Friday, January 14, 2011

Homemade Pizza!

There is nothing better than pizza.  Homemade pizza that is!  The stuff you buy out is just so disgusting and so bad for you and you have no idea what the ingredients really are or where they come from.  My family has made homemade pizza for as long as I can remember.  Don't get me wrong, they definitely still go out for pizza, but as a bonding family activity, they make pizza once in a while.  One of my older brothers initially came up with our recipe for the crust.  You see, all my brothers are great cooks, with the exception of the baby, who is more interested in cars and car parts than food.  Seriously.  Anyway, when it's time for pizza night, my mom, like usual, overdoes it and we end up with like 6 pizzas for 8 people.  So, we eat cold pizza everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner for like a full week.  At least, that's what it was like when I was growing up.  She would always say that she cooks enough for an army, and she's right.  It is just the Hubby and I, and yet I cook like there are 4 of us- it's hard to get that quantity cooking out of my mind. 

Generally, when we make pizza night, we like to invite a couple people over for beer and movies.  It's lots of fun and we try as hard as possible to consume both pizzas, but even with 4 or so people over, it's not easy.  So, as in the days when I was a kid, we spend the next several days eating pizza for every meal.  Pizza for breakfast!  This recipe makes enough dough for 2 large pizzas and the sauce makes enough for 3.  You can store the rest of the sauce in the refrigerator and add it to pasta or other dishes.  The sauce will be a touch salty, but that is what we want, because it needs to season the entire pizza.

Homemade Pizza

Yields 2 large Pizzas

Pizza Crust:
4 teaspoons yeast
2 teaspoons raw sugar
2 cups warm filtered water

1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

6 cups unbleached flour
coat in 2 tablespoons olive oil.  place towel over bowl and let rise for 1 1/2 hours

Pizza Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
32 oz. canned tomatoes
1 cup small diced onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed with fingers
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed with fingers
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Toppings, as desired
Daiya or Follow Your Heart, shredded
Onions, Green Peppers
Sliced Roma Tomatoes, Olives, Mushrooms
Fresh Garlic
Mock Pepperoni or other protein

1.  To prepare the pizza dough, in the the bowl of a stand mixer, place the warm water, yeast and sugar and stir to combine.  Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbly.
2.  Add the sea salt and olive oil and stir to combine. 
3.  In 1 cup increments, add the flour until all 6 cups are incorporated and the dough is extremely thick.  Continue mixing until the dough becomes a round smooth ball and bounces back lightly when touched.  Alternatively, if you do not have a stand mixer, mix the dough by hand, and knead dough on a floured surface until it springs back lightly when touched.
4.  Oil a large bowl with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and place the dough in the center.  Roll the dough around in the oil until it has been coated on all sides.  Place a clean towel on top and place in a warm place.  Allow to sit for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.
5.  In the meantime, prepare the sauce:  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, place the olive oil.  Once the oil is hot, add the onions and garlic, sauteing until golden brown and fragrant. 
6.  Crush the tomatoes with your hands and place them in the pan with the onions and garlic.  Stir to coat.  Add the spices - the onion and garlic powder, basil, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, sea salt and black pepper.  Stir to coat.  Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until well seasoned.
7.  In the meantime, prepare your pizza toppings.
8.  Once the dough has risen, use your hands to punch it back down.  Separate the dough equally into two portions.
9.  Preheat oil to 425 degrees.  Oil a pizza round and sprinkle with cornmeal if desired.  Press dough onto pizza round, being sure to cover the entire surface.  Repeat with the second ball of dough. 
10.  Poke the dough all over with a fork and place in the oven.  Bake for about 10 minutes, or until dough has puffed up and is slightly baked.  Remove from oven. 
11.  Spread the sauce evenly over the pizzas.  Top with shredded cheese and sprinkle on the toppings evenly. 
12.  Return to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is browned, the sauce is bubbling and the crust is cooked. 
13.  Allow pizza to cool for approximately 10 minutes before slicing. 

Serve sprinkled with a Vegan Parmesan Cheese and tons of red pepper flakes.



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