Last Saturday night we were in the middle of a horrible rain storm. It was hurricane like in its intensity. We had 60 - 70 mph winds. It had already been raining for over 24 hours. We had water in the basement which never usually happens, but the ground being so saturated just sent it up right through the basement floor. It had no where else to go...No fun...mopping it up and leaving towels to soak it up.Washing the towels. The basement was not flooded, but it was just enough water to be a real pain and require constant attention for most of the night. My dear husband is in Brussels and this is normally his job if it happens. My younger son was sick and was not able to be much help and the older one was out with his friends who were home for Spring break. No storm was stopping him...even though I was not happy about him being out. Trees were falling everywhere and there was flooding. So I made pizza. Had a glass of wine. And we settled in for the night.
I always have flour and yeast and I had mozzarella and fresh basil and some sauce.I did not have to leave the house thankfully. My boy and I sat in the living room eating pizza, rented a movie, and actually had a nice evening together despite listening to the rain beat against the house, the wind blowing, and sirens blaring all night long. It was a very nerve wracking storm. We have seven inches of rain. I almost would have preferred snow. There would have been over six feet of it, so maybe I take that back...lol...
This is a wonderful quick pizza dough that I have been using for the past four years or so. I saw Wolfgang Puck prepare the dough on Martha Stewart's show and tried it right away. It is quick and easy and does not require a big investment of time. In about an hour start to finish you can have homemade pizza dough. I bake mine on a stone in a very hot oven. Sometimes I make Calzone out of it. The recipe doubles easily...it is a real keeper for me. Not the only one I use...but it is my go to pizza dough. Use it for your favorite pizza...the possibilities are endless...This time I made individual pizzas. I added a little bit of finely diced Prosciutto on top of mine. They were delicious.
Pizza Dough from Wolfgang Puck's "Pizza, Pasta, and More"
Makes four 8-inch pizzas
One 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water, 105° to 115°
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine flour and salt. Add oil, yeast mixture, and remaining 3/4 cup warm water; mix on low speed until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 minutes.
2. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface, and knead by hand until dough is smooth and firm, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer dough to a large bowl*, and cover with a clean, damp kitchen towel. Place bowl in a warm spot, and let rise for 30 minutes.
3. Divide dough into four balls, about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball; repeat 4 or 5 times. On a clean unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Repeat with remaining balls; cover with a damp towel, and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Prepare as needed and arrange desired toppings; balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days. *I put a little bit of Olive Oil in the bowl and move the dough around a bit before I cover the bowl so both the dough and the bowl have a little coating of oil. Whatever individual pizza I decide to do, I bake them at 500*F on a heated pizza stone for about 10 to 12 minutes. I use a pizza peel dusted with a little bit of cornmeal. That acts as little ball bearings and helps the pizza slide right off the peel onto the stone. You can absolutely make a pizza on a pan instead. Start checking at about 8 minutes and see how they are doing. This dough also works really well for pizzas made directly on a grill. It never fights with you and is very easy to work with, making a thin crust pizza very easy to do.