So, I've been making my own pizza for years - sometimes with a pre-baked crust from the store, sometimes with one of those refrigerated pizza crusts and sometimes with my own dough. Through the goods and the bads of pizza dough I always found one consistently bad thing - the sauce! I am not a fan of the store bought pizza sauces that come in jars and bottles, so I've tried half-heartedly to make my own pizza sauce time and time again. Sometimes I would use straight marinara sauce - didn't quite cut it. The next time I'd doctor-up my marinara sauce with a little oregano - still not quite right. To my surprise, internet searches for a pizza sauce recipe yielded nothing! In the end I'd resort to going back to store bought sauce because I just couldn't 'get it'. FINALLY, about a year ago I came across this recipe on Annie's Eats (I know I've said it before, but this girl's blog has seriously changed my life!) and it happened - I finally 'GOT IT'! This pizza sauce is ridiculously easy to make! If you have 5 minutes and a food processor you can probably whip up a batch out of your pantry right now! I find that this recipe makes enough to cover at least two pizzas. When I make a batch I usually use half and freeze the other half for another time. When using from frozen I suggest you reheat it gently on the stove for a few minutes to thicken it up a bit. The sauce tends to be a bit watery when defrosted from frozen.
Give this one a try! I promise - you'll never buy store bought pizza sauce again!!
DIY Pizza Sauce
28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate (or freeze) until ready to use.
Adapted from Annie's Eats
Last Spring made a delicious Shaved Asparagus Pizza and I promised all of you that I would share the pizza dough recipe with you. Well, life happened, a move happened and...well, I'm sharing it with you now! Homemade pizza dough is nothing new to our kitchen. My husband has been our main "Pizza Dough Maker" for years. He seasoned his dough very well and the pizza always came out nicely. The only thing lacking was the crust - I mean, it was OK as a vehicle to deliver the delicious toppings to your mouth, but when the toppings were gone, I never really wanted to eat the crust. All that changed when I found this recipe from Annie's Eats. The crust is so amazing! There is never a time when a crust hits the garbage can - it's all devoured right along with all the other pizza yumminess! I've been making this recipe for about a year now and I've come a long way with my pizza making skills. Take a look at Annie's awesome pizza tips for some great pointers on how to get the best pizza ever! I've incorporated many of these tips into my own pizza making, however, currently I'm using a metal pizza pan instead of a stone. I've had stones for years and years but lately we keep breaking them! We can't figure out what we're doing wrong, so for now, a metal pizza pan it is!
If you've never made your own pizza dough, I beg you to give it a try! It's really not that hard!
Basic Pizza Dough
1/2 cup warm water (about 110° F)
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
22 ounces (approximately 4 cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
olive oil or nonstick cooking spray
Place the warm water in a medium bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the yeast to swell. Add the room temperature water and the olive oil. Set aside.
Place the flour and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix briefly to combine. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the water/yeast/olive oil mixture. Once all ingredients have come together, switch over to the dough hook and knead on medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place in a deep, lightly oil bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Punch down the dough and divide into 2 equal balls of dough. If you want to freeze the dough for future use, wrap in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer safe bag. When you are ready to use the frozen dough, defrost it in the refrigerator for 1 day prior to using it. On the day you are going to use it, let the dough come up to room temperature before shaping it.
If making a pizza, shape your dough to fit your pan, or pizza peel if using a stone. (I know you aren't really supposed to use a rolling pin when forming pizza dough, but I just haven't perfected my stretching technique yet!) You could also use the dough to make these crowd-pleasing pizza bites!
From here you can add your toppings and bake your pizza according to your own recipe. I like to cook mine at 450° F for about 10-12 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Oh, see that sauce in the background? Best. Pizza. Sauce. Ever. Will share that soon!
Give it a try! Good luck!
Adapted from Annie's Eats
So, I told my family yesterday that we were having pizza for dinner. Naturally, they were all happy about that. Then, when this Shaved Asparagus Pizza arrived at the table boy did they ever change their tune. My 6-year-old refused to eat it: "Are you kidding me? No sauce?" This was totally expected from her. My hubby looked a little skeptical, but he is always my biggest supporter and will try every single thing I make. Me? I like asparagus, but I felt defeated before my first bite by everyone's reaction. No one was geared up about dinner. And then....WOW! By the first bite this pizza really blew me away!! The asparagus cooked down nicely and some of it was even a little crunchy. The Boursin cheese was filled with creamy herbs and the fresh mozzarella was just perfect! The crust is a real treat in itself. You can use your favorite pizza dough recipe or even store bought if that's your thing. I'll share this crust recipe with you in a few days.
In the end Hubby agreed that this was a pretty amazing pizza! It was hard not to devour the whole pie last night but we managed to save some for lunch today. We just threw it back on the pizza stone for a few minutes and it was just as good as last night. I know this will be making an appearance on our menu again very soon. I just HAD to get this recipe out to you so you can make this pizza soon and enjoy all that asparagus out there!!
Shaved Asparagus Pizza
Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
1 lb asparagus spears
4 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
5 oz spreadable garlic herb cheese, such as Boursin
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven and a pizza stone at 500 for at least 30 minutes. Allow pizza dough to come to room temperature during this time. After 30 minutes roll out the pizza dough to a 12-14 inch round and place on a pizza peel generously covered with cornmeal or semolina. Lightly brush dough with extra virgin olive oil.
Cut the tough stems off the end of the asparagus spears. Using a vegetable peeler, shave each spear into thin ribbons. This looks like a LOT of asparagus, but it cooks down nicely.
Place the sliced mozzarella on the pizza dough in an even layer. Pile shaved asparagus on top of mozzarella. Dot the top of the pizza with chunks of the Boursin cheese. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Transfer pizza to pre-heated pizza stone. Having enough cornmeal on your pizza peel is crucial for the pizza to slide smoothly off of the peel and onto the stone. Bake about 12-14 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is brown. Remove from the oven. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Slightly adapted from Annie's Eats
Pittsburgh area mom striving to provide clean, healthy, REAL food for her family!