Since my husband and I are both retired now, we try to resist the temptation to eat out too frequently. It's easy to use eating out as a source of entertainment. It's an outing which can result in over-eating high calorie and high fat foods and it can also be expensive. Nearly every week, I make home made pizza. Making pizza on a piping hot pizza stone in a 500 degree oven really is the key. I make the pizza crust dough in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer. I've determined that the pizza dough recipe I make is a little too large for one pizza, but a little too small to make two pizzas. As a result, I've been throwing out some of the dough. So wasteful! Finally I've found a use for that little leftover bit of dough.
I have slightly altered a recipe from the Pioneer Woman; I have been adding some dried herbs to the dough with some delicious results.
PIZZA CRUST ADAPTED FROM "THE PIONEER WOMAN"
PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONSTO MAKE THE DOUGH:
Add about 1/2 teaspoon sugar to 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water. Stir to combine. Sprinkle yeast over surface of water; set aside.
In a mixer, combine flour, salt, and dried herbs. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water/sugar mixture and mix until just combined.
Coat a separate mixing bowl with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. I make the dough in the morning and let it sit out on the countertop for several hours.
I am using about 3/4 of the dough for a very large pizza. Divide the remainder if the dough into three equal pieces, work the three pieces into three long worm shapes, and braid them together. I put the braid on a cookie sheet and cover with a tea towel and let it rest/rise for about 1/2 an hour. Bake the braid in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 23 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown.
This bread is great with a glass of red wine.