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All Purpose Pizza Crust

Chicken & Mushroom Pizza

I promised pizza, and I always follow through with what I say. That being said, this is not a healthy pizza, nor is it a traditional or otherwise special pizza. This is pizza you make for yourself and your family when you really want a good tasting pizza crust and no added costs for delivery and tip. This is a no fail crust recipe, and I’ve made it many, many times. Whatever flavourings you add into the dough, will come out loud and proud in that crust.

I have also offered a quick chicken and mushroom pizza recipe at the bottom of the post, as I know it can sometimes be hard to think of toppings to add to your own pizza without the help of a menu.

Sometimes my cravings get the better of me, and this was no exception. Please accept my apologies for the amount of cheese and artery hardening fats you are about to consume, but they are worth it.

All Purpose Pizza Crust

(yield: 2 Large regular crusts or 3 large thin crusts)

1/2 cup warm milk or water
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/4 cups room temperature water
2 Tbsp olive oil
4-5 cups whole wheat flour (or half whole wheat, half white)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp each garlic powder (or one clove garlic, minced), oregano, basil and marjoram
butter or oil to grease bowl

1. Place warm water in small bowl, stir in sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Yeast will expand and foam up, if it does not, discard yeast and try again. You may need to buy new yeast if it does not expand and foam.
2. Add room temperature water and oil to yeast mixture, stir to combine.
3. In separate bowl, mix flour, salt and herbs.
4. Slowly pour liquid into flour mixture, stirring to combine.
5. Using your hands, continue to add flour and knead (in bowl is the most convenient, but you could do this on the counter as well) to form a ball of dough. You may need to add more or less flour as needed. Continue to knead for 5-10 minutes until dough becomes smooth and elastic.
6. Oil a new bowl, set ball of dough inside and cover with a moist towel. Let rise for 1 1/2 -2 hours, or until dough has doubled in size.
7. When ready, separate dough into two (or three) balls. Roll out or stretch out with your hands to form crusts. You may want to fold the edges into themselves to make a puffy thick crust to hold in all your toppings, but for a thin crust, no need.
8. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place pizza stone inside oven to preheat. (If you do not have a pizza stone, try using a splatter guard that is the size you require. The mesh allows the crust to breathe properly. Or you can use a pizza baking pan, the kind with holes in it. Do not use a regular baking pan, as the crust will steam itself and become soggy.
9. On a piece of heavily floured cardboard roughly the same size as the pizza stone or other baking implement, form your pizza!
10. Place formed dough on cardboard and pour and spread the sauce over, right to the edges. Next, sprinkle the toppings over and any seasonings you want to add. Last, but not least, spread grated cheeses over your pizza.

Chicken & Mushroom Pizza going into the oven on the pizza stone

Going into the oven

11. The tricky part is getting the dough onto the preheated pizza stone.I use a spatula or other flat cooking implement and with all that flour it should slide right onto the pizza stone.
12. Bake for 25 minutes, or until cheese begins to brown a bit and bubble.

Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Pizza

(for two regular pizzas)

1-2lbs. chicken fillets or breasts, cut into small chunks
6-9 slices of bacon
1 yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
1 1/2 lbs. mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
3/4-1 cup cup pizza sauce (tomato or cream based)
500-700 grams Mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup each cheddar and Parmesan cheese, shredded

1. To avoid over saturating pizza in liquid, cook mushrooms before hand. In small sauté pan, add mushrooms and a small amount of butter. Cook until all liquid has evaporated.
2. In same sauté pan, cook chicken chunks for 1-2 minuets. You want the outside to be cooked, but still pink in the middle. If you cook the chicken all the way it will be dry and overdone by the time your pizza is finished baking.
3. Cook bacon in sauté pan until crisp, drain on paper towels and break or chop into small pieces.
4. Follow instructions in above crust recipe to assemble and cook your pizza.

Chicken & Mushroom Pizza

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