Saturday, September 7, 2013

Homemade Pizza with White Sauce, Tomatoes and Fresh Basil

When Hubbs and I left NY, we had to use up all of the ingredients in our small chest freezer and two refrigerators (yes, two refrigerators in our Brooklyn apartment!).  Once we made it to Michigan and began cooking, we had to start all the way over from scratch.  Oh, there were a few things we couldn't use up and were fortunately able to take with us, like a couple containers of earth balance, a few packages of daiya vegan cheese and several containers of vinegar, etc.  But nothing that was ready to eat.  Once we plugged in our refrigerator and freezer, it was kind of frightening to see how empty everything was.  I mean completely empty.  I should have taken a picture of it, because it was pretty crazy. 

When we were in NY, we always had several meals already cooked and frozen in single or double servings for those days when we just didn't feel like cooking or were just too busy.  We also had homemade pizza dough frozen in ziploc baggies, seasonings frozen in ice cube trays, etc.  So it is definitely time to start using our freezer again.  Hubby decided that he wanted pizza, and instead of having some pizza dough pre-made, I had to make it for his dinner, and took advantage of needing the dough so I quadrupled the recipe.  Yes, I made 4x the recipe, which seems completely crazy, but man did it feel good to put all of those baggies of made pizza dough in that empty freezer!  I'm also planning on filling that freezer with homemade marinara sauce from all of those tomatoes continuously coming out of the garden, plus pesto from our basil, and hopefully more tasty dishes.  But at least if there is nothing that comes to mind food-wise, we'll definitely have pizza to fall back on!

Homemade Pizza with White Sauce, Tomatoes and Basil:

 Super Tasty, Creamy Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil

Pizza Dough:

Yields 2 Pizzas

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon organic sugar
1 envelope yeast

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 1/2- 4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

Pizza Toppings I Used:
White Sauce
Daiya Cheese
Fresh Roma Tomatoes
Fresh Chopped Onions
Fresh Basil, Chiffonnaded

1.  In a medium mixing bowl, add the warm water,  organic sugar and yeast.  Whisk together until combined.  Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes, or until it becomes bubbly.  If It does not bubble up, the yeast is most likely dead, so begin again with some fresh yeast.
2.  Add the olive oil and whisk to combine.
3.  Add the 3 1/2 cups of flour in increments of 1/2 cups.  Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together and is no longer easy to mix with the spoon.
4.  Liberally flour a clean surface to knead the dough until it becomes elastic and is no longer sticky.  Add more flour as necessary to achieve the right texture.
5.  Place the dough ball back into the same bowl used for mixing, drizzling a couple tablespoons of olive oil into it first.
6.  Cover the bowl with a clean towel or a sheet of plastic and place the bowl in a warm place to double in size.
7.  Once the dough has doubled in size, it is ready to use.  Punch it down and press it into the desired pizza pan.  Place desired toppings on pizza.  I baked ours at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.  (Hubbs and I don't like super crispy crusts - this yields a softer crust.)



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