Thursday, August 30, 2012

Homemade Pizza

Pizza is probably my favorite thing to eat.  The gooey cheesy goodness cannot be replaced!  My favorite pizza establishment is within walking distance from our house, but sometimes I like to make pizza at home.  When I first started making pizza, I purchased the crust, sauce, cheese and pepperoni, put it together and popped it in the oven.  Overtime, I have become increasingly interested in making it from scratch.  First, I started buying crushed tomatoes and pesto and mixing my own sauce.  Then I began searching for a recipe to make the crust from scratch.  Now I make the crust from scratch and make the sauce using fresh tomatoes. I buy fresh mozzarella (rather than shredded).  I still buy cheap turkey pepperoni (I'm not quite at the point of making pepperoni, but I have been reading about making mozzarella cheese).


All of my favorite kitchen contraptions are shown in these photos.  I love my KitchenAid mixer and my Breville Blender.  That cheese slicer is amazing (especially for slicing soft cheeses like mozzarella).

This dough comes out kind of thick.  I like it, but Gabe really prefers thin crust so I think I'll be experimenting with thin crust soon.  Thin crust would definitely be less filling!

Crusty Pizza Dough (KitchenAid) 

1 package active fry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal (optional for rolling out the dough)

Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl.  Add salt, olive oil, and 2 1/2 cups of flour.  Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer.  Turn to low speed (2 on KitchenAid) and mix about one minute.

Continuing at low speed, add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl, about 2 minutes (You may not need the entire 3 1/2 cups of flour.  If the dough isn't clinging after several minutes, try adding a little bit of water - a little bit like a tablespoon).  Knead on low speed for about 2 minutes longer.

Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top (I spray cooking spray into the bowl and roll my dough around in the bowl).  Cover (I use tightly wrapped aluminum foil).  Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk (I place the dough in the cool oven to rise).  Punch dough down.

Brush 14-inch pizza pan with oil.  Sprinkle with cornmeal (if your pizza pan has holes like mine, you will want to skip the oil and cornmeal).  Press dough across bottom of pan, forming a collar around edge to hold toppings.  Add toppings as desired.  Bake at 450 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

Pizza Sauce

4 premium tomatoes
garlic powder
onion powder
Italian spices
1/2 sweet onion (diced)
olive oil

Peel and seed the tomatoes.  I used the same peeling method that I used for the spaghetti sauce (put in boiling water for 1 minute, remove and place in ice bath for about 1 minute, peel), and it worked much better with the premium tomatoes

Heat in oil in pot.  Add onions and cook until clear.  Put the tomatoes and spices (spice to taste) in a blender (or food processor) and give them a rough chop.  Once the onions are clear, add the tomatoes.  Bring to simmer and then cook for 1-2 hours (longer cooking time will make the sauce thicker and decrease the amount of water).

If you have questions, leave a comment!  If you try it, let me know how it worked out :)

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