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Here is my favorite pizza recipe I won finalist in a pizza contest a few years ago. This recipe is so easy to put together and will become one of your favorites too. Use your food processor to make the dough in about 1 hour (including rise time) and then use a refrigerated Caesar dressing for the sauce. Top with fresh baby spinach and basil. And of course cheese! You can use this dough recipe for any toppings you like!
There are so many opinions of how to make the best pizza dough. Some say an overnight rise makes the best tasting dough. Some say use Italian 00 flour for the chewiest pizza. Some say just flour, water and yeast makes the best tasting pizza. The pizza police don't rule in my kitchen. I often have a desire for pizza and have created a pizza dough that goes together in minutes in my food processor. The rise is just 45-60 minutes and the bake time is 10-15 minutes. There is no need for a pizza stone or a high temperature oven. Use regular all-purpose flour. I like King Arthur All-Purpose Flour as it is high in protein and gives a good chew to my pizza. You can even prebake the pizza dough and set it aside for a few hours before topping and baking or refrigerate for another day. This pizza dough recipe is just the blank canvas for your favorite pizza toppings. Don't overload the toppings and keep them simple for a crispy tasty pizza every time. Enjoy! —Lorraine Fina Stevenski
- PIZZA DOUGH:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1- 1/3 packages rapid rise yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more for the pan
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1- 1/3 cups warm water, 110-115 degrees
- good olive oil for coating the crust
- 1 cup regrigerated Caesar salad dressing, I LIKE MARIES!
- 2 cups fresh mozzarella, diced
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
- 1 cup 5-cheese shredded Italian cheese in the bag
- garlic-pepper blend
- freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- MAKE THE PIZZA DOUGH: In the bowl of a large food processor, add the flour, yeast and salt; pulse a few times to blend. Add the oil and honey and start the processor. Add the water slowly through the feed tube. Continue processing until a ball forms; about 1 minute. After 30 seconds stop the processor and feel the dough. If it is sticky add a tablespoon or two of flour. If too dry add a tablespoon or two of water. Carefully remove the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough a few times into a ball. Lightly coat a large glass bowl with olive oil. Add the ball of dough and loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size. I like to use the microwave oven with the door slightly open as this makes a nice cozy place for the dough to rise. The dough is ready when there is NO resistance to an indentation poked into the dough. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half and press each into a flat disk. Lightly coat two 14" pizza pans with olive oil. Press each piece of dough to the edge of the pan and then fold over the edge of the dough for the crust. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and prebake each crust just until puffed and firm; do not brown.
- PUT IT ALL TOGETHER: Use a pastry brush to coat the pre-baked crust with olive oil. Spread a very thin layer of Caesar salad dressing over the dough. Sprinkle the fresh mozzarella cheese, then the baby spinach, fresh basil and shredded 5-cheese Italian. Sprinkle with garlic pepper and then a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until nicely browned and bubbling. Let rest for about 10 minutes and then cut and serve. I like to sprinkle each pizza with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese just before serving.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Best Thing You Ate This Year
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with a Smarty Pants Trick or Technique