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Apr 23, 2014

Homemade Pizza Made Easy

Homemade pizza is probably on of my favorite things to make, not to mention eat. I have been making it for years and I think I have pretty much perfected my recipe. Lots of practice and a few tips I picked up from working at Shakespeare's Pizza in college have made me an expert pizza chef. Here is my basic recipe for really, really good pizza:

It all starts with a good crust. I use a very simple crust  recipe that, when allowed to rise in the refrigerator overnight, makes a delicious chewy crust.

Crust Recipe:
yield: 2 pizza crusts

3 cups flour
1 cup cold water
1 package "rapid rise" yeast
1 teaspoon salt

In food processor, add yeast to 1/4 cup piping hot water and allow to dissolve and sit for at least five minutes. then add your flour and salt and pulse briefly. Finally, slowly add water until a nice dough is created. Then pull out your dough and knead a few times, just enough to pull in all the bits. Then roll the dough into two balls and place them in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in your refrigerator overnight. When you pull it out, either freeze one of your dough balls or make two pizzas, what the heck! I like to let the dough rise uncovered at room temp for about two hours before I roll it out, this makes it much easier to work with.

A great pizza needs a tasty sauce. 

Sauce Recipe:

1 can tomato sauce
1 clove garlic (diced)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon oregano
dash garlic salt
dash red pepper flakes

Heat the oil over medium heat in a small sauce pan, add the garlic and saute until fragrant (about 1 minute). Stir  in the tomato sauce and seasonings and cover, lowering heat to simmer. Let this marinate while you get everything else ready and you should be good to go.

Preheat your oven to 450. If you have a pizza stone, allow it to heat in the oven as it gets hot. Next roll out your dough with a floured rolling pin. Toss it a few times if your brave. When the oven is preheated, remove your pizza stone or take out your pizza pan and place your crust upon it, straightening the edges. Par bake your crust for 2-3 minutes, then pull it out and top with your fresh pizza sauce.

Now it's time to dress this pizza up! Cover your pie with the toppings of your choice. Here I used a simple shredded mozzarella, sausage, and sliced black olives. Keep it simple or go nuts. I always love a fresh mozzarella and tomato pizza, topped with fresh basil after it comes out of the oven. Salami and portabella mushroom is also a family favorite in my home. In any case, after topping, I bake my pizza for about fifteen minutes. I would probably add a minute for each additional topping after two, but keep an eye on it.

Now it's your turn. I would love to hear your topping combination ideas. Let me know how your pizzas work out, and send pictures!

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