Friday, June 20, 2014

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough and Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks

There are some foods that I could take or leave, some that I just have to be in the mood for, but then there's pizza.  Oh, glorious, cheesy pizza.  I love pizza, and if I'm not addicted to it then I'm close to it.  I could eat pizza multiple times a week, and honestly, sometimes I do.  Tucker, like me, is obsessed with the stuff.  If I give him the option to choose what we have for supper one of the first things that comes out of his mouth is pizza. 

Since pizza is such a popular request for him, I try to let him choose whether we stay in or eat out.  It's a toss up, sometimes we'll go to one of our favorite local pizza joints and other times we'll stay home.  It all depends on his mood and if he feels like playing games or just vegging.  On those nights we stay home, I try to make pizza night special. 

Our pizza night is typically Friday, because pizza is the perfect way to end the week.  Our pizza night usually consists of me and my little guy tossing the dough, and yes, we literally toss the dough and he laughs his head off the whole time.  Then he helps me make the cheese sticks and "his" pizza.  After they go in the oven, we go set up our spot in the living room, pop in a movie and wait for the pizzas to come out of the oven.

Since we have pizza so often, I have plenty of opportunities to try out new dough recipes.  Because, well, the dough can truly make or break the pizza experience.  I've tried a lot of dough's, some were amazing and others fell just a little short.  When I came across this fail-proof dough from Lauren's Latest I was beyond eager to make it.  Not only has she tested out methods, water temperatures and kneading times, she's shared her tips and tricks to ensure every person who makes this dough gets perfect results every time.

Not only was I excited to try this dough, but Lauren also shared a recipe for cheese sticks. But not just any cheese sticks, cheesy garlic bread sticks that are just like the restaurants.  I think I was more excited about pizza night than Tucker!
This pizza dough turned out better than I expected.  I followed Lauren's instructions and tips to the T and it turned out perfectly.  Our pizzas were terrific, and Spencer said this was by far his favorite dough that we had tried to date.  Oh, and the cheese sticks.  Ahhh-mazing.  They were buttery, packed with garlic flavor, and uberly cheesy.  Just what I want out of a good ol' cheese stick. 

We've made pizza several times since I initially tried this recipe, and this dough and these cheese sticks are still requested at the first mention of pizza night.  So, for your next pizza night I encourage you to stay home and create you own pizzas...on this dough, of course!

Fail-Proof Pizza Dough and Cheesy Garlic Bread Sticks
Ingredients:

For the dough-
1 Cup warm water
2 1/4 Tsp active dry yeast
1 Tbsp honey, or sugar
2 Tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Cups bread flour, start with 2 1/2 and add the remaining as needed

For the cheesy garlic bread sticks-
1/2 Recipe fail-proof pizza dough
2 Tbsp softened salted butter
2 Cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 Pound grated mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper, if desired

Directions:

For the dough-
Add yeast, honey and warm water to a large bowl, preferably of a stand mixer.  Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles begin to form and mixture begins to foam.  (This shows you the yeast is alive)  Pour the salt, oil, and half of the flour to yeast mixture.  Mix until the flour is incorporated.  Once the flour is incorporated, begin adding the flour to the mixture 1/4 cup at a time until the dough comes to the desired consistency.  You want the dough to be slightly tacky, but not so tacky it sticks to your hands when you touch it.  Once you reach this stage, knead for 6 minutes.  Lauren says, turn the timer on and walk away.  The dough should be smooth and easy to work with.  {Dough can be frozen at this point.  Divide dough, place in freezer bags, remove air and place in the freezer.  To use, remove from freezer and allow to sit at room temperature and double in size.  This process takes about 6-8 hours.}

Lightly grease a bowl, roll the dough around the bowl to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.

For the cheesy garlic bread sticks-

Preheat oven to 500.  Place pizza stone in the oven while it's preheating.

Combine butter and garlic in a small bowl and mix to combine.

Spread the pizza dough into a 12 inch circle and place on parchment paper. 

Spread the butter mixture over the dough and top with parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.  Top lightly with salt and pepper, if desired.

Carefully remove pizza stone from the oven.  Transfer bread sticks to the pizza stone by sliding off the parchment paper.  Place in oven and bake for 5-8 minutes, until cheese is melted and the crust begins to turn golden brown.

Recipe source:   Lauren's Latest

1 comment:

Terri Sanders said...

We are definitely gonna be trying this one! I think once we get the right crust, the boys, ages 3 & 5, will be more adventurous in choosing their toppings.
I wish I could find a garlic spread like Lawry's used to make. I've tried several of the deli brands and they don't measure up.

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