Steve's easy pizza crust

Yield: 1 servings

Measure Ingredient
4 cups Flour
4 tablespoons Sugar or honey
3¾ cup Hot water
\N \N Salt (just a little)
\N \N Olive oil (optional)
2 packs Rapid rise yeast

Combine hot water, yeast, and sugar in bowl. Set timer on microwave for five minutes, or say something smart-alecky and just wait for your spouse to get mad about it (usually works out about the same :). In a large bowl combine flour and however much salt you feel like using ( I have been known to mix in a number of other things in the interests of finding out what tastes good- Progresso Italian bread crumbs add a pleasant flavor, as does parmesan cheese).

You can also substitute other kinds of flour, such as wheat or rye for an equal amount of white flour. Experiment, have fun! Mix all the ingredients thouroughly (sic) with a big wire wisk (don't laugh, it works!). If the flour is cold, stick it in your microwave for 20- 30 seconds to warm it up.

When five minutes are up, or you have your spouse calmed down, dump the water/yeast/sugar mess into the flour mess and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is pretty well mixed. Put aside the spoon, and knead the dough right there in the bowl (this saves me a lot of counter cleaning!). Add flour as necessary- the dough should be just this side of sticky. Place the dough in a clean bowl that has been sprayed with Pam (on the inside, of course), cover with colored plastic wrap for a festive look, and place in a warm place for the first rising. Go make up with spouse.

When the first rising is done, take the dough out and punch it down to take out aggravation with spouse :). Now, you have several options here- you have enough dough to make one cookie-sheet size pizza, or two 12 to 14 inch round pizzas. (or maybe one really thick crust round pizza!). I have taken to cutting the dough in two, wrapping one half tightly in plastic wrap and freezing it for later use.

Spread the dough out on a greased pan, or a stone for the second rising. When I use a stone, I find that it helps quite a bit if I bake the crust by itself for seven or eight minutes before adding toppings, or the middle doesn't cook. For this, I brush it with olive oil, and put it in a 375 degree oven. Add toppings and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust starts to brown.

That's pretty much it- this is a very basic yeast bread which is very forgiving, and very easy to experiment with. Matter of fact, it took me longer to type in in than it does to actually make it! Submitted By STEVE KREITLER On 11-12-94

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