Perhaps my favorite kitchen helper is the bread maker. It’s a modern marvel. And, critics and naysayers, please refrain from saying it doesn’t make “real bread.” It’s not cheating! It’s helping.
And it also prevents us from eating preservative-laden grocery store breads because we now have the time to make something more nutritious.
Our Zojirushi bread machine is our best friend. It takes a bunch of ingredients and makes them into something edible while we’re off being busy people with jobs, school, and obligations. Life gets in the way of crafting artisan bread…unfortunately.
And you know what else? This machine mixes and kneads the best pizza dough! And we eat a gratuitous amount of pizza around here. Why? It’s freaking delicious, and it makes perfect leftovers (or “pre-cooked meals,” as my grandmother would say).
Last night we made a tomato basil dough for our pie, and it was spectacular. We topped it with olive oil, mozzarella, and sautéed mushrooms…but that’s not the point. We’re talking dough.
If you have a bread machine, follow along:
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (we usually use kosher)
2 teaspoons rapid rise bread machine yeast
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic salt-free seasoning blend
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
Put ingredients in the bread maker according to manufacturers directions, put on the quick dough setting, and press start. In about 45 minutes, you’ll have dough! We oil a bowl, remove dough from the bread maker pan, put it in the bowl, and cover it with a clean towel. Let it rise for 30 minutes in a low-humidity area, and then it’s done!
This recipe makes two large thin crust pizzas. To start, split the dough in half, lightly flour a clean work surface, and roll it out. It’s the easiest dough I’ve ever worked with. See how pretty it looks? You can see the seasonings all through the dough.
Oh, and by the way, consider investing in a pizza stone for perfect crispy crust.