Jay’s Signature Pizza Crust

(from www.allrecipes.com)

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes.

Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.

Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out. Use for your favorite pizza recipe.

*My Hint: I L.O.V.E. to put fresh basil, oregano and garlic powder on my pizza dough. You could actually incorporate them into the dough but I never think of that until afterwards. I just tear it up and sprinkle it over the dough after I’ve put it on the pan.

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes and then bake for about 5 minutes.  Then take it out, slather on all your toppings and pop it back in the oven to finish baking it.

Here are our typical toppings: pasta sauce, Ham, pineapple, a bit of “Italian” bagged cheese (Parmesan and mozzarella), monterey jack cheese and some pepper jack cheese on the grown-up half of the pizza.

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

As a last minute thought, I decided that Hubby and I should have some sauteed onions on our slices. So I cooked ‘em up real fast and just slid them on top. It was perfect!

The knife and fork are a stubborn habit from my years in England. And right now a necessity with my braces.

Homemade Pizza

Again, the joy of creating pizza at home is you get to make it to your specifications. How much cheese you like, what your perfect combination of toppings and how much of them, how doughy or crispy you like your crust… you are in control of it all!

We also like to make BBQ Chicken pizza. All you have to do is use bbq sauce instead of a tomato sauce on top of the crust. Take your cooked shredded or chunked chicken and saturate it with bbq sauce. Let it sit in it for a couple hours in the fridge. To assemble it, just spread the bbq sauce on the crust, add your cheese(s), sprinkle the bbq chicken on top, add some onions and toss that bad boy in the oven for the same amount of time as normal. It’s muy bueno.