Friday, November 25, 2011

Easy Thick Crust Pizza Recipe

If you LOVE thick crust pizza but don't like the prices at the local pizzeria...this is your answer.  Quick and easy, the dough for each pizza cost about 50 cents.  You can top it with left overs, vegetables out of your garden, even the expensive toppings (you will more than save money over the store bought stuff)  And the taste is amazing.  This recipe is so easy, your kids could make this up while you're sleeping in on Saturday morning and you'll have pizza for lunch!  This will make 3 large pizzas, 6 small pizzas or 9 individual personal pizzas!

3 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons dry yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt 
(if you use table salt only use 1 tablespoon)
6 1/2 cups of UNBLEACHED all purpose flour

Unbleached is important.

You will need to use a large bowl.  I like my glass bread bowl because I fill it with hot water and let it sit till it's toasty before I start my recipe...that way, the bowl is warm and the yeast gets a little boost.

It does not matter what ingredient you add first.  I start with warm water, add my yeast and salt, stir and then add my husband does just the opposite...he starts with the flour, adds the yeast and salt and then the warm comes out the same either don't stress.

Add all your flour at once and then stir until all the flour is moistened.  You are done.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for two hours.

To make the pizza:

Liberally flour your hands before you handle the dough, this is a wet dough.

Tear off a piece of parchment the size you want, sprinkle with cornmeal flour and grab a large grapefruit size chunk of dough to roll out.

Flour the top of the dough and your rolling pin and roll out your dough to the size you want.  Placing a towel under the parchment will make rolling easier.

Top with sauce, cheese, toppings and bake in a 475-500 F oven for 18 minutes or until done.  You will need to monitor your oven the first time you make it and check your temperature and time carefully.  Everyone's oven is different.  To bake...make sure you preheat your oven, use a cookie sheet to transfer your pizza on the parchment to your oven rack and then slide the cookie sheet out so the parchment is resting right on the oven rack.  No you will not start a fire.  The parchment will brown, your pizza will have a crusty bottom and all will be right with the world!  To remove, just grab a tip of the parchment and slide your pizza, parchment and all right back onto your cookie sheet to transfer to your counter to cut.

Drizzle dough with olive oil, top with carmelized onions and herbs for a thick focaccia. 
Spread with bar-b-que sauce, top with left over chicken and red onions for a bbq pizza.
Roll into long strips and then roll in herbs, or cheese, or kosher salt and seeds, bake for bread sticks.
Roll into a log and slice the top on a slant with a wet knife, mist with water, bake in the over for a crusty french loaf.
Roll out and flatten, make sure it's floured well and bake off for a chibatta loaf.
Grab your local pizzeria menu and use their same topping ingredients to make your own much less expensive version.  You can easily spend $25- $50 or more going out for pizza when you could make this at home, hot and ready in minutes for pennies on the dollar.


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