Saturday, July 17, 2010

Pizza Night

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. : )


  1. looks good! I've had that book for at least a year and have not used it yet- despite all the rave reviews- this week- I'm gonna pull it off the shelf and start baking. On a different note- our girls have been doing a better job then you and I had KIT! Lets talk soon!

  2. I'm a huge fan of home made pizza. I make my own dough to a similar recipe but have never made my own base sauce. Yours just sounds so laughably easy it makes me wonder why we buy pre-made? I'm crossing it off the shopping list as we speak!

  3. Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you, Jennifer!! Pizza is a *huge* favorite around here, and while I've tried a gazillion recipes over the past few months (and the Trader Joe's dough, too), I've never found one that pleases my entire family. And so the search has continued... until now! I've tried every single recipe you've shared (I think! ... and the chocolate cake was to die for :) and this one sounds like a sure-fire keeper. Again, a thousand thanks, my friend, for sharing your findings with the rest of us; I can't wait to give it a shot!

  4. Looking forward to trying your recipes. We also enjoy pizza about once a week. I grow thyme in the summer just for the purpose of pizza sauce. Put a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme the next won't be sorry! In fact, last night when I made the sauce (using tomato sauce + garlic + thyme), I thought, I need to make a huge batch and freeze it before the fall frost kills the thyme. Being that it's 100+ degrees here today, I don't need to rush.

  5. Yum! Most Friday nights are pizza & a movie night at our house, too. I always make the dough and sometimes divide it into personal portions~the kiddos love to make their own pizzas:) And I have yet to remember to take a picture of the *finished product*, too! lol

  6. Wow! That looks so delicious! And it even looks easy enough for me. :) Thanks for sharing. Love your blog, BTW. I have been reading for some time now and I always feel uplifted when I visit.

  7. YUM! Love it! Great blog too! Found your blog through the Gratitude Community. :-)
    -The Lean Green Mommy Machine



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