Scratch Pizza Dough

As Spring approaches, my mind starts wrapping itself around summertime, and gardening projects (larger and improved veggie garden this summer!). I think about how lovely summer is, with the smell of dirt, open windows, hot sunlight…and it makes me want to make bread. Sort of weird, but there’s something about bread that fits in with all these great aspects of summer. Though I’m not a bread person, the thought of having homemade croutons, french bread and pizzas has pushed me to reconsider. So, while I have tried to make bread from scratch, it has never turned out. In the back of my mind I knew it would boil down to a few things: better dough by a better recipe and a better machine (I was making with a wooden spoon in a bowl). So, I splurged and bough a Cuisinart with dough function and dug into the recipe booklet that comes with. While I haven’t made bread yet, I did make pizza dough, topping with sauteed leeks and mushrooms with chevre. More on this bread business soon.

Pizza Dough
1 Package Active Dry Yeast
1 Teaspoon Granulated Sugar
1 1/4 Cups Warm Water (105-115 degrees)
3 1/3 Cups Unbleached all-purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
2 Teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Makes 1¾ pounds dough (six 7-inch crusts or three 12-inch crusts) / 6 servings
Approximate preparation time: 5 to 10 minutes, plus 55 minutes rising and resting, 5 minutes assembly and 10 minutes baking.

In a 2-cup liquid measure, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Insert the dough blade into the large work bowl of the Cuisinart® Food Processor and add the flour and salt. With machine running on dough speed, pour the liquid
slowly through the small feed tube as fast as the flour will absorb it. Once a dough ball forms and cleans the sides of the work bowl, process for an additional 30 seconds to knead dough. Dough may be slightly sticky. Coat dough evenly with extra virgin olive oil and transfer
to a plastic food storage bag and seal the top. Let dough rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes. Place dough on a lightly floured surface; punch down and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Roll into desired crust sizes and place on baking pans lightly sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Follow pizza recipe.

Leek, Mushroom & Chevre Pizza
Turn oven to 500 degrees. Roll dough out on floured pizza stone, brush dough surface with olive oil and sprinkle Fleur de Sal if you have it on hand (I love salt, and this stuff is great). Cut up one large leek (white and light green parts only) and 5 large mushrooms. In large skillet, melt three tablespoons of butter; once melted, begin to saute the leeks. After about 5 minutes, add mushrooms and cook until tender, then place on pizza. Add crumbled chevre to top. Cook about ten minutes or until crust is golden brown. Enjoy!


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