Pizza is an easy staple in our family. We do everything from the big round pizza, to muffin cups filled with dough then topped, to personal sized pizzas to calzones. For any one of these variations, you need a good, classic dough! This is my Mom's recipe for pizza dough with yeast. When I'm making my pizza in muffin cups I actually prefer a Yeast Free Pizza Dough that won't rise too much and can be pressed into the muffin cups. My recipe makes enough for 2 medium pizzas, which is great if you're planning on making enough for two nights. For those of you shaking your heads at all the waiting for the dough to rise, I usually do all my preparation for the toppings while the dough is rising so it actually works out nicely and you can have light, fluffy dough that's easy for kids and adults to eat.
Let stand for 10 minutes:
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
Sift in large bowl:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
Pour yeast mixture into your flour mixture. Add 1/3 cup lukewarm water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix into a rough ball and then knead it on an oiled board for about 15 minutes (work those biceps!). Your dough should be nice and smooth, if not a little sticky from the oil. Let your kneaded dough rise in a covered bowl until it has doubled in size. (Here's your chance to get chopping on those veggies or pan-frying some bacon!) About now you should start your oven to preheat to 400F. Cut the risen dough in two and roll them out to fit in your pans. Let rise a little more in your pans. Bake just your dough in the pan for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the dough to set nicely without fully cooking it. (This will give you a sense of where air pockets will form too. I usually flatten them down so I can get my ingredients on evenly.) Top it however you like and bake for 10-15 minutes. Your crust should be a beautiful golden brown.
For calzones you'll want to roll them out into roughly the size you want, then fill on one side and fold over in half. Cut 2 or 3 slits on the top and cook on an oiled pan for 15-20 minutes or until your dough is golden and lovely.
Lastly for the muffin cups. I put some cooking spray over the whole pan (because it will bubble up) and then I press the yeast free dough firmly into the muffin cups and fill right into them. After that I simply fill them and cook them for 15-20 minutes until the crust gets lightly browned. These are a big hit with the kids! They just pick them up to eat them!
For those of you who are trying to dump canned goods out of your life, I have a nice alternative! I cut 2 tomatoes up into quarters and drop them in my blender with some spices (like basil, garlic and onion powder) and a little olive oil and blend it until it's just smooth enough. With pizza, less is more when it comes to sauce so whatever you don't use can go in the fridge for another meal. I use this same sauce over pasta took with some hand torn spinach thrown in. I hope you enjoy this meal!