Basic pizza dough (with cheese!)

I dug out my yummy pizza dough recipe this morning.

I thought I had posted it here last year, but when I did a search (after spending 15 minutes trying to find the Search widget and putting it back on my home page – it’s at the top left), I discovered that I had not shared this great recipe with you.

Don’t you think it’s about time I started sharing recipes again? I’m constantly on the prowl for good ones. And, be honest, don’t you simply exist for the day you see a new recipe on my blog?

I had been buying chef Shane’s homemade crust from the Argenta farmers market on Saturday mornings, but some days he didn’t make the crust (too many other great baked goods to prepare), some days I got there after they sold out, and I finally realized I don’t have to go to the CAFM every single Saturday morning.

Shane’s pizza crust is awesome, but why not make my own, especially when I have such a yummy recipe? (OK, yes, it’s easier to buy someone else’s crust, but that takes all the fun out of baking!)

So here you go, a basic pizza crust with cheese inside! Later I’ll post the chicken fajita pizza recipe that I created last year. I need to modify the recipe a bit before I post it (I think I left some ingredients off the scrap of paper I composed it on!).

Basic Pizza Dough

1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
3 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for kneading dough OR
¾ cup whole-wheat flour, ¼ cup bread flour and 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix yeast and lukewarm water in small bowl. Let sit 5-10 minutes. The yeast will dissolve and become foamy.

Put flour, salt, sugar, Parmesan and garlic powder into bowl of food processor. Pulse a few times to mix.

Mix dissolved yeast mixture with 1 cup lukewarm water. Turn on food processor. Pour water and yeast into food processor through hole in top. Let machine run until dough makes a ball. If dough is too sticky to make a ball, add a little more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it forms a ball. Take dough out of processor and knead on floured countertop until dough is very smooth.

Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into medium bowl and swirl it around until bowl is coated. Place dough ball into bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free place about 1 hour. Dough should double in size.

Remove plastic wrap from bowl. Using your fist, press all air out of dough. Dough is now ready to roll out and prepare according to pizza recipe. (NOTE: You can wrap dough in plastic wrap and keep it refrigerated 1 to 2 hours before making pizza.)

Preheat oven to 425° F. Grease pan with olive oil. Spread dough in pan, and prick with fork. Spread light layer of olive oil over dough, and sprinkle with oregano (for chicken fajita pizza, skip this step). Bake 10 minutes.

Remove dough from oven, cover with toppings and bake another 10-15 minutes, until dough is done and cheese is melted.

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