It was pizza night, but I didn’t feel like Domino’s Pizza…well, actually I was being cheap and didn’t really want to spend $30 bucks. You see, I wanted whole wheat crust with spinach, sweet peppers and oregano. My daughter wanted cheese and oregano and maybe a piece of stuffed crust cheese. My son…well, he WANTED an entire meat lovers with stuffed crust and then some cheese stuffed crust too! As you can see, Domino’s would have cost me a fortune! SOOOO, I decided to make 1… yes I said O-N-E pizza for all of us! I had to be a little creative and my son had to settle for just cheese, cause I didn’t want to make the trek to the store to get meat. Ummm… did I mention that he’s driving with a permit now and therefore HAS to drive every time we go somewhere? Yep… EVERY TIME… my nerves just couldn’t handle it, so I decided that he’d settle for cheese! I found a pizza recipe in THE COOKBOOK, but shockingly, it required pizza sauce, which I didn’t have. I did have a can of stewed tomatoes hiding in the pantry…DUM, DUM, DUUUUUMMMM! So, I Googled “pizza sauce recipe” and came up with the Food Network… big surprise! I decided to make “ZA” sauce from scratch! How fun!!! Then while looking for the mozzarella, Romano and Mozzarella cheeses I found some cheese sticks hiding in the bottom of the cheese drawer…hmmm… what could I do with cheese sticks… I got it! I’m not going to tell you now…you’ll have to keep reading!!! HEEEHEEE!!
- 2 ½ to 3 cups all-purpose* or bread flour I used half wheat and half organic
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package regular or quick active dry yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
- 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 1 cup very warm water (120° to 130°)
- Mix 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil and the warm water.
- Beat with electric mixer on medium speed 3 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour until dough is soft and leaves sides of bowl.
- Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 5 to 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. I used my KitchenAid Mixer with the dough attachment to knead…I don’t like to get messy! OK… yes I’m a little lazy!
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes. Continue as directed below for thin crusts or thick crusts.
For Thin Crusts: Heat oven to 425°. Grease 2 cookie sheets or 12-inch pizza pans with oil. Divide dough in half. Pat each half into 12-inch circle on cookie sheets. Partially bake 7 to 8 minutes or until crust just begins to brown.
For Thick Crusts: Grease 2 square pans, 8x8x2 inches, or 2 round pans, 9×1 1/2 inches, with oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Divide dough in half. Pat each half in bottom of pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 30 to 45 minutes or until almost double. Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 375°. Partially bake 20 to 22 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. *Do not use self-rising flour.
I actually used all the dough for one large 15″ pizza, and I rolled it about 1″ larger than the pizza stone. Why, you ask? Well, I decided to add the cheese sticks along the edge of the stone and w rap the dough around it, thus making it a stuffed crust pizza. Am I brilliant or what? I only did half of it this way and the other half I just rolled over to make a thicker edge. Then I took a couple of the roasted garlic cloves I made the other day and spread it over the entire crust including the edge. A little salt and in the oven at 375°F for 8-10 minutes.
- 1 can (28-ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, in juice organic
- 1 small white or sweet onion, finely diced and minced My daughter wasn’t watching, so I minced about half an onion and added it before she knew…MWWAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced I used a bit of the roasted garlic for this too!
- 3 to 4 fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch salt
- Pinch fresh ground black pepper
- Pinch sugar, optional
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, to saute
- Empty the contents of the tomato can in a mixing bowl and coarsely crush the tomatoes with a fork or your hands, leaving them just a little chunky. If you follow my blog you know that my family doesn’t like chunky tomato sauce, so I whirled them in the Magic Bullet.
- In a heavy bottom 2-quart sauce pan, add the olive oil, over a medium high flame and heat a little.
- Add the onions and saute until slightly translucent.
- Add the garlic and saute about a minute until golden.
- Quickly add the crushed tomatoes to the mix. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add the fresh basil and oregano.
- You can add a touch of sugar if desired or if tomatoes are tart. I didn’t add any sugar, cause… as my son would say “That just ain’t me”
- Simmer on a low flame, stirring often for at least 15 minutes.
- If not using right away, cool down and store in airtight container in the refrigerator, up to 1 week.
After I removed the crust from the oven, I topped it with the sauce, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan and Romano cheeses, oregano and then the other toppings… OK so the only other toppings were for ME, because I’m worth it!!! Then I baked it for another 15 minutes or until the crust was golden and the cheeses were melted. I let it cool slightly before cutting and then, AAAHHHHH….look at that perfection!
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