Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Basic Pizza

We heated up the big oven and made pizza for Katie and Isreal the other night!
Basic Pizza
The trick to great homemade pizza is 'Less is More.' A little sauce, a little cheese, on a thin crust!  You won't be disappointed. This recipe is a perfect balance of cheese, herbs and tomato.  Use it as a starting place on your road to being a great cook!
  The Dough:(enough for 2 - 12 inch pizzas)
1 PACK Dry active yeast
3-4 C All-purpose flour
2 TBL Extra virgin olive oil
1 C Water, at 100∞
1/2 TSP Sugar
1 TSP Salt
Toppings: per 12 inch pizza
1/2-3/4 C 1/2 - 3/4 cups basic pizza sauce (recipe below)
2 TSP 2 tsp. fresh Thyme
2 TSP 2 Tsp fresh Oregano
2 TSP 2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 TSP 1 tsp. kosher salt.
1/2 C 1/2 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 C 1/2 cup grated Provolone cheese
1/2 C 1/2 cup grated Muenster cheese

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the yeast into the water and let dissolve. Add 1 cup flour to the olive oil and mix into a paste. Add 1 more cup flour, salt, and mix well. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 3 to 5 minutes. Add a little more flour and shape into a loose mound.  Set in an oiled mixing bowl, cover with plastic and let rise for 30 minutes or until dough rises 2-3 times in size.
2. Pinch dough down and turn out onto floured surface. Knead lightly for 1 minute into a ball. Cut the ball in half.  Flatten the halve out with palm of your hand. Roll dough out with rolling pin. Stretch and shape dough with fingers to approximate 12 inch round. Let dough relax and then reshape. Repeat this process at least 8- 10 times.
3. Dust your Pizza peel with cornmeal and place the dough on the peel. Pinch and lightly dress edges with olive oil.
4. Top with Basic Pizza Sauce, then fresh Thyme, Fresh Oregano crushed red pepper, salt and then the cheeses and bake in a 450f oven or grill on a pre-heated pizza stone for 4 to 6 minutes (depending on the thickness of your pizza) or until edges turn golden brown and dough puffs up.

Basic Pizza Sauce

This quick and easy sauce is also excellent over pasta!

1 TBL Extra virgin olive oil
2 CLOVES Garlic, minced
1/2 C Red wine
14 OZ Diced tomatoes
1 1/2 TSP Brown sugar
1 1/2 TSP Kosher salt
1 TSP Greek or Mediterranean oregano
1/2 TSP Crushed red chile
1 TSP Italian seasoning

1.Saute the garlic in the olive oil until soft but not browned in a medium sauce pan.
2. Add wine and stir, loosening any bits of garlic that stick, add all other ingredients and simmer for 15 or 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Puree with a stick blender, taking care as hot liquids expand when blended!
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool down before using.
 I like it best after resting in the refrigerator over-night. Makes 2 cups.

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