Sausage and Sage Pizza

Yesterday was National Sausage Pizza Day!  Who knew there was such a thing?!  Well, when I found out, I found myself thinking about nothing but sausage pizza.  Needless to say, I'm glad we live in a country that celebrates something as wonderful as sausage pizza, even if it is slightly random. 

So after hours of dreaming about sausage pizza at work, I decided... we MUST have sausage pizza for dinner.

Here is my typical pizza dough recipe:

1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon honey
2 packages rapid-rise or instant yeast
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour (plus more for flouring rolling pin, kneading surface, etc)
salt and pepper if desired

Combine the warm water, honey, and yeast.  The water must be warm or the yeast won't rise (if it's too hot, it will kill the yeast).  The honey is also a must - without some form of sugar, the yeast won't rise. 

Let this sit for a few minutes so the yeast can start to rise.  If it doesn't start to foam up, your yeast is no longer active.
(On a side note: I forgot the very important rule of adding sugar to my water yesterday, and therefore it was not rising/foaming. I had a small meltdown because I didn't have any more yeast in the cupboard. So I had just come to terms with the fact that we would be eating "sausage flatbread" for dinner instead of sausage pizza. Sausage Pizza day would be ruined! About 30 minutes later, I remembered. So I added some honey and everything turned out just fine. Fewww! Crisis averted.)

Add the flour and mix together.  Add salt and pepper and any other seasonings, if desired.  You can do this by hand, or with a mixer fitted with a dough hook. 
I decided to mix by hand yesterday because I didn't feel like cleaning my mixer bowl and dough hook! If you do not have this avertion to cleaning mixing bowls, and you choose to use a mixer, mix on low speed for about 5 minutes. After everything is combined, your dough should be soft and not too sticky so that you can knead it by hand.  If it is sticky, add more flour 1/4 cup at a time.  Knead for a minute or two.  Then place your dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and place in a warm spot to rise for about an hour.

When your dough has sufficiently risen to your liking, roll it out to the desired thickness and diameter. 

We have a pizza stone, so we preheated the oven to 450 degrees F and warmed the pizza stone for about 30 minutes.  Place your dough on the pizza stone or cookie sheet and cook about 10 minutes.  Then add desired toppings and cook for another 10 minutes. 

We added some homemade chicken sausage (duh!), sliced bell pepper and onion, low-fat ricotta, mozzarella, feta, and some fresh sage leaves.  Deeeelish! 

National Sausage Pizza Day success!