Perfect Pizza Dough

Pizza dough? What? Is that an analogy for the consistency of joint compound when you mix it in with dry mortar?

No. Relax. This is a pizza dough recipe.

“But whyyyy? The internet has so many pizza dough recipes already, jeez, when are you going to redo the breezeway and mudroom, already!???” You whine at me.

Why? Because I’ve tried 487,654,324 pizza dough recipes and this. is. the. one. It doesn’t take 5 minutes. It’s not super convenient. But it’s like, real, pizza dough. The only way you could make it more real would be to stick it on the grill, which I totally plan on doing, once our cement patio is done enough for grilling, which I hope is soon.

I digress. Take the time and make this. And don’t just use it for pizza. Use it for calzones, use it for flatbreads, use it for breadsticks…go WILD!

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 12.33.49 PMPerfect Pizza Dough
Adapted from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen

Here’s the thing, this takes some effort to make, but once you get it done, you can keep it in the fridge for days. So next time you’re bored on a weekend, whip up a double batch that can take you through the week. I just like to let this rest at room temp so that it is a bit easier to roll out.

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
3 cups all-purpose flour, and more as needed
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for coating the bowl
1 tablespoon sugar

Mix together the yeast, warm water, sugar and 1 tablespoon olive oil until dissolved. Set aside. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, creating a well in the center. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the yeast mixture until your dough comes together. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead 5-10 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean, damp cloth. Set the bowl in a warm, draft-free spot (I like to keep it in the oven with just the oven light turned on) until it doubles in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down the dough and divide into the number of portions you need. Place the dough balls on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly against the dough. Refrigerate until the dough is roughly doubled in bulk. This can take from 12 to 24 hours. Punch down the dough, knead it slightly, and continue with the recipe.


Cabbage and Sausage Make Delicious

This is how dinner is made during the week in our house.

Me: Oh, crap. I forgot to plan dinner today.

Xris: Whatever works.

Me: Oh, crap. I have to use that up before it goes bad.

Our conversations are very artful. But really it mostly always comes down to what I have to use up so that I don’t waste food. I HATE wasting food, it’s one of my hugest pet peeves.

Anyway, last week I found myself with a cabbage that was about to turn, a package of italian sausage that I completely forgot I pulled out and no desire whatsoever to cook. Voila! Cabbage and Sausage Kind-Of Casserole (You could call it a skillet dinner.)

This was so flavorful and satisfying that we couldn’t stop raving about it while we ate it and that’s always a win. Also, I originally thought about adding carrots, potatoes, or even rice, but didn’t because I wanted to get this to the table in like a half hour. You could totally add some though, it will definitely make this super filling!

Cabbage and Sausage Kind-Of Casserole

1 cabbage (small to medium) chopped (about the size of a chunky coleslaw)
1 package hot Italian Sausage (or your favorite sausage)
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, sliced very very thin
2 tbl olive oil*
1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used a “Pizza blend” you can use whatever you have on hand.)
Salt and Pepper
Honey mustard sauce

In a dutch oven (or any heavy-bottomed pot/skillet with a lid) add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the sausage, removed from its casing, crumbled. Cook over medium heat or until sausage is cooked through and browned. Remove it from the skillet and set aside.

*You want there to be about 2 tablespoons of fat still left in the pot, so if your sausage rendered more, drain the excess. If you used a chicken sausage or low-fat sausage, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Add the onion to the pan and add a pinch of salt. Cook until tender, a few minutes. Then add the garlic, and stir, making sure that the garlic does not get too browned and cook until the onions are translucent. Add in the cabbage. Stir to incorporate the onion and garlic, and then cover and let the cabbage cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the cabbage is cooked and tender, check the bottom of your pot. If there’s a good amount of liquid, drain it. If not, let’s keep going! Add the sausage back in and stir it all together. Add in a bit more salt and pepper. Toss in the shredded cheese and mix about a bit more. Cook for an additional few minutes, just to get it all to come together.

Remove from heat and serve. I like to drizzle it with honey mustard and enjoy!