The other night I was trying to decide what to make for dinner and thought about making up some Sausage and Pepper’s. Then I thought about having some pizza instead. That was when I realized I would just combine the two.
In the past when I’ve used pizza crust, I’ve told you that I purchase the dough either from the store or one of our local pizza places. I’m not one of those people who has the talent for bread and dough making. And, I do believe it’s a talent that some people just seem to have.
Finally, I decided to try my hand at my own pizza dough, and after making batch after batch of it, I won’t ever be buying a store bought dough again. Well, actually, that isn’t true. If it’s on sale or if I’m in a rush I would still buy the store made version. But, I will admit that working with freshly prepared pizza dough was a wonderful experience.
Here is how I made just one of my most favorite pizza versions.
Pizza Dough recipe from Family Circle Magazine 10/17/10 issue
1 Cup Warm Water
1 Packet Active Dry Yeast (* I used Freischmann’s Pizza Dough Yeast)
2 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt (I used Kosher, so I added a little extra)
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Place water in a small bowl and stir in the yeast. Let stand 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of the flour, sugard and salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and olive oil. Stir until dough comes together and forms a ball. Tur out onto a well floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding as much of the remaining 1/4 clour as needed. Form into a disk and place in a bowl that has been lightly coated with olive oil. Turn disk over and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours. **SEE NOTE**
**NOTE: If you find yourself making the dough on a cold day and don’t have a warm spot to place it, this is what I have done and it’s worked well. I turn the oven to 200 degrees until just heated. Turn off the oven and wait about 15 minutes. Then I place the bowl with the dough, which I cover with a clean dish cloth, in the oven and allow to rise. It will usually rise this way in less than an hour.
TOPPING INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS:
1 lb. Sweet or Hot Italian Bulk Sausage
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
1 Medium Sweet Onion, sliced
1 1/4 Cups Pizza Sauce (Use your favorite here)
1 1/2 Cups Freshly Grated Mozzarella Cheese (or as much as you and your family prefer)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large sauté pan, break up the sausage and brown completely. This will take about 15 or more minutes. You want to make sure the sausage is fully cooked and evenly browned.
Once the sausage is done, remove it to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
In the same pan that you just browned the sausage in, add the sliced onions and peppers. Depending on how lean your sausage is, you may have enough excess grease left in the pan to cook up the onions and peppers. If you don’t, add 1 or 2 teaspoons of olive oil and sauté the peppers and onions until just soft.
Take your risen dough and form it into whatever shape you prefer. I did this in a 16″ pizza pan and it came out perfectly.
Since the toppings are pre-cooked, I decided to pre-bake the crust for a few minutes before adding the toppings.
Place the dough in the oven and allow to pre-bake for about 6 – 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and top the crust with the pizza sauce, sausage, peppers, onions and mozzarella cheese.
Return the pizza to the oven and cook until the top is bubbly, the cheese melted, and the crust is a golden brown.
Sometimes, if I feel like the bottom of the crust is not cooking to the crispness I like, I will slide the pizza off the pizza pan directly on the oven rack half way through the baking process and finish it that way. If you are using a pizza stone, you won’t need to do this.
Once done, remove from the oven and allow to set for a few minutes. Slice into 8 equal pieces using a pizza cutter and serve. Enjoy!
I’ve shared this recipe over at Kim’s blog (Previously known as “Quit Eating Out”) “Recipes to Run On”. Check out Kim’s site by clicking on the link below and view some other links to some great bloggers.