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lazy vegetarians are everywhere. this is a collection of easy recipes and tips for dining out for vegetarians with little time or effort.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Homemade pizza dough is simple stuff

Pizza is one of those universal meals that most people love.

Making it at home is easiest when you just buy the pre-made dough, spread a little sauce, sprinkle on some cheese and bake according to the package directions.

Not as easy, but still pretty simple is making your own dough.

This can be made in advance and frozen for quick and easy dinners throughout a busy work week.

This recipe will make two small pizzas that are each enough for two people to eat.

Start by mixing the sugar into a cup of warm water, not hot, but warm.

Add the yeast into the water and allow it to sit for about ten minutes.

While the yeast is prepping, mix the salt and flour into a large bowl. I use white whole wheat flour to give it a little more health value, but not as much of the whole-wheat taste as regular wheat flour.

Most people use regular unbleached all-purpose flour, that will work as well.

After ten minutes, the yeast should have created a foam on the water. Mix the yeast-water and two tablespoons of oil into the flour and mix thoroughly.

Once the dough forms from this mixture, sprinkle some extra flour onto a clean countertop or cutting board.

It’s time to start kneading the dough.

Every recipe will try to tell you a technique that works better for kneading, but just knead the dough however works for you for about ten minutes.

Pounding, squishing, rolling, grabbing, and rubbing all work. Just make sure all of the dough becomes a consistent color and texture.

Spray or brush some olive oil into a large, clean bowl and place the ball of dough into this and then get the oil on the top and bottom of the dough as well.

Let it rest for an hour, covered with a damp cloth, then knead it again for a minute or two. There will be air released in this process, so don’t be gentle and don’t think you messed up when you plop down the dough and it deflates. That’s what you want it to do.

Let it rest again for another hour.

Freeze it now if you want to save it for later.

When you’re ready for pizza, either defrosted or immediately, start by pre-heating your oven to 475.

Stretch the dough by hand or rolling pin by starting with a ball and pushing outward.

Once the dough is in your nice, perfectly circular crust shape (which mine never seems to be, but you’re probably better at this than I am with my lack of patience) put on whatever toppings you want.

I like to throw a pinch of cornmeal onto my cookie sheet or pizza pan before placing the dough on it, but this is optional.

I use whatever pasta sauce I have sitting around, some shredded cheese and fresh cut veggies.

When I feel like treating myself, I get a package of the Light Life veggie pepperoni slices. They aren’t cheap, but they are delicious and packed with protein.

The dough is already vegan, so to make this meal vegan, just use non-dairy cheese or leave the cheese off all together.

Brushing the edges of the crust with olive oil and garlic will help keep it from drying out while you cook and add a little extra flavor.

Cook for about 10 minutes or until the crust has started to get golden brown and the cheese is melted and starting to get brown as well.

Ingredients:

3 cups of white whole wheat flour

1 tsp. salt

2 1/4 tsp. active yeast (or 1 packet if you buy the 1/4 oz. packets)

1 cup warm water

1 1/2 tbsps. sugar

About 3 tbsps. olive oil, 2 for in the dough, 1 for coating the bowl

Tomato sauce

Shredded cheese

Toppings

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