Friday, March 26, 2010
Last night, my daughter was dodging leftovers. She used every excuse in her excuse book. Ultimately, she was craving pizza. And not delivery which would have made it easy but my home made pizza. It's very easy to make but not something you start at 5:30 with the hopes of eating at 6:00. In the end, she found something else to eat. I ate the leftovers alone. But that is another blog entry entirely...
I have written about pizza before. I was the reluctant dough maker. But this recipe is easy enough for me so I recommend it for anyone timid with making dough. There is no fussy steps. It's as basic as it gets. In fact, I wish I had of learned it when the kids were little. It would have become a tradition the way Taco Tuesdays have.
My favorite toppings are the ones that are usually on hand. Caramelized onions, garlic, cheese, Greek olives and artichoke hearts. The Ballplayer likes extra sauce and very little cheese and then he usually wipes off the little cheese I do put on. The Tortured Teenager is the complete opposite with pile high cheese and spare the veggies. The Fireman just wants pizza!! And maybe a beer. Pretty simple!!
I like my sauce simple. You could buy a jar but this is pretty easy. You could double it and feed the kids spaghetti the next night. I like recipes that you can get double the bang out of. Again, another blog entry..
In a pan with 1 TB of olive oil over med low heat sweat 1/4 onion and 1 clove of garlic that you've crushed. Careful not to burn the garlic. Once the onion is translucent add one can (29 oz) of tomato puree. Now, I usually add whatever tomato product I have on hand. Sometimes it's whole tomatoes. The brats don't like that as much and I end up tossing it in the blender. But, I aim to please. Now add 1 TB of Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. If the tomatoes are tart, add a pinch of sugar. Just let it simmer for 20 minutes. Try to resist grabbing some French bread from last night and dipping it in the pot. You really do need it for the pizza!!
3 3/4 c. all-purpose
2 1/2 Tb. fast-acting yeast (2 packets)
3/4 ts. salt
1 ts. sugar
1 1/3 c. room temperature (about 72 degrees) water
olive oil for the pans
This recipe is literally a toss it all in the bowl and mix it up!
See! I just dumped all the dry ingredients into the bowl!
But if those directions are too simple...In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Add the water and, using a wooden spoon, mix until blended, about a minute. It might be a bit stiffer than other pizza dough’s you’ve made.
Once you add the water, as you see, if looks like its not enough but trust me! It is!
Then the next part of the recipe is a little different. I kneaded the dough first in the bowl until it comes together
and then on the counter top remembering a famous French Chef that stated that the extra flour makes the dough tough. No extra flour was necessary.
Next, I placed the dough into a greased bowl and covered it with a towel to double, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 500. Oil two 13×18 baking sheets. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the bowl and separatethe dough into two equal pieces and place the dough onto the oiled pans.
Starting at one end, gently pull and stretch dough across the surface of the pan, and use your hands to press it evenly out to the edges. Pinch any holes together. Repeat with the second piece. I find that the dough won't stick to your fingers because of the olive oil that you greased the pan with. So you won't need any four to dust with.
I like to copy pizzas that you would buy at restaurants. California Pizza Kitchen's Buffalo Chicken is on the menu tonight. I have some Buffalo Chicken in the freezer and blue cheese. We'll see how close to the craving we can get!
Now you could get really fancy here and do individual pizzas but I just do two large pizzas and split them. As you see, One side is heavy on cheese and the other is extra light on cheese.
I find it is best to put the meat on top of the cheese.
What's your favorite topping?
at 7:04 PM