Day 26 – Pizza from scratch

Today’s project – make pizza from scratch.

We had a friend over for dinner tonight and I decided to make homemade italian style pizza – one of my favorite meals. By italian style I mean thin crust, homemade sauce and simple toppings.

This is normally something I reserve for weekends when I have more time, but I figured if I rushed home after work I could make it work.  Luckily I have a job where I can leave at 5pm when I need to and tonight was one of those nights.

I got home around 6 and immediately went into dough mode. I have a kitchen aid mixer which speeds things up and gives me dough in 10-15 minutes. Next the dough needs to rise for at least an hour.  I like to shape the dough into balls at this point (1 ball = 1 pizza).

Next comes the sauce – the most important element of a good pizza. We use homemade canned tomatoes, but you can also buy canned tomatoes from the store (I recommend using San Marzano tomatoes if you can find them). The sauce is simple – olive oil, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, basil and tomatoes and then cook on medium low for 30-45 minutes until it thickens.

And then you put the pizza together. At this point I got side tracked with hunger and catching up with our dinner guest that I forgot to take any other pictures until the last pizza came out of the oven. In the end we made 4 pizzas and ate 3. The 4th pizza will be eaten for lunch tomorrow – yah!

My favorite pizza toppings are: mushrooms, prosciutto, spicy salami and arugula. It’s best to limit it to 2 toppings per pizza, otherwise you risk weighing the pizza down and the not cooking the dough.

Tips – Store bought canned tomatoes should be run through a food mill to remove skins and seeds before cooking. Another tip with canned tomatoes is to add roughly 1/2 tsp of sugar to the sauce to remove acidity. Lastly, if you want to try arugula on your pizza, remember to add it after the pizza is cooked and just before cutting.


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