and start.

Remove dough from pan when the machine signals it's finished.

I took the advice of one of the reviews and decided to split the dough into 2 balls as soon as I took it out of the machine and let the balls rise, covered, for 10 minutes. I then took each ball and rolled it out as much as possible with a rolling pin. I covered each and let them rise, covered, for another 10 minutes. I rolled them out again to make them as big as possible, then pricked each with a fork in numerous places. Ok, Buppy gets credit for said pricking. Since I wanted a nice crisp crust, I baked each crust on its own for 5 minutes at 450F. After the initial 5 minutes, I pulled each crust out, topped it with my chosen ingredients, then baked each pizza for 10+/- minutes until the cheese became nice and melted and golden.
I really liked this crust. It was sturdy and held the toppings well, but wasn't too thick or chewy. Buppy & the kids liked it too, although the kids weren't fans of the pepperoni we used. Go figure. They love expensive cheese (that I hate), but don't want the good-quality pepperoni. Whatevs. I think next time I might add some minced garlic or spices to the dough, but other than that, this will now be my go-to pizza crust. Enjoy!

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