Monday, December 14, 2009

Pizza Time!

    Yesterday I was craving pizza, so I got home and made a pizza. I have a really easy dough recipe and I take a few shortcuts. I had an 8oz bag of pre-grated mozzarella cheese and I used a jar sauce. To pump up the flavor of the sauce, I added one 6oz can of tomato paste. This makes the sauce more tomato-y, and also adds thickness so that the sauce doesn’t run off the pizza. The mozzarella I used was reduced fat – this reduces the grease and water run off on top of the pizza. (Also it makes it healthier, but I am more concerned about the taste.) I par-bake my crusts before I add toppings, and this keeps the crusts dry and crispy. Let’s get to it!!!

 The dough needs flour (bread or all purpose), salt, yeast, oil and water. 

The water should be around 110-120 degrees.  You do have a thermometer, right?

Let the yeast and water sit for ten minutes and then add the oil.

Stir with a wooden spoon until it's mostly mixed and then dive in with your clean, thoroughly washed hands.

Yum.  Ball of dough.  Knead it on a lightly floured board for 4-6 minutes.  Add some more flour if it's sticky...or some water if it's dry. 

After kneading it, return it to a oiled bowl. Spin it around in the oil a few time. This prevents it from forming a crust on the raw dough.


Cover it with plastic and keep it in a warm, draft free place for 20-30 minutes.  I put mine in the oven which I preheated for about a minute just to warm it up.

I feel like now is a good time to show off my fantastically small kitchen.  One day I'll move and then I'll have counter space.  Until then, I make do.

Check out what a half hour can do to dough! 

Divide this in half and spread each half out on a pizza pan. If you don't have a pizza pan, use a baking sheet sicilian style. If you don't have a pizza pan or baking sheet you can use a large cast iron pan. If you don't have any of these then you really need to go shopping.


Here are my toppings.  I will assume you can sauce a pizza and toss some cheese on top.  I did not take pictures of this.  I par-bake the crusts first and then add the toppings.  I also added some parmesan cheese to the top. 

When the pie is almost done, broil it until it browns and bubbles. Yum.


I forgot to mention:  You don't have to make two pies.  You can save half the the dough in the fridge wrapped up for a day or two.  Then you can put whatever leftovers you want on top.  A personal favorite of mine is BBQ pulled pork pizza.  Check back for recipes for both the pork and homemade BBQ sauce.

Here's the dough recipe for you to try.

My Pizza Dough
Makes 1 (14-inch) thick-crust pizza or 2 (12-inch) thin-crust pizzas.
2-1/2 to 3 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 envelope active rise yeast (or 1 tbsp if from the jar)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup very warm water (110 to 120F)
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
Cornmeal (optional)


Mix warm water with yeast. Stir to dissolve and then wait 10 minutes. Foam may form on top. This is good. It means the yeast is alive! Add the 2 tbsp olive oil and the flour and salt. Mix with a wooden spoon until stiff and then dive in with your hands. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add more flour if too sticky or more water if too dry. Put it in a bowl and coat the outside with oil. Cover with plastic and put in a warm, draft free place for 20-30 minutes.

Lightly oil 1 (14-inch) or 2 (12-inch) round pizza pan(s). Use cast iron for crisper crust. Sprinkle with cornmeal if desired. Shape dough into smooth ball. Divide and roll dough to fit desired pan(s). Par-bake crust at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Top pizza as desired. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes, depending on topping amount and crust thickness. Broil for 1 minute if desired to brown cheese or other toppings. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving so that the toppings don’t spill off.


  1. Hi Matt,

    You recipe looks really good. Believe it or not, I'm going to try the pizza and the egg nog...I'll let you know how it turns out..Congratulations on your Blog...Love you..

    Aunt Terry

  2. Love that Jadite bowl! I've been wanting to try a homemade crust...I get mine from the pizza place. Really looking forward to the bbq pork post!