PIZZA AND BREADSTICKS

If you know me, then you already know that I Love pizza! I like it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I like it hot and I like it cold….in the pot nine days old.  Well, maybe not nine days old….but you get the picture.  Last week I tried Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Fried Steak, from her new cookbook and it was delish.  Over the weekend, I decided to put her pizza crust recipe to the test. Her recipe is very similar to my own, except that it has quite a bit more Olive Oil added to the dough.  Since there’s two of us in this house right now, we don’t need a huge pizza.  My round pizza pans are quite large, so I decided to use smaller rectangular shaped pans.  I split the dough in half, and made one pizza and one pan of breadsticks with the dough.
This dough is very good, with a light texture.  I followed her pizza crust recipe to the T, but used toppings that I knew my husband would enjoy.  The pizza toppings she shows in her fabulous cookbook, would fly with me….but not my better half.  Try this recipe soon….it’s a great one.
I still have my own favorite however.  The crust is a bit chewier and a little denser in texture.  I will post it as well.  I’m still on the hunt for a perfect crust recipe that tastes like a little pizza shop in Alpine, WY.  It is perfect.  Until then, I will be trying out every pizza crust recipe under the sun.  By the way….those who know me, also know that “Pizza Hut” crust is my least favorite!  Why???  It tastes like greasy cake to me…..however, my children all disagree with me!
I used lots of Mozzarella cheese, crispy bacon, ham and pineapple.

Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks and yummy pizza.

Make your dough….cover and let it rise.
Grease your pans with a bit of Olive Oil.
Prepare your favorite Sauce.
(I’ve also posted my favorite pizza sauce recipe, below.)
Prepare your toppings.
This is what I do:
Cut some nice thick cut Maple bacon into small pieces.
Begin to fry it up in a skillet.
While it’s frying, cut some of your favorite lean ham in small pieces.
Fry the bacon until golden, and remove any extra grease with paper towels.
Add the ham pieces to the cooked bacon and simmer for a couple minutes.
I also add a tablespoon of Brown Sugar and 1/4 tsp Onion salt.
Toss it around as the ham fries just a bit.
Oh…..it’s really yummy!

Now….

Your dough should be ready to press into pans.

1 pan is pizza
1 pan is for breadsticks.
The pizza has a pressed ridge around the outside edges….see!
The breadstick dough….does not have a ridge, and I also used more dough on this pan.
(I want a thinner crust for my pizza, but thicker breadsticks)
Brush the breadstick dough with lots of butter.
I also sprinkle the dough with garlic salt, but I wait to sprinkle
the parmesan cheese until after they are baked.
I like to use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into sticks.
Now top your pizza dough with your favorite sauce.
Top with cheese, bacon, ham and pineapple.
Bake at 500 degrees until golden around the edges and bottom is done.
I like to place my pizza on the very bottom rack of the oven.
Sometimes….I use a pizza baking stone – today I just used a pan instead.
The breadsticks are in…..the middle of the oven.
When the breadsticks are golden, brush with melted butter again!
Now sprinkle a tad more garlic salt, and lots of Parmesan over the top.
This is Pioneer Woman’s Pizza Crust Recipe:
1 teaspoon or 1/2 packet active dry yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling.
Directions:
Pour 1-1/2 cups warm water into a bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast over the water.  Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.  With an electric mixer on low speed, drizzle in the olive oil until just incorporated.  In a separate bowl, gently stir the yeast/water mixture, and drizzle it into the flour/oil mixture; mix until the dough forms a ball.  You can also mix by hand until the dough comes together.  Drizzle a little olive oil into a clean bowl.  Toss the ball of dough in the bowl and turn over to coat in oil.  Cover the bowl with a moist kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.  To prepare the pizza, preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.  Divide the dough in half.  Lightly drizzle olive oil on a pizza pan or rimmed baking sheet.  Using your hands, stretch the dough to the desired shape, pressing the dough into the pan with your fingers. The thinner the better. The surface of the dough should be lumpy from finger marks.  Lay the desired toppings over the dough and bake the pizza for 8 to 10 minutes, until the edges of the crust are golden brown.  The other half of the dough may be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 3 days before use, or frozen for up to 6 months.

My favorite pizza crust recipe…..so far!
 Chewy, Crusty Pizza Dough
I make this dough a lot, but it really requires a tough mixer or a lot of elbow grease. The key to a chewy crust is using your bread paddle & mixing it for quite a while. I also use the same dough for breadsticks.  Half for pizza – half for breadsticks. or….This recipe will make 2 large pizzas.
You will need:
1 package active dry yeast…I use quick rise
1 teaspoon sugar
about 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups very warm water
not so hot that it will ruin your yeast!
Directions:
In large kitchen Aid bowl, combine yeast, 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 tsp. salt. Add olive oil.
Heat water to (120 to 130 degrees F.) I just get very warm water from the tap, but not scalding. With mixer at low speed, just blend water into dry ingredients. Now, at medium speed, beat 3 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with spatula. Beat in 1/2 cup flour to make a thick batter; beat at least 2 minutes more. Stir in about 1 1/2 cups flour to make a soft dough, and beat for at least 2 more minutes. If your dough is too sticky, add a little more flour if necessary. Dough should be in a nice soft pliable ball. I remove this from my bowl, grease the bowl with oil, and replace the dough in my bowl. Cover with Saran wrap, and let rise until doubled. Punch dough down, cut in half; turn onto lightly floured surface.  Cover 15 minutes.  Grease 2 large cookie sheets or Use pizza stones, or 2 large pizza pans, that have been oiled. I also dust a little cornmeal on top of the oil, then spread my dough out. Use the Pizza sauce below, then add good mozzarella cheese, and your choice of toppings. Bake pizzas at 500 degrees oven on middle to lower rack. Enjoy!
This is my favorite Homemade pizza sauce.

It’s also great for dipping the breadsticks.
My favorite Homemade Pizza Sauce
1 8 oz. can Tomato Sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 tsp. Oregano
1/2 tsp. Garlic powder
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (opt)
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese (opt)

Combine all ingredients in bowl and blend well.
This is enough sauce for two large pizzas.

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