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Pizza: Its Not Delivery, It’s Your Own-O

5 Comments

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I’m not going to lie to you, making your own pizza is more work than picking up the phone and ordering a cardboard frisbee. It’s also more work than driving down for a slightly better than delivery frisbee (now with less cardboard!) at your local pizzeria. But its also a lot better. When the question of pizza comes up in the Chowhound’s house the request always is ‘Will you make one?’. When you tell people ‘I make my own pizza’ they are understandably skeptical. I guess their minds go to pre-packaged sauce and crusts or even worse the ‘pizza kit’. Usually people feel their efforts are ‘pretty good’ for an at home effort.

But as you can imagine that’s not good enough for a Kitchen Warrior. We’re not after ‘that was ok’ or ‘not half bad’. Better than a kit, better than delivery, better than going down to Pizza Gut what you’re going to hear when you slam this one down on the table is ‘man that’s one of the best pizza’s I’ve ever eaten’. That’s the kind of pizza you’re going to make if you just follow this simple recipe. It takes a little time but its not hard at all. If you don’t cook at home often you may be short on spices. I say even so its worth it to pick them up because after you make this pizza once you’ll be asked to make it again and again. If you’ve never heard of pizza before this is the pizza we’re going to put down in front of you and say ‘THIS my friend is a pizza’.

I’m making one for dinner tonight so I’ll blog as I go. The dough takes the longest so we’ll start that first. Here’s the recipe for a great dough that you can read while I warm up the mixer bowl.

Pizza Dough

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes.

Stir the salt and oil into the yeast solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour.

Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out.

You can do this dough by hand as described, via your stand mixer or in your bread machine on dough cycle.

I’ve got the yeast proofing so lets start the sauce. Sauce is key and can make or break the pie and this is one of the best ones I’ve found. Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list because all you do is combine them all in one bowl and let it sit for awhile. It’s really very good and its a snap..

Pizza Sauce

* 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

* 6 fluid ounces warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

* 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

* 1 teaspoon minced garlic

* 2 tablespoons honey

* 1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)

* 3/4 teaspoon onion powder

* 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

* 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram

* 1/4 teaspoon dried basil

* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

* 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

* 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

* salt to taste

1. In a small bowl, combine everything together, make sure there are no clumps of cheese

2. Sauce should sit for 30 minutes to blend flavors; spread over pizza dough and prepare pizza as desired.

While putting together the sauce the 10 minutes of proofing time has passed so I can go ahead and start the dough

I’m going to do mine tonight in the stand mixer because its faster. If you use your bread machine follow the instructions that came with it for using the dough cycle. Or you can just do it by hand. Pizza dough is pretty forgiving so no real worries here.

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‘Dough!’

All kneaded and ready to cover and let rise until doubled in size. About an an hour.

Once the dough has risen and you’ve punched it down what you do it with it next is a matter of personal choice. You can roll it out like in the recipe, you can attempt to twirl it on your finger pizzeria style but I’ll caution you to remember you have over an hour of time invested in this flour ball so take care it doesn’t hit the floor. Honestly I just plop it on the pan, let it rest for a few minutes then mash it out with my hands. There’s usually enough left over for 3-4 breadsticks.

Once its in the pan you can set about building your version of the ultimate pizza.

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Tonight what I used in addition to the sauce was:

1/2 lb Italian sausage

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 tsp Italian seasoning

Here are a few pictures of how it went and as always it tasted great. And why wouldn’t it? We used higher quality ingredients across the board than any but the best restaurants would use in their food. For some reason people are of the mind you can’t make a great pizza at home.

This’ll flat shut em up.

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5 Comments »

  • Irishman said:

    Great recipe! My wife and I used to make pizzas together but that was before kids. With three kids, pizza has turned into a quick and filling meal that we have delivered, bake from frozen, or (if we really have time) pick up at Papa Murphy’s and cook ourselves.

    This article has made me want to make a pizza from scratch. Sounds like a good meal for this weekend.

    BTW, do you ever use a pizza stone in the oven? Your pictures all show a thin pizza pan. I am pretty sure we still have a pizza cooking stone in one of the cupboards.

  • chowhound (author) said:

    Thanks! One thing you can do to help save time is freeze a dough to use later which not counting time to thaw probably can get you to a pizza in a hour. But with three kids even that’s likely an hour you don’t have 🙂

    I’ve used a pizza stone years and years ago but I don’t have one at the moment. The most noticeable difference is that the crust isn’t as crisp and can sometimes be cooked unevenly. You can get around this a little bit by pre-cooking the crust a few minutes before adding the toppings (don’t forget to cut some slits in the dough or it will ‘bubble’). But that said I’ve been meaning to pick up a few tiles, not only for pizza but a good stone helps ‘even the heat’ in the typically problematic residential oven most of us have.

    You can also use unglazed quarry stone (tiles) that you can pick up at Home Depot and the like for less than $1 a piece (vs. $30 and up when they’re called pizza stones). Google ‘unglazed quarry stone pizza’ and you’ll get a feel for it.

  • dj said:

    Yum, sounds delicious, but, um… the recipe omits oven temperature and baking time!

  • eironn said:

    i loved pizza,its my business for fast 7 years in the philippines and it never let my purse empty.now i had another variant to start with and i’m so glad i just visit tjis site. thanx.

  • Joe said:

    Pizza is my favourite dish. I like it very much.
    But making it at home is a mess b/c i m not a good cook 🙂

    Recipes

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