Monday, January 4, 2010

Homemade Pizza

I am excited to share my favorite recipe with you. This homemade pizza recipe is probably the one meal that we made the most in the past year. Because our toppings are never exactly duplicated, we enjoy a slightly different pizza every time. Ryan claims this version was our "best yet", but he says this every time I make pizza for dinner. I roll my crust out thin but this pizza dough recipe can also be used for a thick crust. I make a double batch of dough and freeze it for up to 3 months so we can have pizza on the table in less time than it would take to have it delivered. I don't feel like I can give an exact recipe since everybody's pizza preferences are different (some like a lot of pizza sauce, some like a lot of cheese). I will share with you my method and tips for getting the basics and you'll have to experiment from there.
My two secrets for best-ever-pizza:
  1. Get your oven hot: 500 F and always place your pan on the lowest possible rack so the crust gets cooked without burning the cheese.
  2. Oven-roast your toppings: I want everything that goes on my pizza to already be cooked. (with the exception of olives)
Homemade Pizza
Preheat oven to 500 F. Sprinkle baking sheet or pizza pan with cornmeal to prevent the crust from sticking. Roll out dough on a floured work surface until thin and transfer onto prepared pan. Spread a thin layer of pizza or marinara sauce and half of your cheese (I like mozzarella and parmesan). Next add your meat of choice and prepared vegetables (see below). Top with remaining cheese and cracked black pepper. Drizzle the edges with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and bake approximately 8 minutes - keep a close watch on it since the oven temp is so high.

Pizza Dough: makes two crusts
1 pkg. rapid rise yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1/4 tsp. sugar or honey
1 c. warm water (105 - 115 F)
1 tsp. salt
2 3/4 c. flour plus extra for kneading
Mix yeast, sugar and 1/4 c. warm water in a measuring cup and allow to stand until mixture is foamy, 10-15 minutes. Stir together the salt and flour in a large bowl. Pour yeast mixture and remaining 3/4 c. warm water and stir until dough just comes away from the side of the bowl. Knead on a lightly floured surface about 5 minutes and place dough in a separate bowl that is lightly brushed in olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Tip: If you want to make a thicker crust, adjust your oven temperature to 350 F.

Pizza Toppings
Slice all veggie toppings and place on a baking sheet lined in parchment paper. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil until well coated and season with salt and pepper. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes or until caramelized. Toppings that I roast: onions, garlic, green and red peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms. Additional toppings that do not require roasting: pepperoni, green & black olives, artichoke hearts, italian sausage (cooked and drained), mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Printable Recipe

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