Backyard Pizza

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About: Architect/designer based between Chicago and SE Minnesota. Resource based problem solver... in other words, I always take a minute to peek in construction dumpsters :) ---the way some have to workout everyd...

Intro: Backyard Pizza

Making delicious pizza with ingredients straight from the backyard!

Baking. Yes, I like to bake and have put together an instructable that tries to remove some of the common hurdles (Art of Breadmaking). Pizza dough really is easy and don't require the more involved proofing phase of breadmaking.

Ingredients. The majority of the ingredients come from our backyard garden. For more on my approach to the first year of gardening see the notes in an earlier instructable, Greek Fusion Salad.

Step 1: Ingredients

Dough. Sauce. Toppings.

Bread Dough is Pizza Dough :: Pizza is Flatbread

  • Flour, Sugar, Water, Salt, Yeast (milk optional but recommended. spices to taste)
  • Get started with my recent instructable.... breadmaking

Sauce, really anything goes...

  • Olive Oil, Sriracha, Spices
  • Tomato sauce or a white sauce is great but when not on hand simply add more toppings

Toppings. again... anything goes

  • Tomatoes, Onions, Peppers
  • Squash
  • Mozzarella, Parmesan, Ricotta

Pizza Stones. While a pizza stone is great... it's also over-hyped. You simply need a hot oven. We bake on a simple baking pan.

Kitchen Shelves. See my recent instructable where I walk through the exposed kitchen shelves. They are a great, flexible addition.

Step 2: Rolling Dough

Dough is best when it's been allowed to rest for a day. Fresh mixed dough requires additional work to roll because the glutton bonds are young and strong.

I typically start by rolling out dough but then move to tossing. Very difficult to toss dough that hasn't had a day to rest.

Step 3: Slicing Toppings

Slice toppings to desired width. We typically slice ingredients thin so that they crisp up. In cooking moisture content is often one of the important considerations.. this is something you begin to 'feel' as a cook.

As a general rule.. if you'd worry about it burning than slice a little thicker.

Step 4: Layering Toppings

Close to the surface... My approach is to get onions, garlic and meat close to the top so they crisp up. Tomatoes and anything watery should also be close to the top so moisture can evaporate.

Buried below... the main ingredient that I like to keep lower down is spinach or arugula. Thin greens will dry during cooking. We also aren't opposed to adding anchovies in with the sauce. They are a salty, flavorful addition... for this pizza we stuck with cooked sausage from a cookout the day before.

Cheese. It really can go anywhere and everywhere. I'll often try to put it under the sauce to help the sauce evaporate and reduce risk of a soggy crust. Especially if whole tomatoes are in the mix.

Step 5: Ready for the Oven

Final touches. I'll often add a last drizzle of olive oil, garlic or parmesan cheese before baking. A touch of salt, dried basil or oregano and red peppers also go a long way. Olives or sundried tomatoes are also great at anytime... if you like that kind of thing.

Oven temp. As hot as you feel comfortable cooking. I typically float between 425 and 450 depending on the dough and toppings.

---special thanks for the wonderful photos to our neighborhood food blogger and dinner guest @Choochoocachew at instagram

Step 6: Hot & Fresh

Pizza is perfect straight out of the oven. Best to allow it 5 minutes to cool but it's often a challenge.

Hosting. Pizza really is a perfect thing to make when hosting a casual dinner. Anyone can bring an ingredient and often easy to pull from garden or shelf.

Hope you've enjoyed the instructable and feel more confident about making pizza. Even better if you feel more confident about growing your own ingredients.

The garden. The red onions, patty pan squash, tomatoes all come from out backyard garden here in SE Minnesota. Have a look at these recipes that use fresh produce from our garden:

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    7 Discussions

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    Microbe

    9 days ago

    We have an electric fan forced oven that can cook with heat coming in through the fan or an alternative mode is from the top and bottom of the oven - the bottom element is under a metal panel.

    My pizzas had always been pretty ordinary using the fan-heat thing. Then one day I had an idea, I used the top and bottom mode instead and once the oven is really hot (turn up full) I put each pizza in (who can only make one?) and give them 5 minutes or so on the bottom during cooking.

    The crust comes out nice and crispy instead of a bit soft or soggy towards the middle.

    I finally feel as though I have nailed pizza!

    1 reply
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    jprussackMicrobe

    Reply 9 days ago

    Very nice - thanks for sharing! (I like your corrugated garden beds!)

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    Wild-Bill

    10 days ago on Step 6

    On the Great "Pizza Stone vs Baking Sheet" controversy, my I suggest that one use, what are called, Field Tiles. They are unglazed fired clay tiles possibly available at your tile speciality store. They are dirt cheap, easy to store and they make fantastic pizza.
    I make pizza all the time, as it is so easy. I hope you Instructable gets more people to give making their own pizza a try.

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    jprussackWild-Bill

    Reply 10 days ago

    Absolutely! I can picture the tiles but need to look around for sizes. Also tempted to try using a large piece of granite tile... heavy but usable

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    Wild-Billjprussack

    Reply 9 days ago

    The tires I have are 8"x8" 3/8" thick with some ribbing on the back and a terracotta colour. I just butt 4 of them together on an oven rack. I cannot see why granite wouldn't work. I include a QAD picture with my webcam of one tile which has developed a interesting patina over the years.

    PIzzaTile.jpg
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    acoens

    19 days ago

    Great instructable! As a fellow backyard pizza fan, I'm going to try incorporating your tips in the next time - like swapping the toppings closer to the crust and cheese on top.

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    jprussackacoens

    Reply 18 days ago

    Thanks Acoens for letting me know you found the details useful!