Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easy Homemade Pizza

A few years ago, I started making pizza at home with store purchased dough. It was good, but I knew eventually I wanted to try my own dough.  I don't know why I didn't do it sooner. I guess I thought I would have to wait hours for it to rise, or it would be a complex mixing process; I'm not sure. I'm just so glad I finally took the plunge and tried it out.

I found a food website that I am in love with called Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  She has a recipe for everything, and the recipes are simple, easy and yummy.  I actually used her dough recipe as a starting point and have made some modifications to fit our taste-buds.

The best thing about pizza is that you can put whatever you want on it.  When we travelled to visit family for Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law suggested we put leftover taco meat on one and make a tex-mex pizza; it was awesome!  I also tried a spinach-alfredo pizza; amazing! There are no limits; bbq pizza, mac'n'cheese pizza, anything. I think my husbands favorite was the meat lovers pizza with pepperoni and sausage. Have fun with it! Enjoy!

  Pizza Dough:
- 3 c white flour
- 1 heaping Tbs olive oil
- 1 heaping Tbs honey
- 1 Tbs garlic salt
- 2 pkgs rapid rise yeast ( 1 heaping Tbs)
- 1 c warm water (120-125 degrees)

Homemade Marinara Sauce:
- 1 can (6oz) tomato paste
- 1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes w/ basil, garlic, and oregano
- 1 tsp garlic salt

Preheat oven and pizza stone (if you're using one) to 450 degrees for about 30 minutes before putting any pizza's in.  Mix all the dough ingredients in the processor and finish by kneading on the counter. Split into 2 dough balls and set aside in a towel to rise for a few minutes (or if you're making one large pizza, don't split).
Meanwhile, mix the sauce ingredients using a whisk or hand blender.  If you prefer chunky sauce, be careful not to blend too much. If you are making an alfredo sauce, this would be the time to mix the ingredients on the stove top to warm and combine.
Once the sauce is ready, take one dough ball and shape.  I use a rolling pin to get started and press and flip to finish.  Place the formed dough on parchment paper for easy transfer into and out of the oven. Top it however you would like, including the sauce you prefer and place it (with the parchment paper) on the pizza stone in the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Repeat with the second dough ball.

Makes 2 regular pizza's (12-14 inches) or 1 large pizza (16-18 inches). Enjoy!

I found this difficult to find, so here's my Spinach Alfredo Pizza:
1/2 c Alfredo Sauce (butter, heavy cream, parmesan. Heat on the stovetop and then cool to warm)
1 medium tomato, sliced or diced
2 c chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 c cooked chicken, sliced or diced (optional)

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