I start by making my pizza dough in my bread machine. If you don't have a bread machine you can purchase refrigerated dough or a pre-baked crust like Boboli.
1 C. plus 2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
3 C. bread flour*
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
*For a whole-wheat crust, swap out half the bread flour for whole-wheat flour.
Place ingredients in above order into bread machine and select the dough cycle. Makes enough for two pizzas. Usually I make fresh dough, but you can bake them ahead of time (8 min. at 400 degrees) and freeze to use for a meal in the future.
Once dough is done, split it into two and shape it on greased pizza pans or stones. I love to use The Pampered Chef Baker's Roller. It makes the job much quicker.
Now, for the toppings. Stick to your favorite pizza toppings or be creative with non-traditional ingredients and sauces. The possibilities are really endless, but I try to pay attention to the menus at my favorite pizza places for new ideas.
Tonight we made two chicken pizzas: Chicken Artichoke and Barbecue Chicken.
For both I cooked up chicken breasts and then diced them. Sometimes I'll cook and dice chicken and put it in the freezer ahead of time. It cuts out a step and speeds things up when I'm making a meal that requires diced chicken.
To make the Chicken Artichoke, I begin by coating the dough with olive oil. Next I dice up about 1/3 to 1/2 of a jar of marinated artichoke hearts. Then I use some of the oil from the artichokes and mix it with the diced chicken (approx. 1 C. chicken). Finally I top the crust with the chicken, artichoke hearts, and mozzarella cheese.
To make the Barbecue Chicken, I coat the dough with barbecue sauce. Next I dice an onion (about 3/4 C.). Red onion is great on this pizza, but use what you have on hand. Then I mix in some of the barbecue sauce with the diced chicken. Finally I top the dough with the barbecue chicken, onions, and mozzarella cheese.
Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until crust is light brown and cheese is done to your liking.
Both pizzas are easy and delicious...and who doesn't love pizza?