You know (Or don’t you?) that I love long, complicated titles that sometimes (always) have nothing to do with the content of the post. But this is Pizza my friends. I couldn’t find anything to suit it. And you will have to forgive me for the amount of pizzas photos in this post. I realized that this is such a beautiful food to photograph, I couldn’t stop myself. I’m gonna have to make pizza more often just to photograph it.
This was my first time making pizza from scratch, but not my first time eating homemade pizza. I have plenty of friends who have only had the store-bought stuff. Some are Italian friends. Yep, this is the world we live in. If only more people would learn the virtues and beauties of homemade pizza, all of our problems would be solved…Anyway! I though yeast was more complicated but seriously, this couldn’t be any easier. Seriously, making a cake is way more complicated. Have you heard the expression “easy as cake”? Well, you get the idea.
And I love working with dough! Mess, carbs, olive oil…is gorgeous I tell you.
The dough rose beautifully (Didn’t take a photo of that) and then I divided it in 5 parts to make 5 “small” (I couldn’t finish mine) thin-crust pizzas. Did I mention I made this for a sleepover with my friends? well yeah. The only hard part was actually rolling out the dough, it was a little stiff and it required some time, but at the end it all worked out. I rolled out the 5 pizzas and then everybody could choose toppings and prepare their pizza. I only took 2 pictures of the raw pizzas ready for the oven, my friend C’s pizza and my brother’s.
My friend’s pizza. He loves seafood so he just threw in a bunch of seafood thingees (I love how smart I get around pizza) some anchovies, black olives and corn. Really good, but I wanted something bigger…you’ll see…
By the way, my brother made the red sauce for the pizzas. It is a very simple tomato sauce, we don’t want to overwhelm the pizza toppings here, so we kept it nice and pure (but not can-tasting like so many simple tomato sauce out there. eugh.) The recipe is at the end of the post too!
This is my brother’s pizza. He is classy and simple. Some sauce, ham, corn, black olives, caramelized onions and mozzarella cheese. Tons. I wonder if we’re related. He also added a bunch of pepper and red pepper flakes. I really wanted to show you my pizza before the oven but it wasn’t as pretty as these 2 in the pre-bake stage. But just hold on and I’ll show you the good stuff.
By the way, the smell of freshly made, yeasted dough is SO satisfying. I wanted to use it as a pillow.
Hello. I love you. I ate you for dinner and breakfast too. Oh the sacrifices of being a food blogger. When the pizzas were done, it was too dark to take the pictures, so I saved a large chunk of my pizza to photograph the next day. I seriously love this pictures, this was one of the (if not THE) best pizzas I’ve had in my life. It consisted of a generous amount of sauce, caramelized onions, black olives, a little corn, feta cheese, red bell pepper and ruccula. Of course, I threw more cheese over the top -mozzarella this time- as well as a good drizzle of olive oil, black pepper and italian herbs. Ignore the fact that the crust is a little on the burnt side. I love really thin-crisp pizzas. Still, this had a satisfying chew on the inside. The dough was PERFECT.
No, I didn’t have salad for breakfast, but I thought it was prettier than the napkin I had planned on using. This was the perfect mix of flavors…sweet, salty, strong, a little bitter and specially..cheesy. If only I could eat like this everyday…
I would weigh 300 pounds. And then I would have to start having salad for breakfast. Forget I said that…
But PLEASE, if you have pizza dough fears, you need to overcome them, there’s nothing scary about something to simple and delicious. I suggest you go check Deb’s guide to painless pizza making. It really helped me.
Recipe From: Smitten Kitchen
Yield: One small, thin-crust pizza (I tripled the recipe and got 5 small, thin-crust pizzas)
6 tablespoons warm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more water)
2 tablespoons white wine
¾ teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups flour
Cornmeal for sprinkling
Flour for dusting counter
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.]
While that happens, you can make your favorite tomato sauce, use Smitten Kitchen’s or my brother’s, at the end of this recipe.
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 or pizza paddle. Add the sauce and whatever toppings you like.
Slide the pizza from the paddle to your preheated pizza stone, or just put the baking sheet in the oven as is.
Bake for about 10 minutes, checking at 7. Slice and serve immediately.
Simple Tomato Sauce
Recipe by: My brother.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, finally chopped.
one, 28oz canned tomatoes
4 tablespoons of tomato paste
a dash of oregano
In a large pan, heat the olive oil on high heat. Once is hot enough, throw in the garlic and lower heat to medium. Stir to keep the garlic from burning. When they just start to brown, add the tomato paste and stir to combine. Let it cook for a couple of minutes and then add the canned tomatoes. You can smash the tomatoes with the wooden spoon, or like we did, with a hand blender. Stir everything to combine and let it cook for about 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick/concentrated you can add water (or stock, but we wanted to keep it pure and simple) to thin it out. As much as you’d like. At this point you want to season with salt and pepper to taste and once the sauce is practically done, add your fresh oregano (or dried works too) and combine it all.
And now go make some pizza. Everyone will love you, I promise, this will make you cooler and more popular than any Domino’s joint could ever aspire to be.
And is fun to eat good food with friends, too.