Friday, February 22, 2008

That's Amore!

There's no question about it - pizza is my all-time favorite food - I would eat it everyday if I could! Since moving to Michigan, I haven't been able to find a good authentic Italian/homemade style pizza. So I decided to try and make my own from scratch - and it was a success! I used the Basic Pizza Dough recipe from Cooking Light, and created my own sauce. You can have so many variations with the toppings, allowing you to make it more healthy. I'll definately be making this delivery dish, in.

I preheated my pizza stone on 500 degrees for 45 miutes, at the lowest rack in the oven, then prepared the dough. I turned down the heat to 450, and topped the pizza, and baked for approx. 12-15 minutes, oven times may vary. I used part skim mozzarella cheese, roma tomatoes, red onion, turkey pepperoni, baby bella mushrooms, green & red bell pepper & fresh parsley.

Basic Pizza Dough

2 teaspoons honey (I omitted, didn't have any)
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
3/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (about 10 ounces), divided
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used 1 teaspoonof garlic salt)
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons stone-ground yellow cornmeal
I added 1 tsp of olive oil to the mixture when adding the flour and salt.

Dissolve the honey and yeast in 3/4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes); add enough of the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If the indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)

Roll dough into a 12-inch circle (about 1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a rimless baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges of dough with fingers to form a rim. Lightly spray surface of dough with cooking spray, and cover with plastic wrap. Place the dough in refrigerator for up to 30 minutes. Bake according to recipe directions.

Saucy! Pizza Sauce

1 5 oz tomato sauce
6 oz tomato paste
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp of each, or salt & pepper to taste
1/4 tsp olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic paste or minced garlic

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Makes enough for two large pizzas(or two of the above dough recipe), plus some leftover for other uses, such as a dipping sauce for the pizza, breadsticks, calzones, etc.

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