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  • Writer's picturemandyjdc

Pizza from scratch!



Originating in Naples, Italy, pizza has become one of the most famous and most consumed dishes in the world. Americans alone spend about $38 billion per year on pizza, and who can blame us?! Next to pasta, it's one of Italy's most outstanding food icons. Crispy, buttery crust with a soft chewy bite, topped with ooey-gooey, melted cheese, and whatever toppings your little heart desires. The great thing about pizza is its versatility. I mean, many different cities just in the US have their own take on pizza. Everyone is always comparing and asking "who has the best pizza?" I say, it's all amazing. Give me any form of bread and cheese and I'm happy as a clam. St. Louis style, Chicago style, Detroit style, NYC style...the possibilities are endless with pizza, which is part of what I love. Variety is the spice of life!


So, if you have the time and want a great quality pizza, and have that glow of accomplishment and pride of having made it yourself, this one's for you! I should also note that on top of superior taste and quality, it only cost me about $9 to make two 12 inch pizzas with fresh, quality ingredients. I don't have a pizza stone, so I decided to try this cast iron skillet method for making pizza from a home cook I follow on Youtube, Adam Ragusea.


Let's jump on in and make some delicious pizzas!! It's pizza party time!

I chose to make a pepperoni pizza, and a spinach, garlic, olive oil pizza.


Here's what you'll need for the dough


This will make two 10 inch pizzas if you like your crust a little bit thicker, and two 12 inch pizzas if you like the crust a little thinner.


Ingredients for dough:


1/2 t rapid rise yeast


2 t sugar


1 C water (95-100 degrees F)


2.5 - 3 C all purpose flour


1 t salt


olive oil


How to:


1. Mix together your yeast, sugar, water, and let rest for about 5 minutes. If your yeast is alive (active), it should look a little frothy on top.


2. Mix flour and salt together, and then add the frothy water/yeast mixture. Stir with a rubber spatula until shaggy dough starts to form. Place dough on a lightly floured surface, and knead until it forms a ball.


3. Lightly grease a bowl with olive oil, and place dough in oiled bowl. Cover, and let rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours, or until dough size has roughly doubled. You can also cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 24 hours ahead of when you'll be making the pizza.


Ingredients for red sauce:


1 (28 oz can) San Marzano tomatoes


4 leaves fresh basil


salt (to taste)

sugar (to taste)


2 Tbls olive oil


How to:


  1. This is super easy - just toss everything into a blender and blend until smooth! I would recommend starting with 1 tsp each of sugar and salt, and gradually add more in to your liking. You'll have some sauce leftover, just place sauce in Tupperware container and freeze for future pizza making use!

Ingredients for olive oil sauce:


1 1/2 -2 Tbls olive oil


1-2 t garlic powder


How to:


  1. Mix garlic powder into the oil


Now to make and assemble the pizzas!


Ingredients for Pepperoni Pizza:


4 oz low moisture mozzarella (or more if you want extra cheese)


Store bought pepperoni


Oregano


Salt


Cornmeal


1. Set oven broiler to HI. Take your dough, and cut in half to make 2 pizzas. I use a food scale to measure each dough ball in grams so I make sure each pizza is the exact same size .

2. Drizzle some olive oil (about 1 Tbls) into a cold cast iron skillet. Add in a sprinkling of cornmeal (acts as ball bearings so your pizza crust doesn't stick to the skillet), a sprinkling of salt and oregano. Take your fingers, and smear the olive oil with the cornmeal and spices all over the bottom and sides of the skillet.


3. Take one dough ball and place in skillet. Working from the center, using your fingertips, gently work the dough outwards to the sides of the pan. It may not completely reach the sides yet. Let dough sit in cold skillet for about 30 minutes to rest. You will then be able to finish working the dough to the edges.


4. Use a spoon to add red sauce to dough. Spread it all the way to the edge of the skillet.


5. Turn your burner on to Medium heat and let pizza dough with sauce heat up for about 5 minutes. Add your cheese and pepperoni. Let cook another 2-3 minutes. Lightly pull up a part of the dough with a spatula to check pizza crust. It should be a very light golden color.


6. Place skillet under the broiler in the oven on the second highest rack, and let cook for 4-5 minutes. Take out of oven, and use a flat knife or metal spatula to scrape around the edge of the pizza to loosen it from the sides of the skillet. After a few minutes, use a spatula to loosen the bottom of the pizza from the skillet. It should easily come up, and you can slide the pizza out of the skillet.


Ingredients for Spinach, Garlic, Ricotta Pizza:


1-2 Tbls olive oil


3 cloves minced garlic


1/2 small white/yellow onion, diced


salt to taste


5 handfuls loose spinach, chopped


4 oz low moisture mozzarella (or more if you want extra cheese)


ricotta cheese (however much you want!)



1. Heat olive oil over Medium heat in a pan. Once hot, add onions and let cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook 1-2 more minutes. Don't let garlic get brown. Add spinach, and cook down until wilted, sprinkle with salt to taste.


2. Repeat step 3 above. Use a pastry brush or spoon to spread garlic powder/oil mixture in a thin layer onto dough.


3. Repeat step 5, and for this pizza, first scatter some of the garlic/onion/spinach mixture on top of the garlic/oil layer. Dollop as much fresh ricotta as you want on top. Sprinkle on shredded mozzarella, and add some more spinach mixture.


4. Repeat step 6!


And there you have it! Delicious, hot, homemade pizza!

Magnia Bene!!!!












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