Monday, September 7, 2009

Homemade Pizza

Yum


One of the things on my “To-Make List” is homemade pizza. Quite often I make slightly homemade pizza – with the pizza dough mix where you just add water, bottled sauce and prepackaged toppings. But that’s not really homemade, is it? No, I want to make 100% homemade pizza. The dough. The sauce.
I found a basic pizza dough recipe that I have been meaning to try for a while. Instead of letting the dough rise for 2 hours, and then punching it down, it states that you can place the dough in the fridge for 8-10 hours and it will slowly rise. That would be perfect for a weeknight! So I got up early this morning to mix the dough. Shouldn’t be too hard - flour, water, yeast, olive oil. I should be able to handle that at 6 in the morning, right? Wrong. The dough was a complete sticky disaster, there was no kneading going on, merely smearing dough all over the kitchen, my hands, flour flying everywhere. Somehow the dogs ended up with more flour on them than on the table. Still not sure how that one worked out. I’m not sure if it was because of my early-morning-no-coffee state, bad directions, or just poor dough making skills. I never did get my dough into a nice ball. I ended up just shoving as much dough as I could scrape off everything else back into the bowl and placing it in the fridge. Eight to ten hours later, I came home from work expecting to find a mess in my fridge and the necessity of finding a plan B. But Lo! It was great! A little flour on my table, and it rolled up perfectly! Viola! I was impressed. And excited. I hadn't failed after all! 
Ok, so on to the sauce! After much online research, I found that homemade sauce comes in all shapes and sizes. I decided to just wing it and come up with my own. I know, I had so much luck this morning with the dough I thought I would just push the envelope and try and make up for it. It turned out so well, after one bite my husband declared that we will never ever buy pre-bottled or canned pizza sauce ever again! And I will have to agree with him. It was very flavorful, but not overpowering. And it is so cheap and easy to make! 




Homemade Pizza Dough
1.5 cups Flour
3/4 teaspoon dry active yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Stir dry ingredients, including the yeast, in a large bowl. Add the water and olive oil, stirring mixture into as close as a ball as you can. Dump all the contents and floury bits onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a homogenous ball (as much as you can). If this is going difficult, piut the empty bowl on top of the dough, leave it for 5 minutes and come back. You will both be much happier. 
Knead it for just a minute or two. Lightly spray the inside of the bowl with cooking spray.  Return the dough back to the ball and roll it to coat it with the cooking spray. Cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two. Or, if you are making this in the morning, place the plastic wrapped bowl in the fridge for 8-10 hours. 
Dump the dough back onto the floured surface and gently press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hand. Fold the piece into an approximate ball shape. Replace the plastic wrap back over the dough and let it sit for 20 minutes. 
Sprinkle a pizza stone with cornmeal (or flour) and preheat your oven to its top temperature. Roll out the pizza, ladle some sauce on and throw on whatever toppings you want. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until its slightly blistered and just turning golden brown. If you want to turn these into calzones, spray the top of the calzone with cooking spray before baking. 


Homemade Pizza Sauce

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
32 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
salt and pepper to taste
1 small can tomato paste


Saute garlic in olive oil.
Add tomatoes and spices.
Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.




Remove bay leaves.
Add tomato paste. 
Return to simmer.
If you want a smoother sauce, pour into a food processor or a blender and blend until smooth.
Ladle onto pizza crust.
 


2 comments:

  1. Your pizza sauce looks delish! I have a great crust recipe my family loves. Here is a link to my pizza crust and taco recipe:

    http://lifeonlocustlane.blogspot.com/2009/08/pizza-and-salsa-sunday.html

    I multiply the crust recipe by 5 leaving out the yeast, water and oil. I mix the dry ingredients in a flour bucket. When I want to make pizza it is quick to measure out what I need for one crust then add the yeast, water and oil. You can purchase Pizza Flavor from King Arthur Flour.

    I am glad I found your blog, I'll be back for some of your yummy recipes :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks so much for the pizza dough recipe! I will have to give it a try.

    ReplyDelete

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