Besides hamburgers and hot dogs, pizza would probably be the next big food item in America. From what I hear (not that I'm bragging of course), New York serves up one of the best slices. But just like everything else, eating out is starting to become a bit pricy (not mentioning all the health 'benefits').
If you're a huge fan of pizza, making a pie from scratch is not only simple but cheaper too - although, admittedly, it is a bit more time consuming but I promise the end result is worth it! Also, food not only tastes better homemade, but even more so when you know that you put in the time and effort to make it happen.
So, here's a few recipes from making the dough to the sauce until you finally get a completed pie.Pizza DoughUnfortunately, I completely forgot to take a picture of the dough. So sorry about that!Ingredients:
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tsp honey
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Mix the yeast, honey, and water in a bowl until everything is dissolved. Let it sit until the mixture starts to bubble and foam collects at the top (about 5 - 10 minutes). This means that the yeast is alive and well! Yay!
In another bowl, mix the salt, EVOO, and flour. Pour in the yeast a little at a time while mixing the flour. The dough should start to come together and may take a bit of kneading until everything has been incorporated. If the dough is too sticky, add a tbsp of flour. If the dough is too crumbly, add a tbsp of water. When the dough has gathered into a ball, it should no longer be sticky and your hands should be clean from sticky dough too.
By now, the dough should be smooth and elastic. Form it into a round and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn it over so that both sides have been coated. Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel and let it sit in a warm spot, such as inside your oven! Just...be sure not to turn it on. After 1 - 2 hours, the dough should have risen and be doubled in size. Punch it down and form it into a roll so that you can split the dough evenly. I'd suggest splitting it into three mini dough balls, or four at maximum.
Repeat by placing each individual ball of dough into their own oiled bowls and cover. Let them sit for another hour. At this point, you can either roll the dough out and prepare to bake it or stick it in the freezer for future use. It can stay in the refrigerator for two days.
This sauce is also great for eating with pasta! So any leftover sauce?...You know what to do!Ingredients:
- 4 oz ground beef
- 1 medium onion
- 1/2 bulb garlic
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomato (or 2 medium tomatoes, diced)
- 2 6 oz can tomato paste
- EVOO, salt, pepper
- 1 tsp each of crushed/diced dry (fresh if possible is best) rosemary, thyme, basil, chives, parsley, Italian seasoning - this is optional...but definitely makes it more flavorful
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat until hot. Cook the ground beef first then place it to the side in a separate bowl. Sauté the onions with the garlic until the onions are slightly caramelized. Toss in the rest of the ingredients, cover, and bring to a boil.
Uncover, lower the heat, and let it simmer for about half an hour. Flavor with salt and pepper to your liking, or add extra herbs if you'd like.
Done! How easy! =]Putting it all together:
If you have a pizza stone, preheat it in the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't and will be using a baking sheet, preheat to 350.
The balls of dough should be domed and spongy by now. Turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and shape it into a disk before rolling it out. To keep it circular, first roll it one way and then flip it to even out the other side. Starting from the middle, roll out and to the sides, turning it clockwise (or counterclockwise...whichever works) while rolling so that eventually it's a nice circle.For pizza stone usage:
Dust a pizza paddle with flour and slide it under the pizza dough. Brush the crust with a thin layer of EVOO before adding the sauce and your favorite toppings. Lower the oven temperature to 425. When the cheese has melted and started bubbling slightly, lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees every ten to fifteen minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is crisp and golden. (Use a spatula to peek at the bottom of the crust from time to time to see if the crust is done baking yet.)For baking sheet usage:
Layer with parchment paper before placing dough on top. Brush a thin coating of EVOO on the crust then add sauce and your favorite toppings. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the crust is crunchy and golden.
For those of you wondering what toppings I used...I made four different pies with two different toppings.
Two with Gouda cheese, goat cheese, and fresh mozzarella with a sprinkling of pepper on top. I had meant to add muenster cheese as well but it completely slipped my mind...along with the tomatoes.
The other two pies were with broccoli, cauliflower, Gouda cheese, fresh mozzarella, and pepper once again. For this one I forgot to add spinach...hrm, ingredients to use for another day!