Friday, March 19, 2010

Pizza Pizza...Stormy nights and Pizza

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

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 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.


  1. I always forget you are in NJ. What a wonderful 'make lemonade from lemons' moment... pizza is too good not to make for a better day. I drank my new cocktail and the world didn't seem so dark..even if my pictures were!!!

  2. That was a quick take back of the snow! LOL

    what a heavy rain n storm....but with pizza fresh from the oven and a movie im sure it made things a little better.

  3. Linda, I know it wasn't funny, but I had to chuckle when I read:

    Trees were falling everywhere and there was flooding. So I made pizza.

    I've bookmarked this recipe. I love pizza, and I have a pizza stone for my oven. I just never know how to convert the yeast to the kind I can buy here. Research is called for...

  4. Ha... I kind of meant that to be funny, lol...the world can be falling around me and I am cooking...:)Yeah I am nutty...

    Kate, can you get powdered instant yeast in packets? Like Dr.Oetker? I use SAF brand, I do not know if that is available there. I do believe that is a French company.
    The package of yeast comes to about 7 grams/ or 1/4 ounce packets...or about 2 1/2 teaspoons.
    Any powdered yeast will work.Dry active or instant. Both work in this recipe. If you can only get fresh yeast then a 0.6 ounce cube will work instead of the packet.

    When I lived in Germany I used to use Dr. Oetker Hefe(yeast)

    Hope that helps....


  5. Kate...
    If can can get Saf-levure or SAF-Pizza either should be just fine. This is a very forgiving dough.

    I know you are not in Paris...but this might be helpful for you...

  6. Oh yum oh yum oh yum..

    Linda.. poor you and the basement!

    We have weather like that here sometimes as you know..and we have areas where basements get wet in town..'s part of the charm:)
    I feel bad you were manning the towels and worry alone~

    Glad all is ok..and that you made lemonade w/ the lemons.. movie night /with Delicioso pizza..your son..and a glass of wine..


    Your son..the other one? My daughters used to do things like that~
    Rarely..but they did..

    I must admit I love when your kids are in their 30's with families of their own..That 18-21..was my least favorite age...
    And I loved all of them..
    Now I can worry about my kids..and their kids~:)

    Bon Courage.. it whizzes by..

    The honey sounds good in the dough~ Bon Weekend~

  7. When life gets tough, you make pizza and have a glass of wine! I would have done the same thing!

    I know you've had terrible weather as I have a daughter in NYC. Spring is here officially tomorrow!

  8. Today I gonna to make pizza too! Have a nice weekend.

  9. The winds and rain sound scary, Linda. I hope milder weather comes your way. When there is madness around, make pizza. That's a good mantra! :) It's comforting to have freshly baked pizza. The winds can howl all they want!

    Have a peaceful, restful weekend.


  10. I'm glad that you've ridden out the big rain storm. the pizza looks delicious. I use also honey for pizza dough...

  11. Thanks for stopping by everyone...:)
    yes the can not taste it in there...
    but it is a very lovely flavorful dough...

  12. Your blog ..... it's amazing and soooo inspiring. Nice to find you!

    A small footprint from Agneta & Sweden

    Ps. I have an ongoing jewelry contest on my blog. Welcome! Ds

  13. Thanks so much for stopping by...your blog made me smile!

  14. Linda, What could be better than pizza on a day like that. And your pizza looks perfect.

  15. Pizza sounds good on days like that to warm your soul.

    Love your photo's, those are some great shots.

    Erica :-)

  16. Pizza Perfect on a stormy night! This looks wonderful!

    Great evening, really, cozy up with a pizza, a movie and a comforter!

  17. I agree with you Linda, this is the best pizza dough recipe. I've used it for years. I share your feelings about heavy rain storms. So much water can do a lot of damage in a very short time, worse than snow. Hope all is well now.

  18. Linda>stop by my blog... I have an award for you!!!

  19. Great blog you have.....I have bookmarked you and am following you. Be back real soon.