Friday, August 10, 2007

Recipe: Home-Made Pizza

Every Friday night at our house the menu is for pizza. And not just any pizza. This is Dad's Pizza, and it's the best in town (well, after Pappa Johns, the one my youngest had at a friends house, ...), and anyone who says otherwise is itching for a fight :-)

So, since it's Friday and I'm about to make those pizzas, I thought I would blog along with cooking. So, here's the annotated recipe:

This batch makes two 16-inch pizzas. We like a thick crust (this one's a little less than an inch thick). If you prefer thinner crust, make more pizzas or cut portion size in half.

Crust ingredients:
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1.5 Tbsp dry yeast (2 packets)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 0.5 Tbsp salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2-3 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary or lavendar, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried) (optional)
Dissolve yeast and honey in water in large mixing bowl. Let stand a few minutes until yeast foams. Add oil, salt and whole wheat flour. Mix well. Add unbleached flour a little at a time while mixing well with sturdy spoon (I use a large wooden spoon). When you can't mix with a spoon anymore, knead dough on lightly floured table. Add flour as needed and knead until dough is elastic. Let dough raise in oiled bowl for 20-30 minutes. It doesn't have to quite double in size, but should raise some.

Divide dough in two equal balls, and roll out on two pizza stones or cookie sheets. Let rest 10 minutes.

Pre-bake at 175C (350F) until pizza is slightly golden (about 15-20 minutes). Remove and add toppings (sauce, cheese, and whatever else you like). We tend to make a kids version (tomato sauce, cheese, and one type of meat) and an adult version (tomato sauce, cheese, onion, peppers, and whatever else we have lying around). Toppings is really your chance to experiment and improvise. Make it your own! Try fresh tomato slices, basil, and feta cheese.

Bake pizza for 8-10 minutes at 500F until crust is brown and cheese is golden. Tale care that the crust doesn't burn.

Simple Sauce (for one pizza):
  • 1 small can of tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • Paprika
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic powder (or crushed fresh garlic)
  • Pinch of sugar
I never measure the herbs and spices. They just go in as I feel - experiment. Add all ingredients to microwave safe bowl and microwave 2-3 minutes. Stir and let stand for a few minutes.

Rustic Sauce
Makes enough for one pizza

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 regular can of diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • paprika
Sautée onion and garlic in oil until clear. Add remaining ingredients, and simmer for about an hour. Challenge here is to get the consistency right. It tends to become a bit watery. If it doesn't work out right, you can add a little tomato sauce.

If you make this, leave a comment with your impressions.

2 comments: said...

That sounds pretty good. I will have to try that recipe. Thanks. said...

Just wanted to let you know that I tried your recipe and it was great. I added a little garlic to the sauce and dough mix, but other than that stayed real close to the original recipe. I think we are going to copy you and start having our own Friday Nite Pie. Thanks!