Saturday, May 2, 2009

Home Made Pizza Crust and Pizza Sauce

Pizza is my favorite food in the universe. Oh, I do enjoy fancier fare, but when I crave something yummy, it's always pizza. I've tried various recipes so that I can make it at home and by pass the grease and expense, but none really quite made the cut.

That is, until I tried this one. Perfect! Below you will find a recipe for home made crust, sauce, AND a link to the how-to for a whole pizza of your very own. It's a 3 for 1 deal!

Pizza sauce

one 28 oz can plum tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp wine vinegar
pinch each of salt, pepper, and sugar

Drain the tomatoes, keeping the juice and putting it aside. Seed and coarsely chop the tomatoes. Put them aside as well.

In a saucepan, heat up the oil and saute the garlic and onion until translucent. Add oregano, tomatoes, juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar. Simmer until it has thickened, which is about 20 minutes or so. Let cool and then process in a blender until smooth.

Makes about 2 cups, or enough for 2-3 pizzas (depending on how much sauce you like). It keeps about 1 week in the fridge or 1 month in the freezer.

Pizza Crust
Don't be freaked out at the thought of making your own is sooooo easy and this one can be popped into the fridge or freezer even! This recipe makes enough dough for one 14 inch pizza. My pans are 12 inch, and the end product was far too thick for me. So the next time I made it, I set aside 1/4 of the dough before rolling it out and it was perfect.

Depending on the size of your pans and how thick you like your crust, you may want to play with this a bit.

3 cups flour
2 tsp quick rising (instant) yeast
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups hot water (120 F/50 C)
1 Tbsp olive oil

Turn the light on in your oven. Yep, you read that right.

In a medium sized bowl, measure out 2 3/4 cups of the flour, yeast, and salt. Whisk together. I measure out my water in a Pyrex measuring cup, add the oil, and dump into the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until a raggy kind of dough forms.

Dump the mixture out onto a lightly floured counter, and being kneading. If it's sticky, add bits of the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, 1 Tbsp at a time. Knead about 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Get a large bowl and grease it with a bit of olive oil. Put the dough in and turn it to grease all over, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

At this point you can put the bowl in the fridge and leave it for 24 hours. Great prep for during the week if you are making pizza the next day! You could even chop all the veggies and have it ready to go!

If you plan to eat your pizza that day, place the bowl in the oven with the light turned on. The premise is that the slight heat created by the light warms the oven just a bit-and the fact that the dough is in the oven keeps it from getting a draft. Let the dough rise for about an hour.

Once your dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it to knock the air out of it. Roll it out to fit your pans with a rolling pin. Roll over and pinch the edges, and then top that baby!

Next, make a yummy pizza with it!
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