Nine things to do with Pizza Dough

My tender pizza crust dough is so quick and easy to make that I use it for a range of dishes.  I tend to wing it when making most variations so the following are ideas with approximate direction not strict recipes.  If you are feeling ambitious make a double or triple recipe of the dough. The resulting baked goods can be frozen for those days when you are too busy to cook.

1-Hamburger buns
Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. If
you want your rolls to be consistent then you will need to weigh the dough. Shape each into a ball by pulling the edges to the underside and pinching together. Stretch each ball into a bun-sized disc and place in pan to rise. I use six individual small round pans. If you do not have the desired size pan then use a single large pan and allow the buns to touch. They will not be perfectly round buns but deliciously edible none-the-less. Bake the risen buns at 350° for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. Upcycle how to: Create an instant Hamburger Bun Pan.

2-Flatbread (AKA naked pizza crust)
Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Again, weighing the dough if uniformity is important to you. Pull the ends to the underside and pinch together to create a smooth top ball. Stretch or roll each into a thin disc roughly ½” thick. Bake on a pizza stone or better yet, the grill. Preheat the oven to 450° and bake the flatbread for about 10 minutes.

3-Pepperoni rolls
Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Stretch or roll each into a rectangle roughly six inches by eight or ten inches. Lay in a couple rows of pepperoni*. (A little or a lot; it is up to you.) *I prefer to half-cook mine in the microwave to rid the pepperoni of excess grease before placing it on the dough. Add some parmesan or pesto and roll the dough into a log. Pinch the seam together and place seam down to rise. After the rolls have doubled dust the tops generously with flour and use a sharp knife to cut diagonal slits in the dough. Bake the rolls at 375° for about 20 minutes until they are golden brown.

4-Sandwich pockets
Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Stretch or roll each into a rectangle roughly six inches by eight. Place the desired fillings** in the center of the dough. **Use your imagination here. I use chicken, pesto and prosciutto; Ham, mushroom and swiss; brie and prosciutto, you get the idea. Fold the pocket over and pinch to seal the seam. Pinch the ends shut as well and tuck under. Place seam down to rise. After the pockets have doubled bake at 375° for about 20 minutes until they are golden brown.

5-Bread sticks
Although the dough doesn’t necessarily need to be divided for this it is easier to handle in two portions. Stretch the dough so that it is about ¾ of an inch thick. Use a greased pizza wheel to cut the dough into strips. Separate the strips and bake at 450° for about 15 minutes.

Cut, twist, bend, fold or shape the dough into the desired forms. Let the dough rise and then drop into hot lard (360°-370°). You will need to turn them to achieve a light golden brown on both sides. Toss the finished gems in cinnamon sugar or confectioner’s sugar.

7-Cinnamon rolls
Roll the dough into a large rectangle approximately ½” thick. Spread the dough with softened butter then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Roll into a log and pinch the seam closed. Cut the log into 12 equal portions and place 3 x 4 in a 9” x 13” pan. Let rise until touching and doubled in height. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Create a glaze with confectioner’s sugar, a couple tablespoons of milk and a splash of vanilla. The glaze can be as thin or thick as you like by adjusting the sugar/milk ratio. Apply the glaze while the rolls are warm.

8-Fry pies
Similar to sandwich pockets but filled with pie filling or fruit and sweetened cream cheese concoction (think cheese danish). Make sure the edges are tightly sealed then fry as directed for doughnuts.

9-And of course, Pizza! Grill it!
To grill pizza, preheat a pizza stone on the grill. Place the prepared pizza on the stone and keep your eye on it. The cooking time can vary widely since the grill is not regulated by a thermostat.
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