Eating: This feels like a cheater post to me, because I have blogged about this before, but the first thing I thought of when creating my list of topics was, "P is for Pizza". I love pizza, all kinds, but really like my own homemade 'za most of all. We call it "ho-made" ever since seeing a sign in Door County, Wisconsin, for "ho-made" jam and laughing about the person who would call themselves a ho just for making jam. We went through a phase last summer when we made pizza every Thursday for weeks, trying different toppings and flavors. Our usual pizza is Canadian bacon (ham) and peppers (green, red or yellow bell, depending on what we have on hand) with a traditional red pizza sauce. We also made sausage and pepper pizza (also with red sauce), Mexican pizza (with salsa instead of sauce and with taco meat, cheddar cheese and a little fresh cilantro), and barbecue chicken pizza (barbecue sauce instead of red sauce, and shredded or chopped cooked chicken, peppers, and if you like, onion). But our favorite new discovery was Aloha Chicken Pizza which I have already given the recipe for.
Here's how I make my basic pizza. I always use a pizza stone (Pampered Chef, though I supposed other kinds will work, too). Some people make the dough in their bread machine, but I think that seems like it creates more work than it saves - I mix it by hand.
Crust (from Betty Crocker, aka "Big Red") - this recipe is technically for 2 pizzas but we like our crust a little thicker so we use the recipe for one 14" pizza.
1 package yeast (or about 2 1/4
1 C warm water
2 1/2 C flour
2 Tbls olive oil (or vegetable
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt (my 'secret' tip - when I am making for a red sauce pizza,
I add a sprinkling of Italian seasoning into the crust mixture)
and warm water in a medium bowl and mix until yeast dissolves. Add remaining
ingredients and beat 20 strokes. Let rest 5 minutes.
Roll out onto warmed pizza stone (or of course you can use another type of pizza
pan or other flat pan - I always use my stone and I always preheat it with the
oven when making this crust).
Basic Red Pizza Sauce (also from Betty) - also technically for 2 pizzas but does not seem too saucy when used on one pizza.
1 eight-ounce can of tomato sauce
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced fine
(and my 'secret' ingredient - a bit of grated Parmesan)
Top with your favorite ingredients, and about 2 C grated mozzarella. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted/browned to your taste (we like ours medium brown) and crust is golden.
Yum. I wish we had pizza on the menu tonight.
Until we eat again,