When was the last time you had pizza? Did you make it, buy it from a local pizza palace or was it frozen from a box?
I’m picky about pizza, really picky and I’m not picky, usually; unless we’re talking about “science food”; you know, fake food? Seriously, any food product that has more than 30 letters in it’s name is not food; and contrary to popular belief, pancakes do not come in a box or have 27 ingredients and for the record cheese is NOT EVER powdered.
Science food! Geesh!
Ok so maybe I am a little picky but only about the stuff that goes into my food and where is comes from, not so much as what it is as long as it’s all natural, real food. I’ll eat brussel sprouts and seaweed and be happy, Mr. Sweet Butter….not so much.
Pizza however is one of those foods that just needs to taste good. The sauce need to be tangy, rich with the aroma and flavor of herbs with just a hint of salt. Dough should be light and airy, cooked to a golden sponge. The cheese should be gooey and melted into a pool of creamy heaven. Mmmmmmmm.
Thankfully we have this amazing born and bred family that run a pizza parlor near home and their food is so amazing. The sauce recipe has been handed down from generation to generation and is a closely guarded secret. Everything is cut up fresh each day, dough is made from scratch and perfectly hand tossed, and pies are cooked in fire ovens to perfection.
We’ve eaten there so much over the last four years the whole family knows us and treat us like part of their own. I just love going in and getting an authentic Italian double cheek kiss from Senore Raymondo when I see him.
Alas eating out is expensive and I just don’t have the time to stop down in the middle of the day to get WizKid and Me some lunch. Now that Mr. Sweet Butter and I are experimenting with the whole “one car thing” I also don’t have the means to get there.
I love making bread so it made sense to just make our own. Why not? Dough is remarkably versatile and can be frozen for whenever you need it.
So that’s exactly what I did last weekend. Along with breakfast muffins, cookies, bread and sweet rolls I whipped up some pizza dough, divided it into six separate little balls, froze them individually and presto, fresh pizza whenever we want. In my house we all like something different so I made them single serving size.
The best part about pizza is it can be completely different each time, even dessert! It just may be a perfect food. I have no doubt when I get my new freezer I am going to have a lot of pizza dough on standby. Along with Swiss Buttercream courtesy of Rosie from “Sweetapolita“.It is the perfect solution for all the left over egg whites I have from making pastry cream, cream puffs etc. If you haven’t stopped over to see Rosie’s amazing creations you seriously need to. She is incredible!
WizKid is a meatsa-pizza kinda kid so I cooked up some bacon, sausage, cut up ham and pepperoni then bagged them all up for quick access whenever he wants. Thank goodness he’s young and has enough energy to power a small city or else he’d have arteries that flowed like sludge. I think that boy could eat a pound of bacon and not think twice about it. Mr. Sweet Butter and myself on the other hand are more veggie admirers so I did the same for peppers, broccoli etc.
The very best part of making our own is it’s something we can all do together and have fun. Wiz even gets in and helps roll them out. It becomes a family affair and now any time is pizza time.
Come on let’s go put a pie in the oven.
- 8⅔ C. bread flour
- 3½ C. warm water
- 1¼ tsp instant yeast
- 4 tsp salt
- 3 Tbs cornmeal
- 2 Tbs seasoned oil (see recipe below)
- 2 14 oz cans of organic tomato sauce
- 1 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 small onion minced – really small
- 2 cloves garlic minced – even smaller
- 2 Tbs basil and oregano or italian seasoning
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- ½ - ¾ C. olive oil
- 1 tsp dried basil or italian seasoning
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Mix flour, water, yeast, salt and cornmeal in large mixing bowl and mix on low speed until incorporated.
- Increase mixing speed to medium and mix an addition 2 or 3 minutes slowly adding the oil in four increments.
- Coat a bowl lightly with oil or cooking spray and scrap dough into bowl. Cover bowl and put in warm place for about one hour.
- After first hour remove dough and kneed for 30 seconds or stretch and fold.
- Put dough back into proofing bowl for another 45 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide evenly. The size will depend on your preference for us. For individual pizzas cut into 9 ounce section.
- Roll each section into a ball and set in refrigerator for 4-6 hours. Or wrap each in oiled plastic wrap and freeze for future use. To thaw let rest on counter for a couple of hours or in refrigerator over night.
- To roll and bake: heat over to 500 degrees - these babies need to cook on some serious high heat. Roll dough flat to about ⅜ inch thick for thin crust. Don't try to force the dough. Give it a good roll and then let it sit for a few minutes to roll again. Allowing it to rests lets the dough relax and more pliable with each rest.
- Transfer dough discs to cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or cooking peal dusted with additional cornmeal.
- Using left over seasoned oil, lightly brush just the edges of the pizza trying to avoid dripping on pan.
- Top with your favorite seasoning and cook for about 12 minutes.
- Combine all ingredients and let sit in fridge for several hours before use ( you can use it right away but letting it sit gives the ingredients a chance to mix and meld.
- Store in air tight container in fridge or freeze.
- Some freezing options. Measure out enough for pizza size of choice (or several so you have your choice) and place in ice cube trays or small muffin pans (perfect for personal pizza) and freeze. Once completely set, remove and store in freezer bags until ready to use.
- I like to keep a bin in my fridge for my pizza dough and sauces so they are both readily available when the craving starts.
- Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container or oil dispense. I keep this stuff on hand for pizza, pasta dishes you name it.
- Feel free to play with the ingredients. I grow tons of fresh herbs and like to add these as well for a richer flavor.