If you are anything like me, you are busy right now. Not only because of the holiday craziness but because you have children living at home, dogs, cats and a to do list that never seems to end. I know I should cherish and love this time but sometimes I don’t have a moment to stop and breathe, let alone ‘cherish’. I have started coming up with lots of short cuts to make things a little less stressful throughout the weeks. I do want to enjoy time with the kids and not be worried about getting their dinner on the table. One thing that I have been doing is to make a huge batch of pizza dough every couple of weeks. We are always wanting a quick meal and pizza is great go-to. We all like it and it can be modified for all tastes, and based on whatever we have on hand.
To save even more time, I buy a few packs of Kraft Italian Blend shredded cheese. I honestly don’t mind shredding my own cheese but sometimes there just isn’t an extra five minutes. I always use the pizza dough recipe from the Pioneer Woman and I usually make a double batch, setting a couple dough balls aside for future meals.
In the past, I have also rolled out the pizza dough, layered it with toppings and cheese, wrapped tightly in foil and stored in the freezer, ready to go. Better than store-bought frozen pizza but just as quick.
We are trying to eat vegetarian a few nights a week so for this pizza I gathered basil and tomatoes from our garden, and hid a sprinkle of chopped spinach. Topped with a healthy dose of cheese, no one even missed the meat.
Want to make your own? Feel free to experiment with toppings! That is one of the best things about pizza. (I was watching Survivor last night and one of the challenge rewards was the choice of lobster, steak, pizza or burgers. What would you chose? I would totally choose pizza.)
From shopping for gifts to planning family dinners, it’s hard to keep up with all your holiday to-do’s. This year, Kraft is helping out with great weeknight meals and entertaining ideas to make the season a little bit easier. Plus, Kraft is offering up to $20 in coupons, redeemable exclusively at Target, to make food shopping easier and to help you have a happy holiday season.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kraft. The opinions and text are all mine.
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1½ cups warm water
- ⅓ cup+1/4 cup olive oil, separated
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups diced tomatoes, fresh
- 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 bag Kraft Italian Cheese
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan Cheese (I used Kraft)
- handful fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup of fresh spinach leaves
- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour and salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
- Once the yeast looks dissolved, add to the flour mixture. You should have the kneading hook on at this point and allow it to knead away until the dough is slightly sticky.
- Cover for at least three hours. If you have time, you can store in the refrigerator for 24 hours--allowing it to rise slowly.
- After rising, punch down the dough and divide into two. If you aren't going to make two pizzas, you can store the second dough ball in the freezer.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Sprinkle a little olive oil on whatever pan you pan to use. I use a pizza stone.
- Roll out the pizza dough into whatever shape you are planning on making. I used to always make rectangle pizzas because I thought it was easier but taking the extra time to make a round pizza is worth it.
- Give the dough a nice dousing of olive oil (about 2 Tablespoons)
- Next, add the Italian seasoning, being sure to evenly coat the pizza dough.
- Toss on the diced tomatoes (saving about ½ cup for the top).
- Cut the spinach into thin strips and sprinkle those across the top as well.
- Add the cheese! Be generous. Sprinkle evenly across the entire pie.
- Now, lay down a few of the basil leaves, the rest of the diced tomatoes and then top with the Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and toasted.
- Serve with a healthy serving of your best cheap wine.