izza is kind of a big deal around our place. It is loved by all, and there's a general agreement on toppings--that is, Seth likes very few and very specific, while if it's most any vegetable at all, husband and I are fine. Every once in a while I deviate off into some fruity-pesto-y land, and leave the boys behind (as you'll see below). (Seth's pizza is pictured above, very simple: red peppers and green peppers and lots of cheese!)
But pizza itself, how lovely. Really almost a perfect food, when you think about it. I seem to remember my brother and I making this argument as children: what's not to love? You've got your grains (crust), your vegetables (sauce AND toppings), your dairy/protein (cheese). Almost a complete meal. There's been a trend of egg-topped pizzas lately, and how much more complete would that be? Yeah, I didn't think you were going to go for that one. My guys either. But I might be persuaded to give it a whirl, one bold and crazy weekend. (Yes, I know. How sad if that's what passes for bold and crazy. Sigh.)
Here's a fabulous pizza crust recipe I found in my new standby: Cook's Illustrated. It requires a large-ish food processor for the version I tried, but there are also instructions for using a stand mixer too. But if you can squeeze this into your food processor, give it a spin--it's quick and easy and makes a really delightful crust. Me, I need to work on my pizza-dough-twirling skills. They are lacking...
from Cook's Illustrated
1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 envelope (about 2 1/4 tsp.) instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting work surface and hands
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let it stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room-temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
Process the flour and salt in a large food processor, pulsing to combine. Continue pulsing while pouring the liquid ingredients (holding back a few tablespoons) through the feed tube. If the dough does not readily form into a ball, add the remaining liquid and continue to pulse until a ball forms. Process until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 30 seconds longer.
The dough will be a bit tacky, so use a rubber spatula to turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand for a few strokes to form a smooth, round ball. Put the dough into a deep oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
Poked and on its way down...
Husband's veggie version, with pepperoncinis. Those peppers were HOT.
I see this crust getting to be a regular around here. Maybe calzones are next on the list?