Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sly Fox Makes Fast Food - Homemade Pizza

When I was growing up one of my favorite meals my mom would make was homemade pizza. It would always crack me up because she made a huge deal about it because she had to give herself enough time to let the dough rise. My mom is a great lady, but master cook is not one of her strong suits (I get this from her), we're bakers, not cooks. We can whip up some cookies, brownies, cakes or our to-die-for carmel bars like no body's business, but when it comes to preparing full meals, we get overwhelmed and typically opt for the easiest meal option available.

Pizza was a popular meal in my household because it's delicious and easy to make. The recipe and process I'm going to outline below is great because is gives you the option to do whatever the fuck you want. You can put on whatever toppings you want, not a lot of cheese or a buttload of cheese, red or white sauces. The pizza dough recipe my mom always used makes 2 medium sized pizzas. 

Pizza Dough:

  • 1 package Active Yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 1/2 cups silted flour (this goes in last)
Mix together above ingredients in order in a bigger bowl, place a towel or paper towel over the bowl and let rise 1 1/2 hours. 
Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees and begin to get your ingredients ready. We made two pizzas, the first we wanted to go a little more traditional so we bought some basil, roma tomatoes, and garlic. For our second pizza we just bought everything that sounded good to us which was pepperoni, green pepper, jalepeno, onion and avocado. 
Next you'll want to grease your pan, I also like to spread a little cornmeal or bread crumbs on the base of the pan because this will help it stick less when it's all said and done. Now its time to get the dough ready. Stretching pizza dough is a bit of a challenge, especially because you don't want the dough to break anywhere on the pan because well, your pizza needs a base. To start put some flour on your hands, this will help the dough be less sticky. Simply plop half of the dough on the pan and stretch - again be careful and go slowly so you don't break the dough.
Next comes the sauce. As I mentioned before you can put whatever kind of sauce you want on the pizza, this night we just chose good ole Chef Boyardee red pizza sauce - With Cheese! (?)
Now comes the fun part. Put all of your toppings on the pizza evenly. Then throw on some cheese and you're done! 

Place the pizzas in the oven (preferably on the middle or upper racks) and let them cook for 15-20 minutes (depending on how you like your crust, the longer you keep it in the more crispy it will be, the shorter the more fluffy it will be). Check on the pizza occasionally to make sure nothing is burning and look for the crust and the cheese to become golden brown.

All that's left to do now is enjoy!
Finished Margherita pizza, we wanted it to be super crunchy so we left it in the oven about 20-25 minutes
Finished "Kitchen Sink" Pizza with LOTS of cheese
Bebop was a huge help throughout this process. 
Congratulations! You have successfully made pizza without paying $20 or burning down your house! Bask in the feeling of accomplishment!

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