When the boys were younger we would do pizza and a movie on Friday night when we could. Precious memories of my boys and I sitting down in the living room, lights out, eating pizza and watching tv. I also have memories of their cousin’s Jamie & Eric telling me I should go in the pizza making business – they loved my homemade pizza’s! LOL. Grumpy is always harassing me about the “perfect pizza crust”. We all know what I think of what Grumpy thinks is good or not…for the most part. He can really be hard to please! You couldn’t guess that could you! For someone who loves to cook and bake it is not always fun when you want to experiment and the one who eats it with you is so picky you have to worry about who is going to eat it if he won’t!
I finally found a recipe for pizza dough that Grumpy and I both enjoyed when I found the Cooking Light Deep Dish Pizza recipe – which by the way is still my favorite. I think maybe because there is a little sugar in the dough. However, last night Grumpy told me I was “closer” with this recipe. In his opinion I think I am never going to get “it”. He has in his mind a dough he had at a pizza parlour where worked when he was younger that to him was “perfect”.
The recipe that is “closer” is from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” and is my submission to the IHCC (I Heart Cooking Club) theme of the week – “Movie Night.” It is a good, basic crust that is firm on the bottom (that is probably the best feature for me!).
The recipe for the pizza dough is found on page 178 of How to Cook Everything. Bittman recommends using the food processor but I chose to use my bread machine for kneading and rising the dough. It is easier (and less messy) for me this way because when there is a “chill” in the air still my dough has a warm place to rise! Bittman says to use all-purpose or bread flour. I didn’t have bread flour so I used all-purpose. The only other thing I did differently was I used 1 cup of white whole wheat flour in place of the 1 cup of the white flour.
Will I make this recipe again? Sure will. It was easy and I liked how the bottom doesn’t get soggy and fall out on you when you pick up a slice. Also, Grumpy liked it enough to eat about 3 pieces!
Adapted from Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything“
**I made changes according to my own preference with flour, salt and procedure. For Bittman’s instructions on using the food processor, click HERE.
2 cups All-purpose flour
1 cup White Whole Wheat flour
1 cup lukewarm water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Place ingredients in the bread machine in the following order:
Make a well in the flour using the back of a spoon and place the yeast and salt in the well.
Close the lid of the bread machine, choose the dough setting and push start.
An hour and half later you will have a nice ball of risen pizza dough. Turn the dough out onto your counter. Spread a small amount of olive oil over the a pizza stone (not required) and rub the oil between both hands to prevent dough from sticking to your hands. Place the dough in the center of the stone and spread it out using both hands. Top with your favorite toppings.
I made a meatloaf pizza! I decided that I wanted to use up some of the leftover meatloaf we had for dinner earlier this week. I did not use any of the “stuffed” part of the meatloaf because I was feeding this to Grumpy also, and he didn’t care for the stuffing. I made the topping as follows:
1 cup ketchup
1-2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Mix together and spread over top of the pizza dough. Then top with chunks of leftover meatloaf, sprinkle with Cheddar and Montery jack cheese, sprinkle with some diced red pepper and bake at 450 degrees until pizza dough and cheese is slightly browned. Let cool approximately 10 minutes before cutting and enjoy!