Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Tracy's Rustic Homemade Pizza - from Scratch, yo

Why on Earth would we ever want to make pizza from scratch when we have the endless options of eat-in, take-out, and bake at home varieties out there?
Well, for me, it's knowing what's going into my pizza pie, and the feeling of doing something that so many people before me have done...seems a bit melodramatic, but people have been making pizza for centuries, so why haven't I done this before? Because it's easier to pick one up off the shelf at the neighbourhood grocery store and pop it in the oven at your convenience, that's why.
Today, for the first time, I took a little time, and some simple ingredients, and made a MUCH BETTER pizza for my dinner. Lovely. I think everyone should give it at try, at least once.
For me, I'm looking forward to creating more of my own pizza sensations. 

Really Simple Pizza Dough
Makes enough for 2 small, thin crust pizzas.
3 cups flour (can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour) 
1 ½  teaspoon salt
1 ½  teaspoon active dry yeast
1cup lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
2 tablespoon olive oil 
¼ cup each
small green pepper
sun dried tomatoes
red onion
black olives
marinated artichoke hearts
3 button mushrooms
½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated
And for the meat-a-vours
1 hot Italian sausage, cooked
50 g prosciutto
¼ cup sundried tomatoes
¼ cup hot pickled hot peppers
½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated 

Some fresh Basil in there too.
Stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl. 
Add water and olive oil, stirring mixture into as close to a ball as you can. 
Dump all clumps and floury bits onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a homogeneous ball.
If you are finding this step difficult, one of the best tricks is to simply pause. Leave the dough in a lightly-floured spot, put the empty bowl upside-down on top of it and come back in 2 to 5 minutes, at which point you will find the dough a lot more lovable.
Knead it for just a minute or two. Lightly oil the bowl (a spritz of cooking spray does the trick) where you had mixed it — one-bowl recipe! — dump the dough in, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size.
Dump it back on the floured counter (yup, I leave mine messy), and gently press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands. 
Divide into two.
Fold the pieces into an approximate ball shape, and let it sit under that plastic wrap for 20 more minutes.
Sprinkle a pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal and preheat your oven to its top temperature. Roll out the pizza. 
Toss on whatever topping and seasonings you like. (always err on the side of skimpy with toppings so to not weight down the dough too much, or if I have multiple toppings, to keep them very thinly sliced.)
Bake it for about 10 minutes

Pizza Sauce

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 680 ml can tomato puree
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
In a large saucepan, saute garlic in oil until tender. 
Stir in the remaining ingredients. 
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until sauce reaches desired thickness. Use in Deep-Dish Sausage Pizza, Tomato Artichoke Chicken or any recipe that calls for pizza sauce. Sauce may be refrigerated for up to 1 week. 
Oh yes, yummy goodness. Hot, hot stuff.

1 comment:

  1. I make this at least twice a month! My kids love it and it saves a wad of cash as well :) Knowing what's in your food is a bonus and creating your own edible masterpiece is great fun!