Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mmmm...Homemade Pizza

 I haven't spent as much time blogging over the past couple of months because I've been concentrating on ramping up my business and meeting new goals where that is concerned, but over the holidays, I took photos of quite a few dishes that we prepared with the intent of sharing the recipes with you all.   This is one of the "Just Because" dishes...   Just because it's pizza and just because it's so good!  


The crust is thin, crispy and seasoned to perfection.  Shawn brushes a little olive oil around the edge before baking, and sprinkles with fresh herbs and garlic.  mmm, mmm, mmm!



Of course you can top your pizza with whatever toppings you like, but one of our family favorites is this combination of homemade Alfredo sauce (tastes equally great with plain tomato sauce or your fave pizza sauce), grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, spinach and a blend of mozzarella and smoked gouda cheeses.  Crumbled bacon and mushrooms are excellent additions to this one as well.





It's beautiful, isn't it?  I told Shawn that we need to serve this at our family's annual Christmas Eve dinner because we always have a big buffet of finger foods and it looks so Christmas-ey.  Christmas Pizza!  



To make the dough, you will need the following:

1/4 cup hot water (110 degrees)
1 envelope packet of instant yeast
3/4 cup water at room temp
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups bread flour
(unbleached a/p flour will do in a pinch)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Get out your food processor (or mixing bowl if making by hand like Shawn does) and add the hot water and yeast.  Let stand for five minutes.  Then add the olive oil, flower and salt.  Slowly incorporate the rest of the water while pulsing the processor or mixing by hand until it comes together.  Continue processing it until it is smooth and elastic.   Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a smooth, round ball.  Take a little bit of olive oil and coat the exterior of the ball to keep it from developing a skin and place it in a mixing bowl.  Cover the bowl with a warm wet towel and let it rise   for an hour until it has doubled in size.  Once this is done use your fists to punch down the dough and get the air out of it.  Separate into two balls and you are ready to roll it out and make some pizza!


Shawn often blends herbs (oregano, basil & thyme) directly into the dough as he makes it.  Oh, is this ever so good.  He also does this with his famous Focaccia bread.  


Poke holes in the dough with a fork.  This will help keep air bubbles/pockets from forming in the dough.


Spread with your favorite sauce leaving about an inch of dough uncovered around the edges,

that's so you can brush a little olive oil around the edge and sprinkle with garlic powder, like Shawn does, which makes it nice and crispy and so tasty.  

Next you'll want to use a pan like this or as close to this as you can find...something with lots of holes.  We have a big round pizza pan with holes in it but we like this grill rack better because it has more holes spaced closer together and really allows the air to penetrate the crust, ensuring that is comes out super crispy.
Oh, and cover it with some cornmeal to... which also aids in crispiness and helps prevent sticking.



We always sprinkle a little freshly grated parmesan (you can use canned grated as well) directly over the sauce and then a nice layer of mozzarella or a mozz/gouda blend.  We use about 1/4 part gouda to 3/4 part mozzarella.


We then proceed to layer the other ingredients and finish with a light scattering of cheese which we've found helps hold the toppings onto the pizza...and nobody ever complains about extra cheese.






Bake at 500º, yes five ain't no jive hundred degrees, for 10 minutes or until the crust looks golden brown and cheese is melted and just beginning to brown atop.
Like this!




Divertiti!!!
 as Ashton says in Italian...which means Enjoy!!!


Save on specialty pizza pans and other kitchenware with Macys coupon codes.


Joining:  Foodie Friday, Wow, HoH, Blue Cricket Design

11 comments:

  1. This looks sooo good! I'm hungry, I'll be right over!

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  2. Mmmmmmmm...mmmmmmmmmm - sounds so good and looks even better. I'm going to put your recipe on my Recipe Blog List!!

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  3. I think I may need a new keyboard now...I've drooled all over mine. YUM!

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  4. I love making pizza too- thanks for the great ideas! :)

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  5. Nancy, it's 12.26 at night here and I'm starving!
    Got to go to bed, but thanks for some great pizza ideas.
    Son and myself went on a pizza-making course before Christmas and loved it; I'll be making some tomorrow, using your super tips!

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  6. Looks yummy, Nancy. Your are making me hungry! ~ sarah

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  7. Thank you so much for this recipe, Nancy! My mouth is watering and I can't wait to try this.

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  8. Hi Nancy, I'm coming over from Debra's and have been here before but haven't followed you, until now. I love dishes and china so I think I should keep up with your wonderful blog. Your pizza looks so good. Have a great day! Blessings, Pamela

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  9. Looks wonderfuL! Thanks for sharing Joann

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  10. Stopping over to say hello from Common Ground. Your transferware is lovely, but when I saw that pizza I had to head right to it!

    ~Bliss~

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