Let me tell you a secret about today's post...this was only my second time making pizza but it turned out so handsome and delicious that it would be rude not to share this with you. Pizza isn't my favourite dish to be brutally honest (not a huge fan of cheese) but since this is my pizza, I got to put all my favourite things on it and I think when you get to cook things from scratch it all becomes very unique and very...well...you! The hardest thing in here is probably trying to pile on all the ingredients you want, so let's begin!
The basis of any pie is the dough and this one couldn't be simpler, it's one I've adapted from Chef Rider's Quick and Easy Pizza Crust from All Recipies (.com), I've switched up the bread flour for all purpose to give the dough a firmer texture and since it was denser, this also held up to my topping over load very nicely.
BASIC DOUGH RECIPE:
BASIC DOUGH RECIPE:
- 0.25 oz. dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 + 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil (use olive if you want extra flavour)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- A dash of cornmeal
1. In a small bowl mix/dissolve yeast, sugar and warm water together. Let the mixture sit and bubble until it looks frothy and foamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, pour in the yeast mixture. Add flour, salt and oil then mix until smooth. There is no way to get around this step, its gonna be messy and get under you nails. You want to kneed the dough until no residue is left on the sides and no lumpy bumps appear.
3.Cover it up with a piece of plastic wrap or a damp cloth then leave it in a warm place to rise. This usually takes 20-30 minutes, it should just about double in size.
4. Take your dough and lay it on an oiled pizza pan with a small sprinkling of cornmeal over it, spread out the dough with your finger tips until it forms evenly over the pan. The indents made with your fingers will also help all the toppings stay put and prevent the dough from bubbling when baking in the oven.
Quick tip: "Warm" water is a very vague term but I just pop some room temperature water in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and check its warm enough by putting my finger in it. It should be just comfortably warm. If you've never used yeast before, it's essential that the water you use for mixing is warm for best results. Yeast is actually ermmm.... a living fugus and if your water is too hot, you risk actually killing the yeast and your dough won't rise. And in case you're curious the sugar is "food" for the yeast so essentially you've got your own little micro farm going. Setting you dough to rise in a warm place also speeds up the growing process.
This step is up to your preference but I love a little more texture to my dough so a dash of cornmeal was added that also gave things a bit of colour.
My Toppings (and cheats!)
- Tomato paste, tomato sauce or pizza sauce
- Garlic Sausage
- Orange bell peppers
- Mixed cheese of mozzarella and cheddar
5. Preheat oven to 450F (230 degrees C).
6. When your ready to dress your pizza, lay down an thin to medium layer of either tomato paste (lots of tang) or pizza sauce, tomato sauce works too. Then on goes the layers, I like to start with my sausage (use it like pepperoni) laying it in a circle then adding layers of veggies and meats in alternating layers. I like to add some cheese after the first sausage layer and then a good layer of cheese after all the toppings are on.
7. In the oven it goes on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes, making sure to check it after the first 15 minutes to see how its holding up.
Quick tips: I like my bacon crispy but I'm not a fan of the fat so I precook my strips in the pan to drain off some of the oil before chopping it up to bits and adding it to my pizza layer. Also because I don't eat a lot of cheese, I only keep a small container of parmesan for garnish so I simply sprinkle it on right before it's set to leave the oven, add it too soon and it will burn.
And there you go, a home made pizza that couldn't be any easier and I got it down on my second attempt. A big hearty loaded pizza with a thick yummy crust, even little old me has started eating this more often (made it 2 more times since then). So for those who've never made pizza before, give this one a chance and see what deliciousness comes out of our oven.