Although Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, besides dressing up and decorating the house, we didn't have too many traditions we stuck to growing up. Now that my Halloween nights are less consumed by collecting all the candy possible, I like to spend the night at home watching spooky movies and with a pizza while trick-or-treaters come by. This year, we will be making our own pizzas (I am partial to a margherita with black olives) and accompanying it with our "Red Cap" Pinot Noir... and maybe a piece or two of candy, once all the kids have stopped coming by.
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Easy Pizza Dough Recipe
This easy pizza dough recipe comes from Mark Bittman - I tend to use this one since I rarely have the patience or fore-thought for preparations the day before and this one is consistently good.
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and the oil through the feed tube.
2. Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.)
3. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. (You can cut this rising time short if you’re in a hurry, or you can let the dough rise more slowly, in the refrigerator, for up to 6 or 8 hours.) Proceed to Step 4 or wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap or a zipper bag and freeze for up to a month. (Defrost in the bag or a covered bowl in the refrigerator or at room temperature; bring to room temperature before shaping.)
4. When the dough is ready, form it into a ball and divide it into 2 or more pieces if you like; roll each piece into a round ball. Put each ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rest until they puff slightly, about 20 minutes.
Add any combination of toppings can really shine here - it is pizza, there are no wrong answers! I tend to default to whole peeled canned tomatoes (partially blended with an immersion blender to create a chunky sauce), minced garlic, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, sliced black olives, and fresh basil. Bake at 500 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, until the top is bubbled and lightly charred and the crust is golden.