Friday, February 21, 2014

Pizza Dough / Pizza Recipe (Homemade)

 I recently discovered that many professional pizza places (and Italians) use a ciabatta bread dough for pizza crust!   So since I had a great ciabatta bread recipe on hand, I decided to try it.  But of course, I did have to make a couple of adjustments to the process for pizza….    And the result was a GREAT pizza crust!   Best homemade pizza I had ever made, really.  And now I feel like I’m never gonna have to pay the high price of delivery pizza ever again!  So I would like to share it with you all—mainly the pizza dough, but I also added some quick instruction on actually making it into a complete pizza.  Enjoy!

Pizza Dough


1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
1 ½ cups warm water (same temperature for a newborn baby bath) 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ¼ cups bread flour (or regular flour)


1.        In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast, salt and sugar in lukewarm water.  Add oil and blend well.
2.        Gradually mix in flour, adding flour one cup at a time.  Don’t add too much flour, but just enough to make the dough “kneadable” but still soft. 

3.      Knead dough about 1 minute, using a light dusting of flour, if needed.  

3.        Lightly coat a clean bowl with cooing oil, and place dough in the bowl, turning it over to coat in the oil.  Cover and let rise in a warm place, 1 hour. 
4.        Punch dough down and lightly dust with flour.   Knead 30 seconds.   Place dough on your pizza ban and form into a pizza dough of your desired shape.   Rub olive oil around the edges of the crust. 

To Make Into A Pizza:

1.       Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2.      Top pizza crust with your favorite pizza sauce (usually ¼ to ½ cup, most jarred or canned spaghetti sauces work perfectly),  your favorite shredded/grated cheeses (2 to 3 cups, depending how much you like)-- and toppings, such as meat or sliced vegetables (meat should be pre-cooked). 
3.      Bake on center rack at 450 for 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and crust is slightly golden.   Remove from oven.  Let stand 3 minutes.   Cut into slices and serve.

Ranch Dressing Recipe (Restaurant-Style)

You know how when you go to a pizza place, or your favorite diner, and they always seem to have the most INCREDIBLE ranch sauce / dressing?  Its amazing on a salad, or to dip veggies in, or even dipping savory foods like pizza crust, fish, or fries!  And of course, no matter how many brands of those thin, "too-miracle-whip-tasing" bottled ranches you try...   You just cannot find that rich, creamy flavor anywhere else.  Well, I got this recipe from someone who used to own a diner, which was rated as having "the best ranch".  I suggest multiplying the recipe putting it in a clean glass jar with a tight-sealing lid and keeping it refrigerated-- because its GOOD and you will probably use it often!

Ranch Dressing Recipe (Restaurant-Style)


½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
1 cup milk (or butter milk)
1 packet hidden valley ranch powder

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl.   Serve as a dip or salad dressing.   Leftovers should be tightly sealed and refrigerated.