Sunday, May 25, 2008

Jeff's Cheater Pizza Crust

We decided to make pizza for dinner last night. I was totally going to make the pizza crust from Michelle's food blog, but Jeff forced me to take a much-needed nap while he took care of dinner.

Enter the bread machine.

Jeff, I think, has a phobia of making bread without this invaluable appliance. The mixing, kneading, and rising are just too complicated when there's not a machine to do it for him. I don't mind, though, because having the bread machine encourages Jeff to make bread frequently, and it does turn out quite good. The pizza he made is no exception.
I've found that this dough rolls out MUCH easier if you let it sit in the bread machine for 5-10 minutes after it's done rising. Without this important step, the dough just snaps back into shape every time you try to flatten it, and it takes much longer, and a lot more work. So after my nap, I rolled out the crust, and put the pizza together with all the toppings that Jeff had prepared. And the pizza turned out great!Bread Machine Pizza Crust
3/4 cup warm water (80 degrees)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. dry milk
2 1/4 cups bread flour (we just used all-purpose)
1 tsp. active dry yeast

Place all ingredients in bread machine pan in the order recommended by manufacturer. Run on dough cycle. If your machine doesn't have a dough cycle, take the dough out after the first rise. Let the dough sit, covered, for five to ten minutes to make it easier to handle.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface. Place on pizza pan. This recipe is for a 12-inch pizza. It makes 1 thick or 2 thin crusts. We have a 15-inch pizza stone, and it made 1 medium crust.

Spread pizza sauce over the dough and sprinkle with toppings. We used a cheddar-mozzarella blend, homemade turkey sausage, olives, and Parmesan sprinkled on top. Yum!

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown around edges. After the pizza was done baking, we sprinkled it with Italian seasoning. We didn't do this before it baked because we didn't want the seasonings to scorch.

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