Friday nights are pizza nights around here.
For over 10 years, I have been making homemade pizza almost once a week. I have tried several homemade dough recipes, and have used Trader Joe's pizza dough here and there, but this past year I finally found a recipe that I LOVE. I will never try another again.
It's from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which truly has revolutionized home baking for me (just like the cover said it would). I halve the olive oil dough to make the perfect amount for two "large" pizzas.
pizza dough for 2 pizzas
adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
1 1/4 cups + 2 T lukewarm water
2 1/4 teaspoons granulated yeast
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
I use my stand mixer with the dough hook attachment for this. Combine the first 5 ingredients, then add the flour and stir (lowest speed) until just combined.
Cover (not airtight - I just sit a too-big, plastic lid on top of the bowl), and allow to rest at room temperature for 2 hours. Then stick it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. Chilled dough is easier to handle, so allow for some fridge time.
easy, fresh-tasting pizza sauce
a few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
15.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
Heat olive oil and garlic in saucepan. Add can of tomatoes. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes until some of the liquid evaporates and is more of a "sauce" consistency. That's it. Seriously, it is good.
friday night pizza
Preheat oven and pizza stone at 450.
Dust the surface of the dough and divide in half. Dust the countertop and dough with more flour and flatten the dough to produce whatever shape pizza you would like. (I often need a rolling pin for this.)
Generously cover a pizza peel (or wooden cutting board that is not too heavy) with cornmeal and shape your dough on top. Add sauce, mozzarella cheese, toppings. I usually add a little oregano, crushed red pepper, and freshly grated Parmesan to the top.
This is the tricky part... getting the pizza off the peel and onto the stone without sliced peppers flying all over your oven. Flouring the dough so it is not sticky, a generous coat of cornmeal, and a flick of the wrist *should* slide the pizza safely to the stone in the oven. My husband often complains that my mushrooms encroach on his side of the pizza at this point. He's not a mushroom fan.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes (the more toppings, the longer it takes).
Leave the pizza on the stone or let it cool on a cooling rack slightly before cutting. I find if I transfer the pizza directly to a cutting board the crust loses a little of its crispiness.
I forgot to get a photo of the pizza before we dug in. I was hungry I suppose, and I needed to hurry up and join the rest already watching Toy Story 2. We are a little behind in the Toy Story trilogy. : )