After years of trying, I think I’ve perfected the art of making homemade pizza. When you live 22 miles from town you don’t order pizza and I’ve yet to find a frozen pizza I actually like–I’m open to suggestions!
I’ve always made my own sauce and it was always runny–well it seems I’ve been using the wrong tomato base! Recently ThisOldGal.com posted a recipe for Ultimate Pizza Sauce on her Facebook page and I saw the light! Her sauce recipe uses tomato sauce and tomato paste–no canned tomatoes. In Jill’s post she stated, “If you leave out the fennel seed the recipe will be delicious, but if you use the fennel seeds, the recipe will be absolutely incredible.” and she was absolutely right. I’m not a fan of fennel but in that pizza sauce it was amazing! I doubled the recipe and froze the remainder in one pizza portion sizes.
Crust was always an issue too–I didn’t want to spend too much time every Friday (our pizza day) making pizza dough. I’m not a baker of the kind of bread which requires kneading–never have been. So, for my dough I use a hunk of the Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day recipe. If you are not familiar with this method, check out the cookbook link–I use these recipes for making all kinds of bread.
Getting the crust the perfect size and thickness was a big problem until I watched a video by Peter Reinhart. Sometimes I still struggle and cuss but most of the time, it’s perfect using his method!
The one step in pizza making which frequently caused me to curse was getting the raw pizza off the pizza peel onto the hot baking stone. I had another light bulb moment when reading someone’s recipe–“liberally sprinkle the pizza peel with corn meal.” That word liberally has made all the difference in the world–Emmi and the Cowboy don’t have to hide any more on pizza making Fridays!
And then there are the tools–Making pizza crust with that perfect crunch requires the use of a pizza stone–a thick, heavy pizza stone and a very, very hot oven! A 500 degree oven or grill if possible. In summer I use the pizza stone on our Weber grill which has three burners and a thermostat I can watch. I also use a wooden pizza peel for transferring the raw pizza to the hot pizza stone( liberally sprinkled with corn meal before I position the pizza dough!)
Add your desired toppings–I use onions/green peppers/pepperoni/seasoned hamburger/mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. Onto the grill it goes and I watch it like a hawk–at 500 degrees the crust will burn quickly! And, another reason to use the grill–all that liberally sprinkled cornmeal will sometimes slide off the pizza peel onto the surfaces of your very hot kitchen oven causing lots of smoke–not nice so I use the grill most of the time.
So, that’s probably more than you wanted to know about making pizza but I was lacking in subject matter tonight! 🙂 🙂
On another note–
Yep, 34 degrees this morning! Lonn had 29 degrees and our high reached only 70 degrees today–absolutely perfect weather!!