Sunday, August 09, 2009

Make Your Own Pizza | Dough & Sauce

If the people in your house are as picky as mine, then making your own pizza is the way to go! It's simpler than you think, saves you a bunch of money and best of all, it's fun!

I'm simple and just want a good Margarita Pizza, the kids would DIE if they saw green stuff on their pizza though, so fresh basil is out of the question on theirs. T is a meat eater, so if I'm crazy enough to offer up a meat free meal he might just boycott my kitchen...maybe that's not a bad thing now that I think about it..ha!

Homemade Pizza Dough

7 cups all-purpose flour
1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
2 (¼ ounce) packets active dried yeast
1 Tbs sugar
4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 ½ cups lukewarm water

1. Sift the flour and salt onto a clean work surface and make a well in the middle. In a large measuring cup, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil into the water and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well. Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it into the liquid. Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in, and when it all starts to come together, work the rest of the flour in with your clean, flour-dusted hands. Knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.

2. Place the ball of dough in a large flour-dusted bowl and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and place in a warm room for about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.

3. Now remove the dough to a flour-dusted surface and knead it around a bit to push the air out with your hands - this is called punching down the dough. You can either use it immediately, or keep it, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the fridge (or freezer) until required. If using right away, divide the dough up into as many little balls as you want to make pizzas - this amount of dough is enough to make about six to eight medium pizzas.

4. Timing wise, it's a good idea to roll the pizzas out about 15 to 20 minutes before you want to cook them. Don't roll them out and leave them hanging around for a few hours, though - if you are working in advance like this it's better to leave your dough, covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. However, if you want to get them rolled out so there's 1 less thing to do when your guests are round, simply roll the dough out into rough circles, about ¼ inch thick, and place them on slightly larger pieces of olive-oil-rubbed and flour-dusted aluminum foil. You can then stack the pizzas, cover them with plastic wrap, and pop them into the refrigerator.

Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce, adapted from Cat Cora

1 (4-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup water
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ Tbs chopped fresh oregano leaves
½ Tbs chopped fresh basil leaves
½ Tbs chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Mix together the tomato paste, water, and olive oil. Mix well. Add garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, oregano, basil, and rosemary. Mix well and let stand several hours to let flavors blend. No cooking necessary, just spread on dough.

Make sure the sides of your 'well' are higher than mine... love...

Look how thin this crust is....perfection!

Again...look at the thinness of this pizza, love it!

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