Mamma Mia…Let’s make Pizza

Homemade pizza can be daunting. The dough. The sauce. The time.

I have come up with the perfect pizza recipe. Everyone loves it. My mother in law even ask me to make it!

It is time consuming but it’s not difficult. The results are so worth the effort. I do recommend first making this on a day that you have most of the afternoon. After that you can swing right thru this recipe in no time.

Here’s what you’ll need

Dough:

1 cup warm water (warm enough to activate the yeast but not hot enough to kill it)

1/4 tsp sugar

1 package rapid rise yeast

2 3/4 cup of all purpose flour (may need up to a 1/2 cup more for dusting) 

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Sauce:

28 oz. whole tomatoes or in season, 2 lb. peeled plum Italian tomatoes

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Toppings:

Here is where you can branch out all your own. Most times I will do your standard “supreme” type pizza with mozzarella and parmesean cause that’s what my brood likes. Other times I will branch out and use steak, fresh basil and mozzarella. The kids often get a cheese pizza all their own. Top it with whatever makes your dress fly up.

For todays pizza I am using:

1 red pepper

1 sweet onion

baby portabella mushrooms

pepperoni

Italian sausage

fresh mozzarella cheese

parmesan cheese

dried Italian seasoning

 

First order of business is to turn on some music. Cooking with music is always a good time. For even more fun, open a bottle of wine.

Next, let’s start the dough. We need to proof the yeast.

Let’s get a nice warm cup of water…not to hot, not too cold. If it’s too hot for your hand, turn it down a little.

Add your package of yeast and the 1/4 tsp sugar. Stir to mix and set your kitchen timer for 10 minutes. It will look like this when you start.

Walk away.

Go to your stand mixer, with your dough hook attached (or get a big bowl and get your hands ready) and add your flour and salt.

After 10 minutes, let’s check our yeast mixture. It should be nice and foamy like this.

If not, throw it out and start over. It could be a number of things…you got a bad batch of yeast…your water was too cold or too hot…doesn’t matter. Try again.

If it is all nice and yeasty, pour it in your flour mixture along with the olive oil and let the magic begin.  Mix the dough until it all comes together and attaches to the hook and is smooth. This will only take a second. Don’t over mix.

 Remove from bowl onto floured surface and knead four or five times.

Place in a large bowl and pour some olive oil on top. Roll the dough around to make sure it’s covered.

You need to place it somewhere to rise, somewhere draft free and warm. I place mine in the microwave. Some people use the oven or just set on a  countertop. For me, the microwave has worked out the best.

Let it rise until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. Punch the dough down, knead again a couple of times and place back to rise again for about 30 minutes or until your ready to bake your pie.

Sauce Time!

First decide if you want a thicker or a thinner sauce. I prefer a thicker sauce so I drain my tomatoes. If you like it thinner, leave the tomatoes undrained. In a stock pot or dutch oven, heat your olive oil on medium heat. Once warm, add your tomatoes one at a time while crushing them in your hand to break them up.

 Be prepared to have tomato juice squirt you in the eye or on your shirt. 

Next comes the salt, pepper and oregano. Smells so yummy!

Turn heat down to low and simmer at least 40 minutes…the longer the better.

Half way thru I will take an old fashioned potato masher and break up some of the tomatoes to thicken the sauce.

Let’s start preparing our ingredients.

First I am going to brown the Italian sausage. Love it. Once it’s brown I will start eating it right out of the pan.

Slice some peppers and onions.

Break out the baby portobellos. Heaven.

Once the sausage is done, remove the meat and some of the grease….but leave a little to saute the veggies.

So naughty….so unhealthy…so GOOD!

Cook the peppers and onions first until the onions start to caramelize. Add mushrooms towards the end so they don’t overcook.

Now it’s time to put it all together!!

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.

I cook my pizza on stoneware, specifically, The Pampered Chef Stoneware Bar Pan.

I love this stoneware. I love it so much, I have 3 of them and I also give them to my friends for Christmas. LOVE IT!

You can use any type of stoneware, baking pan or pizza pan of your choice. It’s no biggie.

Rico couldn’t resist throwing some dough.

Place it in your pan and add some sauce. Ad some parmesan cheese to make it even more sinful!

Next we’ll add our pepperoni, the pepper, onion and mushroom mix, sausage and top it off with our freshly grated mozzarella.

Add a little dried Italian seasoning on top of the mozzarella and grate some more parmesan just because you can.

It’s a free country people. Grate as much cheese as you want!!!

Holy Ritz Cracker.

You can not believe how good this is gonna be in only 10 minutes!!!

Enjoy!

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