March 2019

Pizza Night

Last Friday night seemed like the perfect pizza night. At first I thought I would just pop by the local Take n Bake and scoop one up. What was I thinking! I had all the ingredients to make a mouth watering homemade pizza! It’s amazes me how incredibly easy pizza dough is to make and with the recipe below you will see why. 

Please read through the instructions for the dough , it may seem lengthy but it really is quite simple.

I have included a list of toppings used for this pizza. Of course you can use any ingredients you love for the toppings, I prefer all veggie and so that’s what this recipe is.

Great Frogs Powatinika stands alone an easy drinking wine and is the choice for this meal. Powatinika is a very easy drinking red blend, one of my personal favorites!

Basic Pizza Dough

Make any type of pizza with this basic dough. If you’re entertaining a crowd or just want to prepare extra dough for freezing, double the recipe (pizza dough freezes very well for up to a month).


  • 1 cup warm water

  • 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose bread flour, plus more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus extra for greasing bowl)

In a measuring cup, place warm water. The water should be warm to the touch but not too hot (water that is too hot will kill the yeast; and water that is too cold will not activate it).

Sprinkle the yeast into the water, add sugar, and stir gently until both ingredients dissolve (about 1 minute). When yeast is mixed with water at the proper temperature, a smooth, beige mixture results.

Let stand for 5 minutes, until a thin layer of creamy foam covers surface, indicating that the yeast is effective. (Note: If bubbles have not formed within 5 minutes, discard mixture and start over with a fresh package of yeast).

Mixing by hand: Combine 3 cups flour with sea salt in a large-size mixing bowl. Make a well in center and pour in your yeast mixture and oil. Using a wooden spoon, vigorously stir flour into well, beginning in center and working toward sides of bowl, blending well to get rid of any lumps. Next, place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Dust your hands with flour and knead gently. Turn and repeat until the dough is silky and elastic (about 10 minutes). Note: too much kneading overdevelops the gluten in the flour and results in a tough crust.

Pizza Dough Tip: The temperature in your kitchen should be around 68–75°F (20–24°C) for the dough to rise properly.

Once you have mixed and kneaded the dough, shape into a ball and place into a well-oiled bowl. Turn the dough ball to coat with oil completely as this prevents a hard surface from forming that would inhibit rising. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and drape a kitchen cloth over top.

Let the dough rise in a draft-free, warm place until it has doubled in size (about 1 to 2 hours). When the dough is ready, use your fist to punch it down, to eliminate the air bubbles. Next, use the following measurements as a general guide for dough distribution:

To make one 15 to 16 inch pizza, keep dough in a single ball.

To make two 12 inch pizzas or two 9 inch deep-dish pizzas, divide dough into 2 pieces.

To make individual 9 inch pizzas, divide dough into 4 to 6 equal sized portions.

To make appetizer sized pizzas, divide dough into 12 to 18 equal sized portions.

Dough can be kept refrigerated for up to 36 hours before the yeast is exhausted and the dough unusable or for long term storage place the dough within a resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to a month. Remember to let chilled dough come to room temperature before shaping.


You can use whatever pizza sauce you like, there are many delicious ones at your local market.


Mushrooms, red or yellow onion, Banana peppers, Red or green bell pepper,

Spinach, artichokes (if using canned, be sure to squeeze as much water out as you can). Green/black /kalmata olives.

*Of course you may use any toppings you wish, hot Italian sausage would be an excellent choice for this pizza.


Gently roll out pizza dough (all if for large, 1/2 dough for round pan) on lightly floured surface. Dust pan with flour or better yet, corn meal. Place dough on pan and press around edges to form your crust. 

Drizzle a little olive oil over surface of pizza.

Add your sauce

Sprinkle garlic, minced or powder

Salt, pepper, Basil , oregano and perhaps a little fennel seed.

Add cheese, mozzarella, plus Parmesan if you’d like.

Add toppings listed above, If using fresh spinach I add it first.

Fresh chopped tomatoes are a nice addition, careful on the amount of juice though.

Sausage or meat (optional)

Top off with a little more cheese. (Optional)

Bake pizza in a 425 degree oven. Center rack for softer crust, lower rack for crispier crust. If using a pizza stone follow manufacturers directions .

Bake until cheese is lightly brown and ingredients (meat if using) is cooked thru.

Allow to cool slightly before cutting.



Crust, I usually allow only an hour to let the dough rise. Gives me plenty of time to prepare the toppings.

Fresh veggies do add water so careful on the amount.

To reduce the possible and dreaded soggy crust, it’s advisable to sauté any mushrooms and or peppers (accept spinach and fresh tomatoes) prior to assembling the pizza.

Michelle AhlersComment