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This Instructable will explain how to make a delicious heart-shaped pizza from scratch, right in your kitchen! Perfect for Valentines day!

Disclaimer:
I, the author of this Instructable, cannot be held responsible for anything that may occur as a result of this Instructable. Please use your noggin, and remember that uncooked food, sharp knives, hot oil/grease, and hot ovens can hurt you! Safety first - exercise caution, using oven mitts and pot holders when necessary.

Step 1: Before You Start

Basically, there are two things that need to be done before you can actually assemble the pizza. Aside from purchasing the ingredients and gathering cookware, here's what needs to be done:

1) Make the dough - the dough we will use for this is homemade! It was the first time I've ever done anything like this, and it turned out to be surprisingly easy, and tasty!

2) Prepare pizza toppings - You can use a variety of toppings on your pizza, but we'll go into this in detail in the following steps. This will be your chance to get creative!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Now that you know a little bit about what you're getting yourself into, lets get stared!

Disclaimer:
I, the author of this Instructable, cannot be held responsible for anything that may occur as a result of this Instructable. Please use your noggin, and remember that uncooked food, sharp knives, hot oil/grease, and hot ovens can hurt you! Safety first - exercise caution, using oven mitts and pot holders when necessary.

Step 2: Making the Dough

Ingredients:
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil

[Note: This will yield two 10-inch pizza crusts. For only one pizza, halve ingredients.]

Preparation:
In a medium or large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. This should be relatively easy, and can be done by stirring for about a minute. Once the yeast is completely dissolved, add the remaining ingredients, and mix until combined.

We're going to let this sit while we prepare the pizza toppings. If you've already prepared toppings or will be using toppings that take less than a few minutes to prep (like cheese), then let the dough sit for at least five minutes.

That's it! Simple, right?

Let's get to those toppings!

If you have not done so already, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Step 3: Preparing the Toppings

This is where you can get creative. You can make literally any kind of pizza you want. A vegetarian? Throw some veggies on there. Like seafood? How about some crab meat and shrimp! Since it's yours, you can do whatever you want. Nobody's stopping you!

My girlfriend and I decided to go with two different pizzas, since we would have enough dough for two crusts. We're also pretty competitive, and this had turned into somewhat of a challenge between us! I decided to make a barbecue chicken pizza, and she decided to go with a Hawaiian-style pizza.

In the next two steps, we'll show you how to create those two pizzas. If you're going a different route, feel free to jump ahead to step 6!

Step 4: BBQ Chicken Pizza Toppings

Ingredients:
Boneless skinless chicken breast (tenderloin is best - nicely sliced, and little fat)
Red Onion
Vegetable Oil
Favorite BBQ Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese
Cheddar Cheese

Preparation:
Oil up a skillet with some vegetable oil - about two tablespoons should do. While the skillet is heating up, dice the chicken. Use common sense here. You want pieces that are small enough to be manageable on a pizza. As for the red onion, slice that baby up as well. Rings are nice, because then can be easily removed if necessary.

After dicing up the chicken, carefully set it on the skillet of hot oil (tongs work well!). Turning occasionally, you want to cook it until it is golden-brown on both sides. About half-way through, throw the onions in there, adding more oil if necessary. You don't want to start cooking them immediately, because they take much less time to cook, and could easily burn. Once the chicken and onions are finished cooking, carefully remove them from the skillet with tongs, and set them aside for the next step.

How to know if the chicken is finished cooking: if you're really not sure, it's probably a good idea to check. Slice the largest chunk of chicken in half. Examine the inside. If it appears to be slightly pink, then it's not done cooking. If the chicken is white and thread-like inside, then it's probably done. It never hurts to be safe, so if you're still not sure, just let it cook for a few more minutes.

Step 5: Hawaiian Pizza Toppings

Ingredients:
Sliced Bacon
Pineapple Chunks
Favorite BBQ Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese

Preparation:
Cook the bacon in a skillet as you normally would. Crispy works best, because it can easily be broken up and crumbled to add to the pizza in the next steps. Be careful not to burn yourself with the bacon grease!

For the pineapple , fresher is better, but canned/jar pineapple works too. Either way you go, make sure you end up with small chunks that are manageable as pizza toppings - not too big!

Step 6: Forming the Dough

This part is a little tricky! First, get a little bit of flour on your fingers. You will need this to handle the dough, because it will be very sticky. Since the dough yields two 10-inch pizzas, cut it in half. Knead one half of the dough in your hands, forming a ball.

Carefully work the dough until it starts to look like a heart. Place the dough on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, and continue to work at it until you achieve the perfect heart-shaped pizza dough. There isn't an exact science to this, but you'll figure it out!

Step 7: Adding the Sauce

Since we made BBQ chicken and Hawaiian pizzas, we used barbecue sauce as our pizza sauce. We went with KC Masterpiece "Sweet and Tangy" and KC Masterpiece "Hickory Brown Sugar", respectively. Of course, this is all personal preference, and you can use traditional pizza sauce if you prefer!

Lightly spread the sauce over the pizza crust using the back of a spoon, starting at the center and working your way out, toward the crust. Leave about 3/4 inch of uncovered crust, adding extra sauce if necessary. A medium coating of sauce is ideal here - not too much, and not too little!

Hey - it's starting to look a little like a pizza!

Step 8: Adding the Toppings

Evenly spread the toppings over the pizza, avoiding the crust. This step is pretty self-explanatory, but I've included photos if you need 'em!

Step 9: Adding the Cheese

You know how much you love cheese, and you'd be crazy NOT to pile it on your delicious creation! We chose mozzarella and cheddar, with a hint of Parmesan. I hear Gouda is pretty tasty as well.

Again, this step is pretty self-explanatory. Spread evenly, leaving about 3/4 inch for the crust.

Step 10: Cooking

By now, your oven should be preheated to 425 degrees. If you have not done so already, you should jump on that.

Carefully slide those cookie tray pizzas into the oven. Set the timer to 20 minutes.

If you have one pizza on the upper-rack and one pizza on the lower-rack, you should alternate them after about 10 minutes for even cooking.

After 20 minutes, check the pizzas. The cheese and crust should be golden brown. If not, leave them in there for a few more minutes. You want these to be cooked, not raw!

Step 11: Enjoy!

Once you're certain that the pizzas are cooked, carefully remove them from the oven, and let them cool for a few minutes.

Cut the pizzas, and enjoy the delicious results of your hard effort with a loved one!
inspired by papa murphys perhaps?
Looks tasty! We went through a weird homemade pizza phase one winter a few years back, and discovered that pretty much every cheese tastes good on pizza. ;) My favorite combos were sweet potato/caramelized onion/cranberry/chevre, though the pear/brie was pretty darned good too. And of course, I can't argue wtih pineapple/bacon. ;)
How cheesy !!

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