To all my gentleman readers (do you exist?). Let me share with you the BEST pick up line I have ever heard.
You see, I was on the treadmill this evening. I finished my finals recently, and so the treadmill and I had not been spending as much time together as we used to. It’s been slow-going getting back in the swing of things. And tonight there was a man in the gym with me who was doing big scary things like lifting weights as I huffed and puffed on my little girly machines. We finished up around the same time and he walked over and said, “You look like you run often.”
Stop. Stop right there. I look like I run often? There is no way this statement is true. Although I do run often, I eat enough that it doesn’t look like it. But this man has just won me over, a mere three days after I jumped back on the treadmill. Yeah, yeah, I know I’m married. I had my wedding ring on and wiped the sweat off my forehead with that hand, and he kept talking. So maybe he wasn’t trying to pick me up. But guys, let me tell you. That line is a winner. I look like I run often!
Two great recipes came out of the kitchen on Sunday night. I knew it was my civic duty to share the chocolate one first. But what we ate for dinner before the chocolate sauce was pretty good as well. I needed to preface this recipe with the treadmill story, because you need to know that when I eat like this, I have to do something to work it off. I don’t want you thinking I just sit around on my bum and let the pizza and hot fudge work itself off.
That’s right, you heard me. Pizza! With homemade dough. It doesn’t get better. And it takes a little time, but it really couldn’t be easier. Roll up your sleeves and join me if you want.
For the dough, you will need:
- 1 1/4 C water between 100 and 110 degrees (I use the hottest tap water I can)
- 2 packages of dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp for those who need equivalents)
- 1 T honey
- 3 T olive oil
- 4 C all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
- 2 t Kosher salt
- cornmeal, for dusting the baking sheet
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir it aorund a couple of times to ensure it’s all mixed in. Pour the water mixture, honey, olive oil, 3 C flour and the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook (That’s right, the dough hook! Challenge met!).
Mix on medium low speed, and while mixing, add the additional 1 C flour. Continue mixing the dough for 10 minutes, sprinkling a little more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl.
*a note: These 10 mixing minutes are great for getting little things done around the kitchen. I cleaned out the fridge, took out he recycling, emptied the dishwasher, you get the picture.
After ten minutes, you should have a smooth dough.
Mine was a bit sticky still, so I kneaded a little more flour in by hand.
On a floured board, knead the dough about 10-12 more times by hand.
Place in a large bowl greased with oil (this will ensure the dough doesn’t stick when you need to take it back out). Cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
When I picked this dough up, I gasped. There was no one home, but I didn’t mind. It was pillow soft and absolutely heavenly. At this exact moment, I knew dinner would be a hands-down winner.
Divide the dough into two parts. If you are not going to use the dough right away, wrap each half tightly in Cling Wrap and zip it into a Ziploc bag. Then put it in the freezer. Even if you’re going to use it right away, you need to freeze it to stop the second rise. Otherwise (and I’ve learned this the hard way), the dough will keep rising and pop out of the bag and spread all over the fridge. Ew.
If you are ready to keep going, place one ball of dough on a baking sheet, cover with a damp towel, and let rest for 10 more minutes. After it has rested, roll it out lightly, then stretch it with your fingers until it fits your baking sheet. Though I am no professional pizza tosser, I like to pick it up to stretch it.
And there you have it. Homemade pizza dough that is absolutely perfect for whatever toppings strike your fancy.
For us, it was tomato sauce, 8 oz. of sliced mozzerella, 4 oz. shredded Fontina and thyme. I had visions of carmelized onions, wild mushrooms, and of course, this, from whence the dough recipe came. But we kept it simple and loved the results.
Bake your pizza in a preheated (450) oven for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese bubbles.