Tag Archives: pizza

Pizza Time – how to make the best pizza dough

Of course you can always buy our MagicKitchen.com flatbreads, *Pesto and Cheese Flatbread or Verdura Gourmet Artisan Flatbread with Kalamata Olives.

But if you have some time, making your own pizza dough is so satisfying, easy and tasty!

I’m going to give you two methods; leavened and non-leavened. Traditionally a pizza dough is leavened, using yeast. But a simple dough can also be used. If you have the time, use the leavened version, you’ll be happier.

If you practice, you can get as good as this guy:

Version one- Leavened

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups – Warm Water (110-115 F)
2 Tbsp. – Sugar
1 Envelope – Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 Tsp. – Salt
2 Tbsp. – Oil
4 Cups – White all-purpose flour

Pour the warm water in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and package of yeast. Stir the mixture until dissolved. Let sit to for about ten minutes.

Add the salt and oil and stir again to combine the ingredients. Add 1 cup of flour and whisk in until dissolved. Add the second cup of flour and whisk it in. Add the 3rd cup of flour and combine. By now the dough mixture should be fairly thick. Add the last cup and flour and, with your hands, begin to combine and knead the dough.

You may need to add a dusting of flour from time to time to reduce the stickiness of the dough. Be patient, folding the dough ball in half and then quarters, over and over again for perhaps 5 to 8 minutes. You may wish to remove the dough ball to a tabletop to knead it. You’ll know you’ve done well when the ball no longer sticks to your hands. It will become a smoothly-textured ball slightly larger than a large grapefruit.

Coat the dough ball with a thin layer of olive oil, and place it in the bottom of a large mixing bowl which has also been coated on the inside with olive oil. Stretch a piece of kitchen film over the top of the bowl and set it in a warm place such an as a microwave. Allow the dough to rise, undisturbed, for 60 to 75 minutes. The dough will have grown to at least twice its original size.

Take the dough out of the bowl and cut in half with a knife. You now have two pizza dough balls, enough to make two (2) 12″ deluxe pizzas. Take each raw dough portion and hand-mold them into balls. Smoothing the outer surface, tuck each ball into itself from underneath.

No need for a second rising, just roll it out, throw on your toppings and cook in a hot (425 degree) oven until the bottom is cooked and the toppings are hot and bubbly.

Version two- Unleavened

Ingredients:

1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups water
6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour

Instructions:

1. In a large mixing bowl*, combine the oil, honey, salt, eggs, and water. Stir until well-mixed. Stir in about 4 cups of the flour, then add more flour as needed and knead into a fairly stiff dough. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Divide dough into 8 pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a circle about 8′.  Make it as thin as possible, about like a pie dough. Place on lightly-greased baking sheets and bake for about 6 minutes, until lighttly browned and not doughy.

3. Take them out and add sauce, cheese and your favorite ingredients. Don’t get too heavy-handed, this dough wants a light sprinkling of cheese, a little sauce and about 2 other ingredients. Some fresh chopped basil after cooking is a great touch. Pop them back in the oven for about 10 more minutes until cheese is bubbly.

Serves 8

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8 Guilty Pleasures

Holiday time means we let ourselves go! Otherwise what would we have to make New Year’s Resolutions about? Here are ten guilty pleasures to indulge in this season.

Moms discuss their guilty pleasures:

  1. Desserts: The number one guilty pleasure has to be desserts. Say no more, we have some amazing ones that ship right to your door.
  2. Lingerie: Check out some of Victoria’s Secret sleepwear. Sexy and comfy, win-win!!
  3. Sleep/Relaxation: One of the luxuries we deny ourselves is actually a life necessity. Give yourself, a friend or a spouse a day or hours off, to allow them to relax and recoup their energy.
  4. Spa: Or go directly to relax, do not pass go!!  Find the most high-end spa in your town and give yourself an afternoon of pampering.
  5. Ice Cream: A scoop of creamy ice cream (my favorite is and always has been Mocha Chocolate Almond). What’s your pick?
  6. Movie night at home: Get your favorite person to join you. Get your favorite old flicks like Dirty Dancing, Grease, Monty Python’s Holy Grail (or Mean Streets, Taxi Driver and Goodfellas, my old favorites), get in your jammies, crack a bottle of wine, pop some popcorn and close the blinds. Enjoy!
  7. Chocolate!: Everyone’s -or at least every womans’- secret delight. We can accommodate you with our new Chocolate Lover’s bundle.
  8. Pizza! It also deserves an exclamation mark.  Whether it’s your favorite local custom pizza place, a national chain or your best homemade recipe, pizza with its drippy cheese, warm soft bread crust, and decadent toppings is one of the all-time guilty pleasures.

Go ahead, drop the guilt and indulge in one or all of these guilty pleasures.  2011  will be here all too soon.

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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