Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pizza We Eat A Lot

Yes, that is the title of this recipe because I couldn't think of anything more creative. It is what it is. We like this simple homemade pizza and we eat it on occasion. We aren't the type of people to keep with a tradition like pizza every weekend or full moon or whatever. Sometimes I make this twice a week and sometimes we will go 2 months without having it. It just depends on when I feel like making it. I won't lie, it's a bit of a production. The dough is from scratch and so is the sauce. And it's all made from very basic ingredients. While there is some extra work involved in making this pizza, it's absolutely worth it. Crisp crust, savory, flavorful sauce and quality toppings.

When I last made this, we ate it in the backyard because Ethan was working in the yard. Ethan has an addiction to our yard, specifically the lawn. He says that every neighborhood has a silent competition for the greenest lawn. A lawn free of dandies and weeds. It's very "Desperate Housewives". So every weekend, Ethan carefully trims, mows and then steps back and admires, as do I. Thank you for all your hard work in the yard husband.

Two things I find essential when making homemade pizza: 1. Use fresh cheese, not frozen. Freshly grated is much better. 2. Get your pepperoni from the deli counter. It not only has excellent flavor, but the slices are bigger, thus covering more surface area on your pizza.

For the dough:
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil and more for rolling out

Add the yeast to the warm water and set aside. Let it sit for about 5 minutes so that the yeast can dissolve in the water.

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar. Whisk to combine. Add the olive oil and the yeast mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together. Start mixing with your hands until a ball begins to form. Turn the dough out onto the counter and begin kneading. Knead for 5 minutes and then form into a smooth ball.

Spray the inside of a clean bowl with non-stick spray. Put the dough in the bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour. While the dough rises, make the sauce and prepare the toppings.

For the sauce:
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp kosher salt
A few grinds black pepper
2 tsp sugar

Add all ingredients to the blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Important note: This recipe for the sauce makes double what you are going to need. Use half on the pizza and freeze the other half for next time you make pizza.

For the toppings:
1 lb low moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 lb sliced pepperoni
2 4 oz cans sliced olives
1 8 oz package mushrooms, thinly sliced

Once the dough has doubled in size, set the oven to 450 degrees. Spread a small amount of olive oil (about 2 Tbsp) on the counter. Roll out dough to a 10x15 inch rectangle. Transfer to a 10x15 inch baking sheet. Spread on half of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle on half the cheese. Add the toppings and sprinkle on the remaining cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Slice up and serve. Garnish with fresh basil if you've got it.

Yields 6 servings.

Rookie's Notes: Why slice the mushrooms yourself? My mushroom-loving husband says that really thinly sliced mushrooms are best. Also, the mushrooms are going to shrink considerably when they are cooked. Dry heat does that to mushrooms because they have a high moisture content. Anyways, the amount of mushrooms in a package of already-sliced mushrooms isn't enough for this pizza. They aren't sliced thin enough. So slice them yourself. If you like mushrooms, you will thank me.

If you want to use whole wheat flour for this pizza, go for it. I personally wouldn't prefer all whole wheat, I would do half and half, or 1 1/4 cup whole wheat and 1 1/2 cup all-purpose.



Erin said...

We eat a tun of pizza as well.
Looks yummy!
PS- My hubs is the same way about the lawn.

Miko's Girl said...

Make your own pizza night is every Friday night at our house. One batch of pizza dough makes 8 individual pizzas. I freeze the unused dough for the next Friday night. My toppings are more seasonal (spinach, roasted veggies, etc.) while my husband and kids are quite traditional - sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.

Jelli Bean said...

Husband and I love making pizza from scratch. I find that 50% ww and AP flours work well together in the crust. I also love to toss freshly chopped herbs into the crust dough. I love making pizza on Fridays so that I can use up all the leftovers in the fridge (mostly veggies!) before I go to the farmer's market on Saturday. Thanks for sharing!

rabidrunner said...

Who uses frozen cheese? That's the craziest thing I've yet to hear - aside from freeze dried cheese. I'm a fresh or none kind of cheese girl.

Holly said...

Yum! We are huge fans of pizza at our house-pretty much anything goes:) Yours looks fabulous!!!

jenn king said...

you are awesome. i hope i can put the time into trying this sometime soon.

precious said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
baking.serendipity said...

There is nothing better than homemade pizza :) Thanks for sharing! I've made my own dough, but never my own sauce. I'm super impressed that you make both!