Introduction: My Favorite Pizza and It's Made From Scratch!
I'm submitting this on behalf of my wife, who I begged to write this up. It seriously makes one of the best pizza's I've ever eaten (regardless of toppings)! You can also press the dough into a rectangle and make some mighty fine cheese sticks in a pinch (which I also highly recommend).
Pizza night….a favorite of many, many people and our family is no exception.
The only thing we have found to be better than pizza night in itself, is making the entire pizza from scratch!
We have started cutting out the large majority of processed foods from our family’s diet, as there are NO processed foods that are healthy for ANY of us. That's why it was awesome that we managed to find a terrific, and if needed, super fast scratch made pizza crust recipe on the wonderful web.
***I say fast “if needed” because technically this dough will yield an excellent pizza crust with only about 5-10 minutes minimum rise time. That totally comes in handy when it’s one of those nights when dinner is up in the air and the kids yell out “make your own pizza night!” However, just like taking the extra time to make your own sauce (which we do) you can also give it a little longer to rise for some extra fluffiness if you like.
Step 1: Getting Started...
So…the sauce “recipe” is just on the fly depending on how much you want to make and how you like your sauce. There is no specific recipe that I have ever followed, other than the one in my head.
On the night these photos were taken, I used one can of tomato sauce and one can of crushed tomatoes, plus a mix of minced garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper, basil, oregano and a splash (teaspoon or so) of red wine vinegar.
***The amount of tomatoes and herbs used, really depends on the amount of sauce you want to end up with and how smooth or chunky you like your pizza sauce (extra does keep well in the fridge for about a week).
Step 2: Making the Suace
Standard procedure for the sauce is, combine tomatoes, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, herbs and a splash (teaspoon or so) of red wine vinegar in suitably sized pot, bring to a slight boil and then keep on a slow simmer, stirring occasionally for about an hour…until reduced and thickened a bit. Cool for a while and it’s ready to go. Store leftovers in an air tight container.
Step 3: The Super Awesome Easy Crust...
Now on to the wonderful freshly made crust!
Credit for this recipe must be given to user “Chef Rider” who originally posted it on allrecipes.com, which is where a handy google search lead me.
I have never altered it other than adding garlic and onion powder, herbs and spices to our personal taste…along with Flax Seed Meal which is very good for all of us!
The Dough Recipe:
1-1/4 oz Package of Yeast
1 Tsp White Sugar
1 Cup Warm Water
2 1/2 Cup Bread Flour
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tsp Salt
* 2 Tbsp Flax Seed Meal Optional
Step 4: The Wet Ingredients ...
Start by combining the yeast, sugar and warm water (not too hot or you will kill the yeast) in medium to large bowl and allow to sit for about 10 minutes, until it becomes nice and bubbly. (FYI just in case, if it doesn’t foam up, your yeast is likely dead and no good for baking)
Step 5: Combining the Dry Ingredients...
Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, and mix well.
Add olive oil to yeast mixture, then add in dry ingredients, stir with wooden or plastic spoon (scraping the sides of the bowl to incorporate all wet ingredients) until you have a well formed dough ball.
*** An addition to the dry ingredients the only major adjustment I have made, is incorporating Flax Seed Meal as only one tablespoon adds 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s, plus lignans and fiber. Flaxseed contains 75 to 80 times more lignans than other plant foods and is high in dietary fiber containing both the soluble and insoluble types. It’s also a powerful natural cholesterol controller. ***
- I added 2 Tablespoons of Flax Seed Meal to this Pizza Dough -
Step 6: Rising Rising Rising...
Allow the dough rise for as long as you prefer (5-45 minutes)….though based on my own experience I have not allowed it to rise longer than an hour.
It is possible for a yeast dough to over rise, and considering this one is formulated to be “quick”, it might not be a good idea to push it too far.
The picture shown was taken at about 30 minutes rising time, which is pretty much average for us.
***(note on yeast dough rising: when I am not sure of “room temperature” I do find that the rising stage of a yeast dough works well when you heat your oven to just warm – 250F or so – and then let a little heat out via an open oven door for a couple of minutes, then allow your dough to rise in the oven with the door closed for the amount of time your recipe calls for)
Step 7: While Dough Rises...
While dough rises, prepare either baking/pizza pan by covering with parchment (or greasing well) and then sprinkling lightly with fine corn meal (opt.). (We have never tried this dough on a pizza stone, though we may one day and encourage others to do so as well.)
Step 8: Stretching the Dough
After rising, turn dough onto a well floured surface and pat down gently.
With this dough we have noticed that when you turn it out and pat it down, sometimes it will immediately give to being formed into the pizza crust that you want. Yet sometimes it tends to be too elastic and doesn’t want to stretch to size. I have found that when that happens if you let the dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes, it is much more pliable and easy to form into the pizza crust that you want.
(note: this dough can and does become a little “loose” when allowed to rise longer, though it does seem to give the result of a more airy crust…it is often easier to form the pizza crust on the pan it is to be baked on once it is pliable enough to be formed.)
Once your crust is formed on the baking sheet, pre-bake at 450 degrees F for 5-6 minutes, remove from oven and cool for a few minutes.
Step 9: Toppings...
Top with sauce and or toppings of your choice and bake at same temp for 10-15 minutes more, until cooked as desired.
Step 10: Enjoy!!!
On the night these photos were taken we made two batches of this dough (as we often do), one was split into three smaller crusts for the kids and the other was a 14” pizza for mom and dad.
So there you have it, a homemade pizza that is quick, easy and Always Tasty!