Monday, February 14, 2011

Pizza Love

Not that you won't see us occasionally dining at the nearest Olive Garden, or find a large bouquet of roses on my kitchen table, but sometimes a quiet night at home is my kind of romance. (As a disclaimer, we DID go on a early Valentine's Date last week to the city... and my amazing husband did buy me a pair of boots. I absolutely don't want any ideas floating around that my man doesn't spoil me very frequently!)

If there is one thing we've missed lately it's PIZZA, and somehow it just doesn't fit into our food budget often! I decided to splurge and make a partially from scratch pizza, but with this recipe I made two pizzas and bread sticks that lasted us for two meals for around $6.00. 

Maybe pizza will find it's way back into our lives?!

Pizza Crust

1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
1 envelope (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water, at room temperature
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups (22 ounces) bread flour, plus more for dusting work surface and hands
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray for oiling the bowl
1. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room-temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
2. Process the flour and salt in a large food processor (only use a food processor if your model is at least 11 cup capacity and heavy duty enough for bread kneading. No burnt up motors, please!), pulsing to combine. Continue pulsing while pouring the liquid ingredients (holding back a few tablespoons) through the feed tube. If the dough does not readily form into a ball, add the remaining liquid and continue to pulse until a ball forms. Process until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 30 seconds longer.
3. The dough will be a bit tacky, so use a rubber spatula to turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead by h and for a few strokes to form a smooth, round ball. Put the dough into a deep oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
Pizza Dough Kneaded by Hand
Follow the recipe for Pizza Dough through step 1. Omit step 2 and instead combine the salt and half the flour in a deep bowl. Add the liquid ingredients and use a wooden spoon to combine. Add the remaining flour, stirring until a cohesive mass forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic 7 to 8 minutes, using as little dusting flour as possible while kneading. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and proceed with the recipe.
Pizza Dough Kneaded in a Standing Mixer
Follow the recipe for Pizza Dough through step 1. Omit step 2 and instead place the flour and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and proceed with the recipe.

This is where I took my own liberties with the recipe, mostly meaning I have NO exact directions to give you, but I'll give it a shot anyway.

Remaining Ingredients:
1 - 2 cups pizza sauce, either homemade or store bought
1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
1 cup mozzarella, grated
2/3 package of pepperoni slices
1 cup prepackaged italian cheese blend
1/4 cup margarine, melted

To finish the pizza:
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Divide dough into 3 parts. With two of the part pat and stretch the dough out with your hands to about 14 inches in diameter. Do not use a rolling pin to flatten the dough. Place dough onto a large baking sheet or stone. Spread pizza sauce(use your own judgement, but do not overload the pizza), cheddar, mozzarella and pepperoni slices over crust.

Before placing pizzas in oven, turn it down to 425 degrees, then place pizza on lowest rack of oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, sprinkle italian cheese mixture over the tops and bake for another 2-5 minutes until bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
 To finish the bread sticks:
Divide remaining third of dough into five pieces. Roll into an oblong shape and place in baking pan. Brush a good amount of the melted margarine over the top, then sprinkle with Italian cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 


  1. Sounds yummy! We love pizza too -- and it's always fun to get to "splurge" and really enjoy the simple night-at-home fun! :)

  2. Looks so yummy! I love making pizza!