Have you seen the foodie blog, Hungry Hungry Hippie? Blogger Elise’s mom is my cousin, Melinda. I noticed this week that HHH was being written by middle sis, Laura – that’s how I discovered their ENTIRE family is vacationing in Hawaii, ‘cept Laura! What a good sister – and turns out, a good blogger.
I love this family and Elise (athlete, left) is my buddy, so I offered her a Guest Post, too: Larry’s Excellent Pizza recipe. Larry knows his way around pizza-making; Elise will attest to that. While attending UCLA, a block from our home, she was not only a welcomed dinner guest but also a handy house-sitter.
Larry’s dough is scratch-made, an adaptation of a recipe in The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook. Recently, he upgraded to fresh yeast he discovered at a restaurant supply store. Now, his pizzas are even better. We eat Larry’s Excellent Pizza practically ever week. The night of the final Lakers’ win, we brought a pizza down the street (see him walking with it?) to share with friends – sadly for Larry they weren’t basketball nuts so he kept leaving the table to check the score.
Larry’s pizza dough is not fast. It is slow with several steps. Upside? (1) It’s cheap: yeast + flour + water + olive oil. (2) Making it is a satisfying project. (3) You end up with dough for two pizzas (freeze one for the next week). And (4) once you make your own, a pre-made Boboli doesn’t hack it.
Larry’s Excellent Pizza
- 1 package active dry yeast
- About 4 ½ cups all purpose flour (you can use maybe 1 cup of whole wheat and the rest all-purpose but any more WW and it is gummy)
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- Olive oil
- Herbs and grains – according to Larry, he typically adds some flavor and crunch to the dough such as a teaspoon of sesame seeds, half teaspoon dried rosemary, half teaspoon dried oregano or other Italian spice
- 1 cup thick red pasta sauce – jar or homemade
- 1 cup of any Lindsay variety of olives – we go for black most pizzas here
- About 1 cup of each, one to four additional things or mix-and-match different areas on your pizza – green bell pepper slices, sliced mushrooms, marinated artichoke hearts, pineapple, fresh tomato slices, diced onion
- If desired, some sort of meat: sliced pepperoni, sausage, bacon, ham
- ½ lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
Start early in the day to make the dough. In a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, combine yeast, 2 cups flour and 1 tsp. salt. In 1-quart saucepan over low heat, heat water until very warm (120 – 130 degrees F). With mixer at low speed, slowly blend water into dry ingredients. Then at medium speed, beat 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in ½ cup flour to make a thick batter, continue beating 2 minutes more. Stir in about 1 ½ cups additional flour to make a soft dough.
On a floured surface, knead dough about 8 minutes, adding more flour if needed. Shape into ball, place in a greased large bowl, cover with a towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down dough, cut in half. From this point you can put half the dough into an airtight container in the freezer for another time, or make two pizzas.
Place dough on greased 12-inch pizza pan or cookie sheet, cover with a towel and let sit for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Using your fingers, press the dough half into a 13-inch circle. Pinch up edges of dough to form a rim. Brush lightly with olive oil. Bake 10 minutes before adding toppings. Then spread pasta sauce, toppings and cheese on top. Bake 10-15 minutes or until crust is golden. Cut into wedges.