I’ve already discussed my feelings on pizza. If you missed this, you can check out my pizza dough recipe to understand my obsession. Luckily, I found a husband who shares my pizza obsession. Apparently we were just meant to be. A match made in pizza heaven. Everybody say, “AWWWW.” Okay good. We can move on now.
When we were in college my husband and his brother were roommates and would easily eat at least one frozen pizza a week. I have to admit that for college, even making a frozen pizza was pretty good. I’m guessing a lot of students probably didn’t even know if the oven in their apartment actually worked. Why cook when there are 50 million cheap take-out places nearby? Seriously, they had a point. However, once out of college and married the deal became that we could eat pizza to our hearts’ content but I wanted to make it at home.
Our homemade pizzas started with homemade pizza dough and store bought everything else. That was a great start! Then I started making cheese so it was homemade pizza dough with homemade cheese and bought everything else. Now I apparently make pizza sauce so it’s homemade pizza dough, homemade cheese, and homemade pizza sauce with store bought pepperoni. Pepperoni is pepperoni and it’s a hard habit to kick. Seriously. I don’t see myself making it so I may have to actually buy it as is. Such is life.
Bottom line is, you don’t have to make EVERYTHING from scratch to have some good eats! We didn’t start by making the whole shebang from scratch but eventually it becomes easier. Also, once you make one piece of the pizza (like sauce or dough), you can freeze it for the next time and the process is a lot easier!
1/2 tablespoon sugar, optional depending on sweetness of tomatoes and preference
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
pinch of salt & pepper, to taste
Bring small pot of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, cut an "X" shape on bottom of each tomato (see above image). This will help the skin remove easily. Once the water is boiling, place the tomatoes in the water for about 30 seconds. Remove the tomatoes and place into bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin and discard. The skin should basically fall off of the tomatoes. Cut tomatoes in half, remove extra seeds from the tomatoes and discard. Set the tomatoes aside.
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and let saute 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute about 1 more minute. Add seeded tomatoes and break apart a bit with a spoon. Add the oregano, basil, sugar, crushed red pepper, and salt & pepper.
Let simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Transfer to blender to blend or blend with handheld blender in the skillet (this option can get messy) if you want a smoother texture.
You can also make this with a can of diced or crushed tomatoes (I'm guessing about a 28 oz can) instead of the fresh tomatoes.
I used about 1/3 of a cup of sauce on my pizza but I'm not a fan of a ton of sauce. With the leftovers, I split them into small freezer bags in about 1/3 cup portions. This way, I can put the sauce in the refrigerator the night before and it will be waiting for me to make pizza!
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/
Who doesn’t love pizza? I’m pretty sure pizza has every single thing that you could need in life on it. Every single thing. And it’s hard to get tired of because there are seriously about a gazillion options for what you can put on it. It’s basically the perfect food.
Thank you to whoever said, “Let’s take delicious yeast dough and cover it in tomatoes and cheese and olive oil and everything yummy then bake it until it’s golden brown and bubbly.” You make my life better about once a week. Not that I’m saying I eat pizza about once a week…nope. Actually, yes. Yes, I do eat it a lot.
Just wait until you try this pizza dough that is light and airy but also chewy and crunchy. Is that even possible? The answer is yes! So try it. For real. I had been making a different dough for awhile now and it was good but after trying this one, I think this one takes the cake. It it is so much lighter and golden brown…yum! Wow, I really want pizza again.
I make mine on a pizza stone but you can also do this on a normal baking tray or round tray. I’m going to be honest though. The pizza stone is an awesome investment. Just think of all the money you’ll save from ordering out! That covers it, right? We’ll tell ourselves that at least.
Also, I didn’t add any herbs or spices this time but sometimes I will add in whatever I feel like (garlic powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, basil) to the dough. If you do this, just add the herbs or spices in with the flour so it can get incorporated during the kneading process!
P.S. I am a little over the top. I not only made the pizza dough but I also made the sauce and cheese from scratch. And the basil is from our garden. It was scrumptious. Who here didn’t know you can make cheese at home? Well, you can and I highly recommend it. It’s from a cheese-making kit and I’m still not good at it but apparently it’s still delicious even if you’re not good at it. Awesome! Also, pizza sauce recipe to be posted soon! **Update: Pizza Sauce recipe is posted here!
Mix together warm water, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl (I used my stand mixer bowl). Let sit about 10 minutes until the mixture becomes foamy.
Add olive oil, salt, and 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix to combine. I used my hook attachment on my mixer but you can do this by hand. Slowly add 2 to 2 1/2 cups of flour to mixture until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Start with 2 cups then add more flour if the mixture is still sticky. It should be barely sticky once the flour is added.
Once the dough is barely sticky, mix on medium-low in your stand mixer with the hook attachment, or by hand, for 5 minutes.
Lightly coat the bowl with olive oil (I used olive oil spray) and roll the dough around to coat the bowl and all the sides of the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel until it is doubled in size (1-2 hours).
Preheat your oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit about 15 minutes before you think your dough has risen and place your pizza stone in the oven to preheat (preheat for at least 30 minutes).
After the dough has risen, remove from the bowl and divide into 2 pieces. Make into 2 balls and cover with a kitchen towel and let rest another 15 minutes.
You can freeze the dough at this point in separate plastic bags (spray dough with oil before freezing) or use it immediately. Take the pizza stone out of the oven and cover it with cornmeal. Stretch the dough to the size of the pizza stone and transfer to the stone. You can still stretch it on the stone (Be careful. It's hot!) to reach the edges.
Spray or lightly brush olive oil over the dough then place your toppings on it. If you want, sprinkle garlic salt around the crust (The crust will taste like garlic breadsticks...yum!).
Bake for 12-15 minutes until the crust is golden brown on the outside and the toppings are bubbly and delicious. You can also broil the pizza for a minute or two after you bake it to get an extra bubbly and crispy pizza.
I froze one of the dough balls because we were only going to eat 1 pizza (even though I would have eaten them both if I could). As stated above, spray the dough with oil then place the dough balls in separate plastic bags to freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator for about 12 hours then let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking, making sure to preheat your pizza stone for at least 30 minutes before placing the dough on it.