Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Homemade Pizza: A Surprisingly Easy Dinner Idea

No, don't get me wrong, I love me some Cottage Inn Cheeseburger pizza or a large, deep dish sausage and onion from Jet's, but let's be honest with ourselves -at around $15 a pie, that's a lot to spend on something that you don't get to keep.

Now normally I will make my own pizza using dough from the market. That's the little trick here - I go to Whole Foods or a local bakery that I know makes pizza, and ask for a ball of their dough. It usually runs no more that $2.50. Then all you have to do is add your own toppings and throw it in the oven.

Yesterday, however, was a special day because I took on the task of making my own dough...using my stand mixer's "knead" attachment :) I love that thing! I used a recipe from the Williams Sonoma cookbook:

2 1/3 c flour
3/4 c lukewarm water with 1 Tbs yeast dissolved into it for 10 minutes
1 tsp salt

It's that simple, really. You just put the flour and salt in the mixer, make a well in the middle, pour in the yeast after the 10 minutes and mix until the mixture starts to look like...well...dough. I added 1/2 tsp oregano and a sprinkling of garlic powder to mine to give some extra flavor. Then you take the dough out and knead it for about 10 minutes - until it's smooth and elastic-like. Next, set it in a large bowl that's lightly oiled, cover with saran wrap, and let rise for about 2 hours - by this time it should have doubled in size. What did I do during that 2 hours - went for a nice workout, you know, to burn off the calories :)

After the 2 hours were up, I took out the dough, punched it down, and rolled/stretched it into the crust. I poked holes all over with a fork and set it in a 350 degree oven for 8 minutes to pre-bake. Then I took it out, added the tomato sauce (I really have fallen in love with Classico Spicy Tomato), cheese, and toppings...but I won't lie, that sounds much simpler than it actually was...

...because after cutting the ball of mozzarella I had leftover from last week, I sampled some (tgfp=thank gosh for picking) and realized it was no longer good. Now mozzarella balls cost $4 a piece, so I was already bummed it wasn't usable, but I was also too proud to go to the store and buy another one - so I improvised. I had some left-over sausage cream cheese mixture from Saturday - see last post - so I put that over half the pizza. Pepperoni went over the other half and the whole thing was sprinkled with caramelized onion because they makes anything taste a MILLION times better. What about cheese? I shredded some Seaside Cheddar from Whole Foods and sprinkled that on top along with some pecorino. The results were spectacular, but trust me, this totally could have gone the opposite way...




  1. Nice!

    I tried doing this calzone style once. It took me two days but I figured it out! And it wasn't half-bad. Good on ya!

  2. you's a sweetie, steve :)

    way to persevere, by the way! I'll keep you in mind as a contact when I graduate to "cool things to do with dough."

  3. Mmm, pizza! Now that's cool. I keep saying I will make one eventually. I've done breads, but just haven't gotten around to pizza.

    1. DFR: If you have a stand mixer, homemade doughs are actually really easy - just switch in the hook attachment and you're good to go. If you don't have a mixer and have to do it the old fashioned way, you're arms will look splendid after all the kneading. It's a win, win!