Tuesday, August 9, 2011

pizza from scratch

It has been a really great cooking week.  I planned on posting about my awesome restaurant salad remake that I made last night, but I'm just way too excited about this pizza.  First lets discuss my new toy that made this happen: my grill/griddle/pizza pan.  I bought this baby at Target yesterday for a mere $25 and I get 3 uses in 1!   
On to the pizza.  I've always wanted to make it but something about it seemed so daunting to me.  Not sure why.
Now that I've done it, I want to make it ALL THE TIME.  Crust was crispy but chewy in the center.  Sauce was definitely my favorite part.  TRY IT.  You won't regret it.

I used this dough recipe.  I was trying to be as SBD friendly as I could but I felt using 100% whole wheat flour was too risky for my 1st attempt @ dough.  So I only used 1/2 whole wheat, as the recipe suggested.

Step 1.  Dissolve the sugar in warm water.  Sprinkle the yeast on top.  Let it sit for 10 minutes.  When its frothy, add the olive oil and salt.

Step 2.  Mix in all but 1/2 cup of the flour.  Put that flour on a clean surface.  Put the dough mixture on the surface and knead the remaining 1/2 cup into the dough until it is smooth.

Step 3.  Spray a bowl (or lightly cover) with olive oil.  Roll the dough into a ball.  Place in bowl.  Roll around in the oil.  Cover bowl lightly with a towel and let it sit and rise for an hour @ room temperature.

While you're waiting... 

My sauce was inspired by 2 recipes -- here and here.
Here's my version:


  • Some olive oil (like 1/2 T or something)
  •  2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of water 
  • 1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  •  1 T of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Step 1. Cook the garlic in some olive oil.          

Step 2.  Mix the spices.  
BTW, my spices amounts are an estimate. I originally planned to quadruple the spices from the 1st recipe and use a WHOLE can of crushed tomatoes and NO water (as the 2nd recipe suggests).  

Then I realized, I didn't have a whole can of tomatoes.  So I only used about 1/2 of the spices I originally mixed.  This is about 2x the called for amounts in the original recipe.  However, I did omit some spices from the original recipe (because I didn't have them)
All in all, the amount of spice is really up to you and how bitey you want it.  We like ours bitey.  
Someone commented on the original recipe that they mix a bunch of the spice, keep in their pantry, and use approx. 1 T of the spice combo every time they make the sauce. Great idea! 

Step 3.  Mix the spices, garlic, water, crushed tomatoes, and tomato paste in a bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap.  
Let it sit for 30 minutes.

While you're waiting....


Step 4. If its been an hour, the dough should be about 2x the size like this ----->  

Step 5. Roll it out onto a lightly floured surface.  With a butter knife, cut in half.  

Save half for a 2nd pizza (or whatever). I put mine in the fridge.  Make sure you put it in a large container because it WILL rise.  I made the mistake of putting it in a small container.  I opened the fridge to find that it had bursted through the top of my tupperware!  For some reason, it made me think of this.

Step 6.  Roll dough into a ball and place back in bowl.  Cover and let rise again for 45 minutes.

While you're waiting...


We went veggie style...

baby bellas
green pepper
black olives
roma tomato

Also, sometime... Pre-heat your oven to 425° F.


Step 1. After you've waited about 45 minutes, your dough should be about 2x larger.  If you haven't already, preheat that oven to 425° F.

Step 2. We tried the whole spinning-the-dough-in-the-air-thing, and it didn't go very well.  I suggest taking your ball, lay it on some parchment (or something that'll make it easy to slide), and roll it out with a rolling pin.  Ours still got nice and round.  We didn't use parchment, however, so it was tricky getting it onto our pizza pan.

Step 3. Lay down your sauce.  We only ended up using about 3/4 of the sauce, but you can always dip your pizza in the amount that is left over, or lick it with a spoon.  Its yummy enough for that sort of thing.

Step 4.  Apply the cheese (we used ~ 1/4 c. parmesan and 1.5 c. mozzarella) & toppings. 

Step 5.  We added more cheese.  ~ .5 cup of mozzarella.  I think this step is important because I love it when there's some bubbly browned cheese on pizza.  This is the cheese that does that.  :)

Step 6. Bake.  Our oven cooks quickly.  It was ready in about 15 minutes.

Step 7.  Let it cool.  Seriously, be patient, let it cool.  Go pour a drink if you need to distract yourself.

Step 8.  
Slice and enjoy.

This is a pretty hearty pizza.  Don't ingest too much too soon (even though its really yummy).  According to my estimates here, its roughly 300 calories per slice (when divided into 6 large slices).  These estimates are assuming using half the dough (per the above instructions), approximately 3/4 of the sauce, and the toppings listed above.

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