April 10, 2011

Make Your Own Pizza...Never Order Out Again!

I never thought I would be the kind of person to make a pizza (at home) from scratch. Sure, I used to by the pizza crust at the store and do the rest but once I read the ingredients on the average crust....I decided to face my biggest challenge yet.  I made everything from scratch.

Once I got the hang of it, making the crust became the fun part. I added pesto, nuts, tomato, and anything I could think of.  Now when I make pizza from home, I try to outdo the restaurants. I think this recipe I made on Saturday night would challenge any restaurant pizza....what do you think?

Ingredients for a Basic Pizza Crust

1 tablespoon dry yeast (little bottle in the baking section of a grocery store)
1 teaspoon sugar (they ask for superfine "caster" sugar, but I laugh in the face of rules)
1 cup lukewarm water
2.5 cups 00 flour (I have no idea what this is so I just use normal flour....ha!)
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes (I use salt....from the table)
1 tablespoon olive oil

I'm sure if you followed the rules exactly you may get a better crust...I have had no problems with the twists I have made on ingredients.

Steps to Creating Your Work of Art

In a small bowl, put the water, dry yeast, and sugar together and stir. Set aside for about 5 minutes until the yeast starts to activate and "bubble"..it also smells really ......yeasty.

Then, take a mixing bowl and mix the flour, salt, and olive oil together making a small crater in the center. Once your yeast is ready, pour in center and mix up with spoon.

Mix it all up until it gets sticky. Then, remove from bowl and pound the crap out of it a floured surface. Once you have kneaded it for approximately 5 minutes, place back into bowl and cover with a damp cloth for 30 minutes for it to rise.


...like this.



I chose to add caramelized red onion, with spinach, swiss chard, artichoke, and prawn. You can do whatever you damn well feel like. It is all good. I started my masterpiece with caramelizing the onions.


I chopped up the greens and artichoke and grated the skim milk mozza. I also decided to go crazy and add a bit of ricotta to see what would happen. It turned out great.


I added the leafy greens and heated them up before putting them on the pizza. If you do this (vs. putting it directly on the pizza) you avoid the watery pizza. There's nothing worse than a watery pizza.


I chopped up 8-10 prawn into bite sized chunks.


By the time I had prepped the rest of it, including shredding the cheese, my crust ball was ready. I floured the counter and was ready to roll!


I decided to capitalize on my drinking habits and chose an old (and skinned) wine bottle instead of a rolling pin. It does the job and I save a few bucks.


Here it is! I had started using a large pizza sheet without holes, but the crust was never crispy. I found one with pizza holes and use that instead. I find it bakes the crust more evenly. I am cooking this pizza for two (with room for leftovers the next day)...it's a big pizza.


You can chose from a variety of pizza sauces. This night, I decided to do a pesto sauce. If you haven't tried this before, you consider it....it's amazing with seafood.


Here it is before cooking. I heated the oven to 425 F and cooked it for 10-15 minutes (checking on it after ten). 


...and here is the finished product. Again, it has a combination of pesto, spinach, swiss chard, artichoke, prawn, skim milk mozza, and ricotta cheese (I just scooped a little on here and there).  It was amazing and better than what you can order or buy in a restaurant.


Of course, before I started anything, I poured myself a nice cocktail and put on some tunes.  This martini is a simple tropical fruit with peach vodka and strawberry ice cubes.  Cheers!


I never thought I would ever make anything from scratch (or drink so many martinis) and the clients I work with feel the very same way most of the time.  I highly recommend taking the time (and it does take a bit of time to learn it) to make your own once and it gets easier and easier after that.

Making your own pizza, bread, cakes, or anything else is always going to be better for you than buying it in a store. Not only will you be controlling what you put in your cooking/baking, but you can always chose options that are less fat, sugar, and high in nutrition.

This pizza (from start to finish) took approximately 35 minutes into the oven and less than an hour from ingredients to dinner table.

If you do make it, I would love to hear how it turns out. You can always google "pizza crust recipe" to get other ideas for home made pizza crust...I have to acknowledge the brilliance of Donna Hay magazine (my ultimate favorite magazine) for this simple recipe.

Have a great Sunday afternoon.
K



2 comments:

  1. wow, you rock ms homebody cooking guru KC!! I hate the kitchen yet, I will try this on a toritilla wrap. I don't seem to do well with crusts! Thanks Kathy!

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  2. You are sooooo welcome. Thanks for your comment. I think your idea for a tortilla is a great one. K

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