Sunday, January 1, 2012


One of my favorite things to eat is pizza... frozen, takeout, restaurant; I'm not too picky (though I draw the line at Little Caesar's). But there's something special about homemade pizza in particular. Since I had a wide open afternoon today, I decided we needed some of that deliciousness for dinner. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures before we dove in... but I still have some yummy recipes to share with you!

If I have the time, I usually use this recipe for the crust (and don't be scared to add more flour than it calls for - you want the dough to be workable, not so sticky it just frustrates you!). It makes enough dough for two medium size pizzas. If we're sharing with friends, I'll double it and make four, because I really, really like eating leftover pizza for lunch all week. But two seemed plenty for the two of us today. (Note: if you don't have time to let the dough rise for an hour before rolling out the crust, you could try increasing the yeast a bit to speed the rising process.)

For sauces, you have a couple good options. Today I used a red sauce recipe - mainly because I made it for the pizza bites yesterday and I had a ton left over. Enough for two pizzas exactly, in fact. (But I tend to go light on the sauce, so if you are a saucy kind of person, you may not find that to be enough for two batches of pizza bites AND two pizzas...)

The important bit from that link is copied below.

The Best Pizza Sauce
*Makes enough for 2 16-18 inch pizzas

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend until desired consistency. All the seasonings can be modified depending on taste – add what you like! 

Pizza Dough Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Emily at Savory Seasonings

(As a side note, an immersion blender will also work great. The recipe is just barely too much to fit in my tiny food processor, but if you have a normal full size one, or use a blender, you'll be just fine.)

Or if you prefer, I have a lovely garlic white sauce recipe from my sister in law that I use quite often as well. I'm not a big fan of red sauce, so this makes for a nice change to mix things up.

Garlic White Pizza Sauce
*Makes enough for 2 medium size pizzas

4 Tbs butter, softened
3 Tbs mayonnaise (or sour cream)
2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp dried onion
3 cloves minced garlic

Blend all ingredients together. Spread onto prepared pizza crust. Top with parmigiana and mozzarella cheese and toppings of your choice.

I always roll out my crust and assemble my pizzas on parchment paper sprinkled with a bit of cornmeal or similar stuff, then transfer the pizza with a cookie sheet onto my pizza stone. Rather than trying to get it off the parchment paper, I just bake it with the parchment paper in between the pizza stone and the pizza; that way I get all the benefits of the pizza stone (mostly) without any headache. It works pretty well for me. I developed that strategy after I got tired of wrestling pizza that didn't want to unstick itself and then messing it all up before it even baked. (It only took... one try wrestling it onto the pizza stone. XD)

Both sauces go well just about anything, but the white sauce recipe in particular goes really, really well with bacon bits and chunks of chicken. Tonight we just did cheese though.

What are some of your favorite toppings on pizza?

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