Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pizza Recipe

My sons wanted me to blog about this recipe. To them it tasted like real restaurant style pizza. I just make this often, to avoid the high cost of eating out. I like to keep a lot of these ingredients on hand like the pepperoni and canadian bacon and sausage can be kept in your freezer until ready to use. I usually have the cheese and tomato sauce on hand because I use them frequently in other recipes like chicken alfredo, or my other recipes that we eat often. The tomato sauce is very forgiving. I didn’t have my usual tomato sauce, but I found a can of diced tomatoes in the pantry. I pureed them using my blender. I still had a little tomato paste in the frig, so it all worked out well, they actually like the sauce better that way. I used to make my dough using the Pioneer or Martha White (I can’t remember the actual brand name) packages at the store. You’ll find these located next to the Italian sauces like Prego in the grocery store. And for this recipe, you can do so as well. Just follow the directions on the package. My recipe for the dough is similar in that you bake the pizza in a 450 degree oven for 5 minutes prior to topping it. I think this makes the whole pizza cook faster. You also need to use warm water to activate the yeast. We love how the crust comes out. I include a garlic butter sauce that I use. We love garlic bread, and this gives the pizza extra flavor. This pizza will cook quick. So please turn the temp down from 450 to 425 or 400 when baking it. I left it at 450 once, and it looked like it was ready in 11 minutes, but since my husband used to make pizzas in the past, I know they should bake as close to 20 minutes as possible. That way all the meat toppings are cooked properly.

Garlic-butter Ingredients (for crust) – enough for 2 large pizzas

½ stick of butter (4 tbsp)
1 tsp garlic powder
¼ - ½ tsp dried oregano
¼ - ½ tsp dried basil

Sauce Ingredients – makes enough for 2 large pizzas

1-2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
1-2 tsp sugar
garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried basil

Dough Ingredients – makes 1 pizza (double recipe to make 2 large)

1 pkg yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
2 cups flour
1-1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Topping Ingredients – enough for 2 large pizzas

1 pkg sliced pepperoni
1 pkg canadian bacon
1 pkg jimmy dean sausage
4-6 oz of uncooked ground beef
1 pkg Italian blend pre-shredded cheese (contains parmesan, romano, asiago, etc)
1 pkg Mozzerella pre-shredded cheese (8 oz minimum)
1 pkg portabella mushrooms
1 small can sliced black olives


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine your yeast with warm water and 1 tsp sugar and let it set for 10-15 minutes. After the yeast is bubbly, add or sift in the flour and salt. Keep extra flour on hand so it doesn’t stick to your fingers. Work this into a dough. On a floured board, roll out the dough. First, form into a large ball, try to roll this into a perfect circle. Grease a cookie sheet and lay the pizza onto the cookie sheet. Prick the crust surface with a fork. Place in the oven for 5 minutes.

If making two pizzas, repeat the above steps. I believe the dough recipe is only enough for 1 pizza and you need to double it to make 2 large pizzas.
Prepare your garlic-butter sauce. In a small container (I use my small liquid measuring cup) melt ½ stick butter and add the seasonings and combine. Using a baster or a rubber spatula, spread this onto the pizza after removing it from the oven. By using the measuring cup, you can actually drizzle the butter onto the crust and spread with the spatula or brush. Also, stir frequently (the garlic tends to sink to the bottom) to ensure that you get an even spread on the garlic flavor. You can use minced garlic instead, but you still will have to stir frequently because the garlic sinks to the bottom. I am guessing at the amount of garlic, too. I usually eyeball my seasonings and don’t measure them. So you may need to add more garlic. Stir and do a taste test with your finger. Avoid using garlic salt. It will make it taste too salty.

Prepare the tomato sauce by combining all the ingredients for the sauce. Taste it and adjust for salt and seasonings. The secret is using a little sugar – it takes the bitterness out. My husband used to make pizzas when he was younger, and I remember him telling me what the secret was, also adding a little tomato paste instead of just using a can of sauce helps to make a thicker sauce. Spread the sauce over the crust after you finish spreading the garlic-butter sauce.

Top the pizza: For a meaty pizza, use pre-sliced pepperoni, canadian bacon, raw ground meat (dab very small amounts all over the crust), the same with the sausage (dab very small amounts – raw or uncooked), sliced mushrooms, black olives, etc. Sprinkle the Italian blend cheese first and lastly, top with the mozzerella cheese. For cheese pizzas, skip the meat and just top with cheese. The sky is the limit. Toppings can be whatever you desire. We cook the meaty version so much, so I am using that as an example here.

Bake this in the oven at 425 degrees F for 15-20 minutes. If making two pizzas, alternate them on the cooking rack so the crusts bake the same half way during the cooking process. The pizza is done when the crust turns a light golden brown and the cheese has melted completely especially in the center and starts taking on a golden tone. Oven times may vary. You want the pizza to cook as close to 20 minutes as possible, so you may need to adjust the heat to accomplish this. That ensures that the meat is fully cooked. You shouldn’t need to turn the heat lower than 400 degrees F. It needs to be hot for the crust to bake right.

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