Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Saturday Night Pizza


You may have noticed, if you look here often, that pizza is usually on the menu on Saturday night. We don't call Domino's, however. We have homemade style.

Whenever we have friends over for pizza they always seem surprised that I bother to make my own. But, honestly, pizza is one of the easiest things to make, and if you make your own, you can make it just the way you like it. Where we live in Ohio, a very thin crisp crust is what all the pizza shops make. I
detest a thin "cracker crust," so that's really why I started making my own. Mine varies from medium thin to a thick pan pizza. Sometimes we're in the mood for one, sometimes the other, and sometimes I make both.

I make my own sauce too, because we like it kind of sweet, but you can buy a can of pizza sauce if you're not into creating your own. But, if you've never tried your own, you may be surprised that you do have a preference as to how it tastes and until now you've never even thought about what that preference is. If you use my recipe and don't like a sweet sauce, reduce the amount of sugar you add by half until you give it a taste.

(2 large regular crust pizzas or 2 pan pizzas)

2 recipes for dough (below)

1 large can tomato puree (28 oz)
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
3 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. dried basil
1/2 t. oregano
1/8 t. pepper

6 cups shredded mozzarella or pizza cheese
4 T. Parmesan

While the dough is rising, start sauce.
In a med. hot pan, pour olive oil; turn down to low.
Add garlic and stir until it is fragrant and hot, but not cooked.
Add tomato puree, sugar, salt, and spices.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Taste sauce and adjust seasoning to taste,
adding more sugar if desired, or salt and pepper.

When dough and sauce are ready, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Grease the pizza pans or cast iron skillets.
(You can also make a deep dish pizza in a cake pan --
it will take a few cake pans, at least two, for one recipe of dough.)
If you want one of each, make one of each.
Punch down dough and divide in half.
Press each half onto the prepared pan.
I find that to spread the dough on a large pizza pan,
it is easiest to put the dough in the middle
and slowly push it out with my fingers,
turning it while I'm pushing.
If dough doesn't give easily when you first begin,
let it rest for five minutes and try again.
If you try to force it, you'll just end up ripping it.

When you get it all spread, use the side of your hand to give the dough an edge.

After dough is spread, ladle on the sauce -- thick or thin, however you like it.
Sprinkle each pizza with 2 T. Parmesan.
Top each with 3 cups shredded cheese.
Place other desired toppings on top of cheese.
Bake for about 15 minutes, alternating pizzas from bottom to top racks
so that the crust gets crisp and the toppings get browned.
Check to be sure crust is browned on the bottom before removing from oven.

A tip for crispy pepperoni:
Place four layers of paper towel on a plate.
Put pepperoni on paper towels, close together.
Top with a paper towel and microwave for 45 seconds.
Blot to absorb grease.

Regular crust, cheese only.

Deep dish, pepperoni.

Pizza Dough

1 cup warm water
1 T. olive oil
1 T. sugar
1 1/4-ounce packet yeast (or 2 t.)
2 ½ cups flour
1 t. salt

Place water in a bowl and add sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the surface and allow to sit for 10 minutes (until it foams). Add the oil, 2 cups of flour and salt, and mix until smooth. Knead with dough hook for 3-5 minutes (or 7 minutes by hand) adding flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking. Place in greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 30 minutes to an hour, until doubled.



Christy said...

I've been searching for a great pizza recipe for awhile now and your's looks amazing! I now know what I'll be preparing for our Friday meal. I'll let you know how it goes. :) Thanks for sharing your recipe!

Tami said...

Wow! That is such a picture perfect pizza! I want to reach right in and grab a slice!

Sara said...

I just made your pizza dough for some friends who were visiting, including our 8 children. The pizza got rave reviews. My daughter thought it tasted like "ordered pizza", the highest compliment!


scmom (Barbara) said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Sara. Aren't kids funny? Just like my kids would rather eat Oreos than homemade -- it tastes better if it came from somewhere other than your own kitchen!