Hands down, this is one of my favorite foods to eat: Pizza!
Why? Well, let’s start at the edge and work our way in.
First there’s the crust: though not my favorite part of the slice, I do appreciate a good crispy crust on the outside and soft and chewy inside. Sometimes I like to season my crust or dip it in oil. Next we have the tomato sauce. love tomatoes. Nice and C-H-U-N-K-Y. I don’t like too many seasonings in my sauce either. I want to taste those fresh tomatoes. Now to the dairy. Mozzzzzzzarellllllla. Whoever came up with the word mozzarella was very clever. The double “z” and “l” are symbolic of the gooey stringiness I just love. Toppings. I’m not really into that many toppings on my pizza. Surprising, I know. BUT, there are not many that I won’t eat either.
So whats my favorite part of the pizza. Right in the middle baby. That triangle tip. I even go as far as eating my slices backwards sometimes leaving the tip as the last flavor on my taste buds.
Now for a fun fact!
Everyone in the United States eats about 23 lbs., or 46 slices, every year. That’s a lot of pizza!
Do you have a favorite pizza topping, or are you like me and like it plain? Leave a comment.
Source: The North End Italian Cookbook, Marguerite DiMino Buonopane
Makes about 2 big pizza pies
First, let me say that I rarely make my own crust. When it’s pizza night, it means I had a busy day at work and want to make something homemade but fast and easy. I usually just buy some raw dough at the supermarket. It’s very yummy and awesomely convenient. BUT, since this is a food and recipe blog I will give you the dough recipe I have made and really like!
3/4 cup of lukewarm water
1 package dry yeast
1/8 tsp sugar
3 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Place the lukewarm water in a small bowl and sprinkle yeast and sugar on top of it. Set aside for 10-15 minutes in a warm place. After 10-15 minutes you should see a foam has formed on top.
In another bowl, combine 1 cup of flour and a teaspoon of salt.
Add the olive oil to the yeast mixture and pour it over the bowl of flour. Gradually add a second cup of flour. Stir it with a wooden spoon. When it is no longer very sticky, put it on a floured wooden board to knead.
A little at a time, knead the rest of the flour into the dough. It should be smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes of kneading).
Coat a bowl with vegetable oil and place dough inside. Make sure to use a bowl bigger than the ball of dough since it will rise. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm place for about 45 minutes. It should have doubled in size. To rest for readiness, poke the dough with 2 fingers. If the impression remains, it is ready.
1 14 oz can of tomato sauce (I like Pastene, chunky, and un-salted)
1.5-2 tbsp of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tbsp of dried oregano flakes
fresh ground pepper
basil leaves, chopped into small pieces
Mix all ingredients together in a medium size bowl. (That was easy!)
Now for the assembly!
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray your pizza pan with cooking oil (I use Pam). If you like, you can add cornmeal to the pan. Just spread it evenly across, but don’t use too much!
Take your dough and start punching it (that’s right, take out your anger!) Start stretching it in your hands, while rotating around. You want to make sure to keep that round shape. When you get a good size, arrange it on your pizza pan. Go ahead and try to shape it out on your pan some more. You don’t need to fill out the whole pan.
When you’ve got a shape you like, take about 1 tbsp of olive oil and rub in all over your dough. Add the pizza sauce to the middle and scatter across the dough, leave about an inch from the edge for your crust.
Put the pizza in the oven and let cook for about 10-15 minutes. Take the pizza out and add your toppings and mozzarella. Have fun with it!
If you like at this point, you can season your crust. I usually like to add a hint of garlic. Spray the crust with some Pam to get it wet. You can take a clove of garlic and rub it/scrape it on the crust. Or if you’re in a rush, sprinkle some garlic powder over it.
Place your pizza back in the oven for another 10 minutes. Ovens do vary, so take out your pizza and test it out. If you like your crust crispy, get a spatula and lift up the crust. You want the bottom to be a nice light brown color.
When the pizza is done, remove from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes or so. Slice up and enjoy!!! Even better? Make some extra and freeze it for another night.
… That’s amore!!!
What is your favorite pizza topping?