Living room sofa; mostly cloudy, 27.1 F, 0605
Many years ago, I began a family tradition of making Homemade Pizza every Saturday afternoon. It was a part of family movie night, which is, as the name implies, a night when we would all sit down and watch a movie together. They were mostly kids movies like Cars, Cars II, Cars III, Toy Story, Toy Story II, Toy Story III, etc. Of course, the family unit has since been broken up and movie night is no longer a thing. However, every other Saturday, when the kids are here, the Homemade Pizza is still a hit.
Here is the basic bread machine dough recipe:
- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- 1 cup of bread flour or regular flour
- 3 cups of whole wheat flour (freshly milled)
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 tsp of SAF instant rise yeast
- 2 tsp of powered milk
I have a Zojirushi bread machine which works great. The dough making setting takes 1:50 to complete. When the dough cycle is complete, remove the dough, divide into two and make rounds. Place the rounds on the pizza sheets and let stand under a damp cloth for 20 minutes.
If you want to make the dough by hand, set aside time for kneeding, rising, kneeding, rising, etc.
A note on the whole wheat flour; I have found store bought whole wheat flour does not work very well. Whole wheat kernels have oil in them, which tends to go rancid (oxidize) if the flour is not used right away. I buy wheat berries in bulk and grind up what I need on the day I use it will the WonderMill WM2000.
When the pizza dough is ready, roll out with a rolling pin or pastry roller. I have never tried throw it up in the air, as the ceiling in the kitchen is rather low and I don’t think I would have a good result.
I normally get two sixteen inch pizzas. Prick the rolled out dough liberally with a fork or use a dough docker. This will prevent large air pockets from forming in the dough when it bakes.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
The basic procedure is to put the rolled out dough in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, remove, unstick from the pan with a spatula, place the sauce and toppings on, return to the oven for 12 minutes, remove, enjoy!
The sauce recipe:
- 8-12 plumb, Roma or other sauce type tomatoes (or 2 quart jar home canned or 1 28 oz can store bought)
- 1 8 oz can tomato paste
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 medium sized chopped onion, chopped
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- fresh or dried basil to taste (many leaves chopped or 1 tsp)
- oregano to taste (usually 1/2 to 3/4 tsp)
In a large pot, blanch and peel the tomatoes if using fresh, set aside. Clean out pot and over medium heat, add the olive oil, onion and garlic. Brown and then add the rest of the ingredients, reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
As far as toppings go, I have made several different types of pizza, all of which are delicious. The types and flavors are only limited by your imagination. Here are a few examples of my favorites:
- Spinach and artichoke heart
- Italian sausage, pepper and onion
- Five cheese (Mozzarella, Parmesan, Asiago, Cheddar and Colby)
- Fresh tomato, basil and garlic
- Seafood (white pizza; mozzarella, lobster, shrimp, bay scallops, fresh basil, thinly sliced garlic, fresh tomato on an olive oil brushed crust)
- Chicken Bacon Ranch (white pizza, ranch dressing or chipotle ranch dressing, mozzarella, diced chicken and crumbled bacon)
- Fresh salsa, taco meat and cheddar cheese.