Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I had planned on making  chicken and wild rice soup tonight, but I ran across a recipe for grilling pizza, and after mentioning it to my husband, my son begged for pizza for dinner tonight.  I did not make it on the grill, I did bake it in the oven, but I will share the recipe anyhow.  If I end up trying it on the grill at a later date, I will keep you all posted.

Homemade Pizza

3 1/2 to 4 cups flour (if you want a crispier crust, use bread flour, otherwise all-purpose flour is fine)
1 tsp sugar
1 square pre-packaged yeast
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water heated to approximately 110 degrees
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine sugar, yeast and water in a bowl.  Let stand for 10 minutes until it starts to look foamy.  Mix in the olive oil and salt, and then add 3 1/2 to 4 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring each 1/2 cup into the mixture.  Stop adding flour when your dough is nice and elastic.  On most normal days, I only need 3 1/2 cups.  When I make bread in Houston, where the humidity is always at 100%, or on very humid days here, I need all 4 cups of flour.  Once you have your ball of dough, scrape it onto a lightly floured surface and knead for several minutes until it forms a smooth, firm ball.  Grease a large bowl with oil.  If I'm feeling generous, I rinse out my previous bowl and use that.  If my son has been getting bad grades and slacking on his homework and I know he's doing the dishes that night, I use a new bowl.  I like to use a dab of olive oil when I do pizza dough, but for my other types of bread I generally use Baker's Joy because that spray is amazing.  Add your dough to the bowl and turn to coat.  Cover it and put it in a warm place.  Let it rise for about an hour or until approximately doubled in size.  Turn out your dough, punch it down, and divide it into two equal pieces.  Cover it and let it rise again for about 15 minutes-ish.  Use to make two pizzas. 

The Rest

2 cans tomato paste
2 tbsp-ish Italian seasoning OR
    2 tsp-ish oregano
    2 tsp-ish basil
    2 tsp-ish rosemary
    An extra dash or two or oregano
1 tbsp-ish of garlic powder (or more if you likey the garlic like I do)
A couple of dashes of dried parsley
If you want it spicy, you can toss some black or red pepper in to taste
4 cups mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
1 1/2 cups Parmasian cheese
Pepperonis (or whatever you want on your pizza)
1 cup cheddar cheese (sharp)

Preheat your oven to 350.  Roll your pizza dough into a round disc.  (Note:  If you don't have time to make your own crust, you can buy pre-made crusts at the grocery store or roll out biscuit dough to make a crust.)  You can roll it as thin as you want to, depending on how thick you like your pizza crust.  Mix tomato paste and seasonings together in a small bowl, and spread evenly across your dough OR spread the paste evenly across your pizza dough and sprinkle the seasonings across the paste equally evenly, depending on how much trouble you having mixing the paste.  Remember that seasoning is a personal preference and that some will like it spicier than others.  Adjust to suit your own personal preferences.  Put 2 cups of mozzarella (or Italian blend cheese) on each pizza as a base.  Add your pepperonis in an eye pleasing pattern.  Sprinkle your Parmasian cheese across the pepperonis, and add the cheddar cheese on top.  You can add extra cheddar if you like it cheesy.

I used mozzarella on the bottom, but added a thin layer of finely shredded Italian blend cheese 
with Italian seasoning and Parmasian mixed in on the top of the cheddar layer.  

You can certainly use whatever toppings suit your fancy.  My personal favorite is bacon, cheddar and Canadian bacon with the mozzarella base.  Anyhow, bake your pizzas for 10 to 15 minutes until your crust edges are clearly cooked and your cheese is as brown as you want it.  If you rolled your crust thicker, remember to leave it in the oven a bit longer so it cooks all the way through.  Enjoy!

 Fresh from the oven

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