Life's Little Moments, featuring Sargento Cheeses
I love riding my motorcycle. There is something freeing about it that gives me a closer connection to nature as the wind rushes alongside me and my bike. Smells of the fresh-cut grass, flowers,
and the lake are pushed up into my nose. Traveling from point A to point B is enjoyable, whereas the car it is just a mode of transportation; I can hop on my motorcycle and go for a ride in the country for the pure fun of it, and that just doesn't sound quite
so appealing in my car. To pack my gear, swing my leg over my bike, and head on a camping trip...the ride becomes part of the whole adventure instead of just a means of getting to the campsite.
This wasn't so when I was first learning to ride though. Being on a motorcycle always demands extra caution, but when you are just learning to ride, you focus not only on the road and your surroundings,
but on all of the mechanics of your motorcycle as you learn to operate it: timing the clutch, learning when to change gears, using the throttle, applying your front and rear brakes together safely, and so on. Eventually these things come naturally to you
and then it's just you and your bike on the open road.
I kind of liken learning to ride like learning to make pizza: both riding a motorcycle and making pizza can be a bit intimidating until you give it a try and get comfortable with it. And hey, there's
nothing like stopping for a pizza after a nice motorcycle ride! Pizza dough can be especially intimidating if you aren't familiar with cooking with yeast. It involves specific temperatures, kneading, and dough rising. Then there's trying to roll it out!
Ever see those guys on TV throwing a perfect circle of dough up in the air? Never mind that, I've had enough problems getting it into a shape resembling a circle without getting the dough too thin and breaking in spots!
Practice will get you there in time and you'll be confident with pizza dough, just like riding a bike.
It helps to have a good recipe, and one that I turn to again and again is super easy to work with. The dough is pre-baked before adding toppings and from that point, you can freeze additional rounds
for quicker pizza nights in the future! My go-to recipe for the dough is from
Allrecipes. I roll out my dough into 12" circles for medium-sized pizzas.
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, or more as needed
- 1 envelope Fleischmann's® Pizza Crust Yeast or RapidRise Yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/3 cups very warm water (120 degrees to 130 degrees F)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Combine 2 cups flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add very warm water and oil; mix until well blended, about 1 minute.
Gradually add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Dough should form a ball and will be slightly sticky. Knead on a floured surface, adding additional flour if necessary, until smooth and elastic,
about 4 minutes. Divide dough into 3 portions; cover. (If using RapidRise Yeast, let dough rise at this point for 10 minutes.)
Pat each portion of dough with floured hands into a 12-inch circle on a greased baking sheet. Form a rim by pinching the edge of the dough.
Bake for 6 to 7 minutes, dough will be just set and only lightly browned on the bottom. Remove crusts to a wire rack to cool. Continue with remaining pizza dough. (Works best to use several baking
sheets.) May use crusts immediately or place in freezer bags and freeze for up to 1 month.
One of my favorite ways to make pizza is a white garlic chicken pizza. You can also find
my recipe on
Allrecipes.com, as well as in the
Sargento Online Cookbook along with other great recipes.
WHITE GARLIC CHICKEN PIZZA
- 12" prepared pre-baked pizza crust
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 small Roma tomato, diced
- 1/2 head of garlic, minced
- 4 oz jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons all purpose flour
- 3/4 Cup heavy cream
- 2.5 oz Sargento Artisan Blends Shredded Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon parsley
- 4 oz Sargento Off The Block Shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 Cup cooked, cubed chicken
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Preheat pizza stone as well, if using.
Chop green onions, tomato, artichoke hearts, and mince the garlic. Set aside in little cups or ramekins.
Prepare the white sauce: Melt the butter in a saute pan. Saute the garlic in the butter for a few minutes to soften. Remove a little more than half the garlic and set aside in a cup or ramekin. Add
the flour and stir to blend into the remaining garlic and butter. Add the cream and allow to bubble and thicken. Stir in the Parmesan and parsley. Continue stirring until cheese melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spread the white sauce on the prepared pizza crust. Top with the mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with the green onions, tomato, artichoke, chicken, and reserved garlic.
Place pizza on a bake sheet or directly on preheated pizza stone and cook for 8-10 minutes until heated through and mozzarella has melted.
Slice with a pizza wheel and enjoy!
I received products from Sargento Foods Inc. as part of my participation in this campaign. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.
[I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with
Allrecipes.com. Products received from advertiser are only used for my experienced-based reviews. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of *~Lissa~*.]