What do you do when two people like different things on their pizza, and you either can’t afford to pay $50-$60 bucks for TWO pizzas or don’t want to waste your money paying that ridiculous amount because when you get it, it isn’t even very good to begin with? You just simply go back to making them homemade, that’s what! 😉 😀
And this turned out to be one of THE BEST pizzas I’ve ever made or had. No doubt about it!
Two key things go in to making a “perfect pizza”. One, is the crust. Two, is the sauce. Both of these should be made homemade for the ultimate, most flavorful, healthy and fresh taste that come together in perfect harmony!
I had already made a nice, thick, rich Heirloom Italian Tomato Sauce, and needed to use it in the best way possible to stretch it out as I only made one small jar. Two homemade pizzas sounded like a winner to me! 😉
So the next important part was the crust! Pizza crusts vary so vastly, it’s really just a matter of, which do you prefer. Thick crust, thin crust, crunchy, flatbread, chewy, fluffy, soft pretzel-like…it’s endless, really. Even the exact same dough can come out completely different depending on what temperature you bake it.
I played with my old stand-by pizza dough, and decided to have a little extra fun this time by adding some Chardonnay! And I didn’t stop there. Also into the mixer went some home-grown freshly dried herbs, garlic, honey in place of the sugar, and a little kick from some fresh parmesan and asiago! Doughs should have flavor, too, right? 😀
The only “difficult” part, is the kneading. You will get a bit of a workout, but if we can’t handle 5-8 minutes of kneading some dough, we’re really pathetic. So go at it. It’s really NOT hard to do at all. 😉
The perfect spot in my house to rise yeast doughs is in my oven! I just turn the light on before I get started to get it nice and cozy warm inside, then when I’m all ready to let it rise, I set my bowl inside on top of a cutting board because my racks get a bit hot. It provides the perfect tropical atmosphere to rise dough beautifully! See how nicely it rose in only one and a half hours? 😀
Pressing out the dough onto the pizza pan couldn’t be more easy! This dough is a dream to work with! I always spray my old pizza pan first, then sprinkle it with cornmeal before placing a partially stretched disk of dough on top to ensure that the pizza releases from the pan perfectly and not stick a single bit! You can actually slide the whole pizza right off of the pan if you’d like for easier slicing!
And of course it really helps to make a pizza spectacular if you use a homemade sauce! I used one batch of my homemade Heirloom Italian Tomato Sauce, and it so soooooo good!
Next went my hubby’s favorite toppings: grilled italian hot sausages that I had grilled the day before, fresh mushrooms, fresh pineapple, black olives and …..
…then lots and lots of cheese!! About 3/4 – 1 lb. shredded mozzarella, freshly grated parmesan and asiago, a good sprinkling of garlic salt, more dried oregano and basil, and then slices of pepperoni on top so that it can get nice and toasty and not end up tasting like peppery bologna! 😉
I baked my hubby’s at a higher temperature for less time for a crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside crust, and so that the cheeses could get toasted as well!
He almost had me in tears when he said that he hadn’t had a pizza this good in more than 30 years, and that it reminded him a small mom ‘n pop pizzeria that he loved to go to many years ago! Needless to say, this pizza was a HUGE success!! 😀
Look how nicely it cuts! And oooooooohhhhh that crust!!! 😀
Day two, and I needed to use up the second half of the dough that I froze to keep it from rising like “The Blob” in the fridge! I decided to experiment with the baking times and temps, and this was the result! We liked them both, so it’s just a matter of personal preference of whether you want a moderately crispy crust that’s light and airy on the inside, or if you’d like a softer crust that’s just a bit more dense. 😀 BOTH were phenomenal! 😀
The only other changes to “my” pizza, (hubby ate half!!), was that I skipped the pineapple and traded it out for some sliced peppers from my garden! 😉 My WORD it was good!
So if you’re tired of paying insanely high prices for mediocre pizzas, try making one (or two! 😉 ) homemade pizzas! You just can’t go wrong with this! It’s simple to make, fun actually, and so very flavorful! And you can top your pizza with anything that you’d like! Next time I may come up with a nice “white pizza” using this same dough! 😉
You all take care and I do hope that you give this a try! You won’t be disappointed! See you tomorrow! ~Kelly
*These pizzas were made with one batch of my homemade Heirloom Italian Tomato Sauce.
- 1 (1/4 ounce) packet active dry yeast, or 2¼ tsp. dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- ¼ cup white wine, room temp
- 1 tablespoon real honey, I like Sue Bee's Clover Honey
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
- ½ tsp. garlic salt
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- ⅓ cup finely grated parmesan
- ⅓ cup finely grated asiago
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- In small mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast over a ¼ of a cup of the warm water, stir to dissolve, stir in honey. Set aside to "proof" for 10 minutes in oven with light on until it's foamy.
- Whisk in remaining warm water, oil, and white wine.
- Pour into mixer bowl, beat in 1½ cups flour until smooth, continue beating for about 2 minutes longer. Add garlic salt and garlic powder, mix in.
- Add 2 cups flour plus the cheeses and herbs. Beat in well.
- Add last cup of flour to make a stiff dough. You may not need quite all of it. I just leave some that I know isn't needed in the bottom of the mixer. *If it's really dry in your area, you may not need but a few tablespoons. Or even just a fourth to half of it depending on the humidity level. (I've never needed all of it, but if it's EXTREMELY humid where you are, you might).
- Turn out onto lightly floured board, knead well until smooth and elastic, 5-8 minutes, forming a ball.
- Place in oiled bowl, turning ball of dough all around until all sides are oiled and inside of bowl is oiled. (About a tablespoon of olive oil or a bit less.)
- Cover, let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1-1½ hours. (*I always let mine rise in my oven with the light on. It makes for a nice, warm, draft-free place to rise doughs.)
- Punch down, divide dough in half. Flatten into two disks.
- Press onto 2 lightly oiled and lightly sprinkled with cornmeal metal pizza pans making ½" high borders on each.
- *If only wanting to make 1 pizza, oil second ball or disk of dough, wrap with plastic wrap, place in ziploc freezer bag, and freeze until needed.(*Thaw in fridge for 8 hours or overnight to use.)
- Top pizza(s) with whatever sauce, ingredients, and cheese you'd like, pop into preheated 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 375 and bake another 5 minutes for a crispy crust. *Or 375 degrees for 23-25 minutes for a softer, more dense crust.
- Let pizza(s) rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.
- Makes enough dough for two 12"-14" pizzas. (*My old pan is 13").
Toppings used were: 1 lb. Mozzarella per pizza (plus a little grated asiago and parmesan and some garlic salt, basil and oregano on top), Johnsonville's Hot italian Sausages (grilled then sliced), mushrooms, fresh pepper rings, fresh pineapple chunks, pepperoni slices, and black olive slices.
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