We’ve never been ones to repeat meals too often in our house. We love experimenting with new recipes and keeping things interesting. The past few weeks, however, have been an exception. Ross decided one day to make a homemade pizza, just to entertain himself for awhile on a lazy Saturday. Since then, we have a few pizzas a week. They are excellent, and he’s tweaked the recipe each time until we believe that we’ve reached perfection. We’ve even made calzones with the ingredients and they’ve turned out amazing as well.
If you are going to repeat a recipe, pizza is a good choice. A different set of toppings can make it taste like a completely different meal. The recipe that we use for dough is based on Tyler Florence’s recipes, with a few adjustments that Ross has made along the way. It makes 3 balls of dough (or 3 medium sized pizzas), so it allows for many variations of toppings. We’ve tried broccoli, fresh sliced tomatoes, red onion, feta cheese, pepperoni and portabella mushrooms. All have been delicious, and we’re excited to keep testing.
The sauce is my favorite part, a basic tomato sauce with some herbs mixed in and just the right amount of sweetness. Other sauces can be used such a pesto, broccoli pesto (see a great recipe for that on my blog), taco sauce, alfredo sauce, et cetera. The opportunities are endless – and so are the requests for more!
Ross’ Famous Pizza
- 1 package active dry yeast 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
- Teaspoon of maple syrup
In the bowl of a stand mixer using a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and teaspoon of maple syrup. Add the flour, a little at a time. Mix at the lowest speed until all the flour has mixed in. When the dough starts to come together, change the speed to medium.
Feel the dough, if it’s crumbly, add more water; if it’s sticky, add more flour – 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough gathers into a ball. This should take about 5 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times; kneading until it’s smooth and stretchy. Form the dough into a large ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turn it over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spotuntil doubled in size, about 1 hour. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough into a cylinder and divide into 3 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes so it will be easier to roll out.
Roll or pat out a piece of dough into a 12 inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Brush the crust with a thin layer of olive oil, and top with your favorite sauce and toppings.
Basic Pizza Sauce:
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon ground oregano
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- A pinch of sugar (more or less to your liking)
In a medium bowl, Mix together tomato sauce and tomato paste until smooth. Stir in seasonings.
Sprinkle cornmeal on the bottom of a cookie sheet (as in upside-down cookie sheet -we’ve found that this works even better than a pizza stone). Bake at 500 (or as high as your oven goes) for about 7-8 minutes, until crust is golden brown.