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Outstanding Pizza From Scratch In 50 minutes


One obstacle you may encounter when scratch cooking for other folks is the time quality food prep can and often takes. Consider that in a mind powered by a starving stomach you and your raw ingredients, sharp cutlery and expensive cookware are up against a 1500 watt microwave and a box of frozen Stouffer’s (NO of COURSE I can’t make a Lasagna from scratch in 3 minutes and 20 seconds!). Now I can’t say I know for sure that the people I cook for wouldn’t rather eat frozen dinners but I can say with absolute certainty they know not to bring the subject up.


Two other things we’ve been experimenting with more recently is our ban on grocery store bread and take out pizzas. Now to be clear there are fine pizzeria’s that make outstanding pies but in this case we’re talking about the franchise on the way home. A good homemade pizza just plain hands down smokes any of those guys and if you haven’t yet proven this to yourself you should.

So last week when we were running late on ‘pizza night’ imagine my surprise shock dismay when I heard:

“It’s getting pretty late to make pizza, why don’t we just pick one up on the way home’.

ACK! Take home pizza? When you cut me do I not bleed? When you strike me do I not cry out? But why?

“It takes two hours”

Without actually adding the time up I claimed 90 minutes. It wasn’t really a hard sell because the pizza IS great.

“Fine, but it WILL be two hours”.

When I thought it through it worked out to be about 1:45. That gave me about 15 minutes to consider how I could prepare a different pizza in less time. As it turned out I came up with this gem that was ready in less than an hour.

Thinking about it, the two things that take the most time on our pizza is the crust and the sauce. The crust needs 45 minutes alone just for the dough to rise. The sauce needs a MINIMUM of 30 minutes for spices and flavors to blend (when time permits we’ll leave it all day).

So what to do? I replaced the traditional crust with a Focaccia and the tomato sauce with a white garlic sauce. The result was an outstanding pizza from scratch in about 50 minutes. However if you don’t have a stand mixer you may need to add 5-7 more minutes for hand kneading.

If you’re thinking in terms of the time it takes to prepare this pizza, the Focaccia needs to rise for about 20 minutes before you can roll or press it into the pan so any toppings you can prepare in that timeframe are fair game. In addition to the white garlic sauce I fried up some Italian sausage and sauteed some mushrooms.

While this is an excellent pizza to make when you want something quick, don’t think of it in only those terms. This is an outstanding pie on its own merit. The crust and sauce stand out from the traditional fare and its sure to be remembered fondly.


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