We like to make our own pizza crust out of mostly whole wheat flour augmented with all-purpose flour... and seasoned just like we like it. Tonight, we made a (chicken) sausage, mushroom, and onion pizza!
The Dough: combine a packet of active dry yeast with 1 cup of very warm water and a couple of drops of honey - stir well and let this rest for about 10 minutes to get that yeast alive and kicking. You'll know you've got good yeast action when it starts to foam on the top.
Put close to 3 cups of flour (2.5 wheat, .5 all-purpose) in a bowl with seasonings of your choice - we used garlic powder (tbls), salt (1/2 tbls.), and a few shakes of dried oregano (notice the green flakes in the dough). In goes the water/yeast mixture and stir/fold with a spoon until the dough starts for form. Eventually you gotta put the spoon down and get in there with your hands and start to knead the dough, folding it in half over and over. You'll need to judge how much flour you might have to augment the dough with - it shouldn't be too sticky so just sprinkle all-purpose flour over the sticky parts and continue to fold that in.
When you've got a good doughy - not dry but not TOO sticky - consistency, line another glass bowl with a quick turn of olive oil and get the dough in there and covered with a kitchen towel. Let that dough rise for an hour on stovetop of a warm oven - it'll double in size during that time.
About 45 minutes later, get the oven going at high temp (we had it at 455) with a pizza stone preheating on the bottom rack of the oven - if you have a pizza stone. If you don't... ummm... go get one! Or you could just use a cookie sheet.
When the dough is ready, get your pizza peel (or big wooden cutting board) out and sprinkle with all-purpose flour. This will be key so the dough doesn't stick to the board. Start flattening and stretching out the dough on the board while using more flour to make sure it doesn't stick... keep pushing out from the middle and try to get a uniform depth to the dough. We used about 1/2 the prepared dough for two people - the other 1/2 goes in the freezer to be defrosted on a rainy day.
When you are satisfied with the size and shape of your dough, pop it in that 455-degree oven right on the stone for about 5 minutes to give it a head start on the toppings...
We bought some chicken sausage that we sliced up and sauteed, then added some mushrooms to start the cooking with those, too. In addition, we'll add some raw onions to the top of the pizza.
Take the dough back out of the oven and start with a layer of sauce. We use the Pastene out-of-a-can stuff because it is very subtle and that's what we're looking for. After a thin layer of that is evenly distributed, go for a thin layer of shredded cheese (we had Jack and Cheddar available). Then on goes the sauteed sausage and mushroom mixure. On top of that, rings of onion. Finally, a last layer of cheese.
Back onto the stone for 8 minutes and 8 minutes ONLY! Here are the results:
The results: great! Dough was seasoned well and nicely chewy - perhaps TOO chewy? I guess that's in the jaw of the biter... How to make it less chewy, less kneading? More kneading? Anyone know?