You know I cook, right?
I mean, for a living, even. So you know I have access to some awesome recipes. Oh yes I do.
And I don't share things unless they are GOOD. Well, we've been on a pizza kick for the last couple of weeks over here. Wanna make some yummy homemade pizza??
Huh? Do ya?
Okay! Let's go!
First of all....you'll probably need to go to the store. Here's a shopping list for you:
1 (28-oz.) can Muir Glen crushed tomatoes (and just never-you-mind that I work for that company. They are the best tomatoes - Cook's Illustrated magazine says so.)
1 wedge Parmesiano-Reggiano (Get the good stuff, people. Look in the deli section of the grocery store. It's gonna run you about $12 and it's totally worth it.)
Kraft Italian 5 cheese blend shredded cheese
And.........Any other toppings you might like...we're big 'shroom and onion fans over here.
After you do the shopping you'll need to start on the crust. I know it may sound a bit daunting, but -trust me- it's not. It just takes 5 minutes to throw the ingredients together and about an hour for the dough to rise. I got this recipe out of my America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, but made a few minor changes and clarifications:
Basic Pizza Doughmakes 2 lbs dough - enough for 3 (12-inch) pizzas
4 1/4 cups bread flour, plus extra for the counter
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 3/4 cups warm water (about 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit - just run your tap water until it's really hot - for us, that's about 120 degrees. If you're not sure, use an instant-read thermometer. Don't have an instant-read thermometer? Go buy one, dang it! They're only $10.)
In a large bowl, stir together 4 cups of the flour, yeast and salt together. Add the oil and water and stir with a rubber spatula until the dough comes together and looks shaggy. Scrape the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter; knead to form a smooth round ball - about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the counter.
Spray some Pam in or lightly oil the bowl used to mix the dough; transfer the dough ball to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size - about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. After the dough is done rising, divide the dough into 3 portions. The original recipe says to let it rest for 30 minutes, but I don't.
Because I want to eat it.
I got this next recipe from a cooking school I used to work at. I've changed this one a bit, too.
makes enough for about 6 pizzas
1 (28-oz.) can Muir Glen crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons shredded Parmesiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 or 3 cloves garlic
Puree all ingredients in blender.
Okay.....now that you're done with the main ingredients, just heat your oven to about 500 degrees F. - preferably for about 30 minutes with a pizza stone in there.
Place a piece of the dough on a sheet of parchment paper. Stretch and roll out the dough and top with the desired amount of sauce and toppings. I finish it all off with some of that spendy Parmesiano-Reggiano. I finely shred it with a micro plane grater on top of the pizza right before it goes into the oven.
Slip the parchment paper and pizza onto a rimless baking sheet, then slide the the parchment with the pizza on the baking stone. If you don't have the stone, just use the baking sheet. Bake for about 8-12 minutes.
There you have it!