Sunday, April 7, 2013


Perfect Pizza Dough

I have been making my own pizza dough for quite a while.  I have tried all kinds of flours, measurements and processes...this is by far the best recipe I have come up with.

1.5 cups warm water
1 package dry active yeast
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1.5 cups wheat flour
2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder and/or Italian seasoning (optional)

- Add water, yeast and sugar to your mixing bowl

- Let it sit for about 10 minutes to activate yeast

- Add remaining ingredients, use the paddle attachment and turn mixer on low until combined

- Continue to mix on a medium speed for another 2 minutes

- Turn mixer up to high until dough comes off of paddle

- Turn dough onto floured surface and knead for a few minutes

- Round out the dough and place it in sprayed bowl and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap

- Place in a warm place, and let the dough proof for an hour 

- Divide dough into 2 equal portions (2 large pizzas) or 4 equal portions (4 personal pizzas)

- Knead and round each portion, and cover again

- Let it sit for another hour (if I have plenty of time on my hands, I may repeat the last two steps 3-4 more times to develop flavor)

- At this point you can either roll the dough out into pizza crust or refrigerate it for up to a week

- This dough also freezes beautifully.  To thaw, place the dough into the fridge at least a day before use.
The longer the dough sits in the fridge, the more it ferments. Fermentation = Flavor
Vital Wheat Gluten is a protein derived from wheat. It is what people who are "Gluten Free" try to avoid. It gives the dough elasticity, and a nice crispness when baked. If you are unable to find it, you can sub bread flour (which is higher in gluten) for the AP flour.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

3 tbsp olive oil
.5 cup finely chopped onion
.25 cup finely chopped celery
3 minced garlic cloves
1 28 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp honey or agave
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

- Saute onion, celery and garlic in olive oil until tender

- Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour

- Add salt and pepper to taste

Keeps for several weeks in the fridge.
Tempeh Sausage Crumbles

My husband loves the flavors in traditional Italian sausage, and he thought this version tasted just like the real thing!

1 package tempeh
3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp crushed fennel
2 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh sage
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt

- Break up tempeh into small bite sized pieces

- Place in a saucepan with 1 tbsp soy sauce and enough water to barely cover it 

- Bring to simmer for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed

- Place in a bowl with remaining ingredients

- Use a fork or your hands to mix well until fully incorporated

Brown in a pan for a pizza topping, or add directly into casseroles and pasta sauces.

This pizza was awesome! I used homemade pizza sauce, Daiya vegetarian mozzarella shreds, garlic, peppers, onions, tomatoes, fresh basil and tempeh sausage crumbles.

The best way to cook a pizza is at a high temperature. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, and place your pizza on a pizza pan. After about 10 minutes of baking, carefully slide the pizza directly onto the rack. This makes for a nice crisp crust. Continue to bake until desired done-ness is reached. Watch carefully, it happens quickly!