Thursday, 29 March 2012

Homemade Spicy Pizza

Hey guys, time for another real meal as opposed to dessert! These are rare posts, as I enjoy nothing more than something sweet (and cute) to bake. Pizza isn't sweet, and it really isn't cute. But it's still delicious. And I wasn't in this alone, my co-cook Taylor came over to help out too. First shot at homemade crust and it worked out! Not that there seems to be much room for screw-up's, but still. I must admit though, there was a dessert pizza made too. This, shockingly, was not my idea to attempt to turn the entire post into a dessert-y one, it was Taylor's idea. However, due to aesthetics and the reputation of this blog, the recipe will not be part of this post ;)

Homemade pizza crust:
2 tsp quick rise yeast
a pinch of sugar
1 1/2 cups of warm water
4 cups AP flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil

1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and water. Set aside for about 5 minutes until it looks foamy (TIP: I am still not super familiar with yeast, so I bought a packet of regular dry yeast to try first in this step. There was no foam. None. Then I tried with the quick rise I already had and voila! FOAM! ... I suggest using quick rise but perhaps this was a fluke.)

2. In a second, large bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour the yeast mixture & olive oil into it. Using a knife or spoon, make cutting motions to mix the wet & dry together (I used a pastry blender for this part)

3. Use your hands to form a ball with the dough. At this point, if you have a stand mixer, you can use this to "knead" the dough for 10 minutes. If you are not lucky nor rich enough to own one of these (*cough* me... christmas mom?), place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead manually for 10 minutes.  The dough should be smooth and elastic after.

4. Grease a bowl and place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

5. At this point, depending on how large your pizza is, you can divide the dough into two for 2 small-medium pizzas or use it all for a ginormous one. By gently pulling/stretching the dough, shape to your desired size and place on a lightly greased pan.

6. Now, you can brush the dough with olive oil and add whichever toppings you'd like. Bake it at about 400*F for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbling.

Here are our toppings:

Pizza Sauce

drizzle of olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large ripe tomatoes
1/3 onion chopped
*2 serano peppers (those tiny bright red ones- totally Taylor's influence)
a few basil leaves

*these peppers are obviously optional... they added a good amount of spice to the sauce, which was toned down by the cheese, but it could have stood to have another one or two peppers depending on how much spice you can handle. We decided on these as opposed to the habanero peppers we picked up, which are supposedly much hotter, which is pretty terrifying considering how hot these serano ones are.

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a pan and sauté on a low-medium heat for 10 minutes (ish) until tomatoes, onions and peppers are all very soft. Then using a blender, blend the mixture for a couple seconds until it is a sauce consistency. Spread onto your dough!


sliced onions
chopped green peppers
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella, sprinkled
a small "log" of goats cheese, cut into medallions
basil leaves
sprinkle of oregano
also can't really resist posting this... we had fun "kneading" the dough...

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