Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza
black olives, red peppers, ham, pineapple, and mozzarella
Pizza has never been one of my favorite foods but every once in awhile, it just seems like a good idea.  So I made pizza for myself and the biochemist Sunday afternoon.  The whole process was really quite simple.  I made the sauce the day before to save some time on the day of, bought a wide variety of topping to suit our varied tastes, and made my first ever batch of homemade pizza crust. 

two varieties...
I opted for a half whole wheat crust that turned out to be quite delicious.  I think that next time I will brush the edge with a nice herb and garlic butter before throwing the pizza in the oven but these things only ever come to me in hindsight.  I also highly recommend getting a fresh ball of mozzarella for the pizza as no packaged and pre-shredded cheese will ever melt as smoothly or brown as beautifully as the real deal.

The dough needs to raise for a couple hours so plan a movie marathon; mix before the first movie, let the dough raise, and bake before the second.  I highly recommend that if your marathon involves a trilogy that the third movie coincides with dessert.  Maybe a nice pavlova?  Or something simple like brownies...your options are endless!

Pizza Dough
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Yield: Two small, thin-crust pizza.


Homemade Pizza12 T warm water (may need up to 1 or 2 T more water)
4 T white wine
1 1/2 t active dry yeast
2 t honey
2 t salt
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
Cornmeal for sprinkling
Pizza toppings, sauce recipe below


Whisk wine, water and yeast in a medium bowl until yeast has dissolved. Add honey, salt and olive oil and stir. Add flour and no matter how dry it looks, work it with a spoon and your fingers until it comes together as a dough. Add more water one tablespoon at a time if you need, but in my experience, this is almost never necessary.

Sprinkle some flour on the counter and knead the dough for a minute or two.

If you’re like me and always trying to reduce the number of dirty dishes left at the end of the night, wash the bowl you made the dough in, dry it and coat the inside with olive oil. Put the dough in, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise for an hour or up to two, until it is doubled.

[Easiest way to tell if a dough has risen enough? Dip two fingers in flour, press them into the dough, and if the impression stays, it's good to go. If it pops back, let it go until it doesn't.]

Meanwhile, make some sauce [recipe below].

Preheat your oven to its highest temperature. If you have a pizza stone, sprinkle it with cornmeal and put it in the oven. Otherwise, sprinkle a baking pan with the same.

Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a floured counter and gently deflate the dough with the palm of your hands. Form it into a ball and let it rest on a floured spot with either plastic wrap over it (sprinkle the top of the dough with flour so it doesn’t stick) or an upended bowl. In 15 minutes, it is ready to roll out.

Do so on the floured counter until pretty darn thin, then lift it onto a cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheet. Add the sauce, cheese, and any other toppings (we used fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, ham, bacon, pineapple, black olives, and red peppers).

Bake for about 10 minutes, checking at 7. Slice and serve immediately.

Homemade Pizza
4 meats, pineapple, olives, and peppers, cheese, and sauce!
Tomato Sauce
Also adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes enough for two small/medium pizza.


Homemade Pizza4 roma tomatoes
1 to 2 T olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Splash of white wine
1/2 t sugar (or 5-10 chocolate chips)
3/4 t salt


Bring medium pot of water to a boil. Poach the tomatoes for one minute only, and then drain them. As soon as they are cooled off enough that you can touch them, peel them. The peels should come right off. If they don’t, make a slit in the skins. This always does the trick.

Drain and dry the pot. Put it back on the burner over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and let it heat completely before adding the garlic and stirring it for a minute with a wooden spoon. Add the red pepper flakes and stir it for anther minute. You do not want the garlic to brown. Put the peeled tomatoes in the pot, along with the wine, sugar and salt. Break the tomatoes up with your spoon.

Let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down. Carefully taste without burning your tongue and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

Homemade Pizza
The Biochemist's pizza: no sauce and lots of meat and pineapple

1 comment:

  1. It looks amazing! Great pics! It seems so yummy...
    It reminds me when I visited Argentina, and we stayed in some Buenos Aires apartments, and the hosting families used to cook every sunday this kind of pizza.... it was the best pizza ever!
    Thanks for sharing! I'll try to cook one, without calling the delivery.... I'll try....


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