Sunday, April 1, 2012

Homemade pizza with homemade dough

I'm going into New York City tomorrow. It's the first time I've been in 10 years, so it's needless to say I'm pretty excited about it. Traveling always makes me super hungry and with all of the promise of a slice of NY pizza ahead of me, I found it hard to resist making my own pizza this week. Sort of as a tribute to, as well as what I envision a really good slice of new york pizza to taste like.

I'm not going to lie, this is a long process. And if you've never made homemade pizza dough before you may run into some problems. For one thing, my dough was extremely sticky and I know now that I didn't add enough flour. It still turned out fine, but it would have made my life a heck of a lot easier had I added more flour to the dough. The second problem I ran into was taking the pizza off the pan...It stuck to the bottom! Probably because I didn't let the pan heat up in the oven, like it was supposed to. Oh well, you live and you learn...

The one thing I can say for sure about this pizza is that is is very tasty. The crust is soft, yet slightly chewy and the sauce...Omg the sauce is unbelievable. And unbelievably easy to make. I guess you could say my version of  New York style pizza found it's way to my heart.

Homemade pizza with homemade dough
Dough adapted from the brown eyed baker's basic pizza dough 

For the dough:
  • 1/4 cup of warm water
  • 1 regular size package of active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar (for proofing)
  • 1 1/4 cups water at room temperature
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups of flour
  • more olive oil for coating mixing bowl
Dissolve one packet of active dry yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water. Add 1 tsp of sugar and stir. Mixture is proofed when it foams up and rises. (Note: If it doesn't foam or rise, then start over with a new packet of active dry yeast.) Add the room temperature water, along with the olive oil, to the yeast. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 of the flour with the salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix well. Add the remaining flour and mix until dough form is pliable, but not too sticky.  On a lightly floured surface,  knead the dough for 7-10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and easily forms a ball. Put the dough ball in a well-oiled bowl and cover it. Leave in a warm spot and let rise for about two hours or until dough has doubled in size. After the two hours has passed, deflate the dough by pressing your hands into it. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees, leaving in your pizza stone or baking rack. Cut dough into 3 pieces. Shape dough into 3 separate round balls and cover with a damp cloth for 10 minutes and up until 30 minutes. Make your sauce.

For the sauce:
  • 1 14.5 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 Tbs minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Herbs de Provence
  • 1/2  tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups mozzarella cheese (for topping)
Using a blender, add in all of the ingredients and puree. Set aside.

Assembling your pizzas:

On a lightly floured surface, form one of your dough balls into a flattened disc with your hands. Stretch out the corners and roll with a floured rolling pin to help form your crust. It should look like this:

Top with the sauce, leaving an inch from the outer edges uncoated with sauce. Add the cheese.

Place pizza in the oven on stone or baking sheet for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown. Repeat process with remaining two dough balls. Makes 3 medium sized pizzas.

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