Homemade Italian Pizza

Ingredients: 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, divided 1/2 cup water (105 F to 115 F), 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can whole canned tomatoes, undrained 1 medium onion, chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 small red bell pepper, cored and seeded 1/2 small green bell pepper, cored and seeded 4 fresh medium mushrooms, 1 3/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup sliced black olives, 1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
Directions: –To proof yeast, sprinkle yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar over warm water in small bowl; stir until yeast is dissolved.
– Let stand 15 minutes or until mixture is bubbly.  (If yeast does not bubble, it is no longer active. Always check the expiration date on yeast packet. Also, water that is too hot will kill yeast, it is best to use a thermometer.)
– Place 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/4 tsp salt in medium bowl; stir in yeast mixture and 1 tbsp oil, stirring until a smooth, soft dough forms.
– Place dough on lightly floured surface; flatten slightly.
– To knead a dough, fold dough in half toward you and press dough away from you with heels of hands.
– Give the dough a 1/4 turn and continue folding, pushing and turning.
– Continue kneading, using as much of the remaining flour as needed to form a stiff, elastic dough.
– Shape dough into a ball; place in a large greased bowl.
– Turn to grease the entire surface.  Cover with clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes until doubled in bulk.
– Press 2 fingertips about 1/2 inch into the dough.  The dough is ready if indentations remain when fingers are removed.
– For sauce, finely chop tomatoes in can w/knife, reserving juice.
-Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until soft.  Add garlic; cook 30 seconds more.  Add tomatoes and juice, tomato paste, oregano, basil, remaining 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and black pepper
-Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Pour into small bowl; cool.
-Punch dough down. Knead briefly (as described in step 3) on lightly floured surface to distribute air bubbles; let dough stand 5 minutes more.
-Flatten dough into a circle on lightly floured surface.  Roll out the dough, starting at center and rolling to edges, into a 10-inch circle.  Place the circle in greased 12-inch pizza pan; stretch and pat dough out to edges of the pan. Cover and let stand 15minutes.
-Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). 28 Cut bell peppers into 3/4-inch pieces. Wipe mushrooms clean w/damp kitchen towel and thinly slice (trim stems if desired).
-Mix mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses in small bowl. Spread sauce evenly over pizza dough.
-Sprinkle with 2/3 cheeses.
– Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes.
-Then remove from oven and raise oven temp to 400°F (200°C).
– Arrange bell peppers, olives, mushrooms, and chicken on top of the pizza. Sprinkle remaining cheeses on top, and bake at new oven temp for a further 10 minutes or until cheese is completely melted, and looks done.
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