Friday, April 1, 2011

Pizza Night

Most Friday nights we have pizza in some form or fashion. Most of the time we make it ourselves though we have gone through a season or two where we have bought it instead. I have had a request or two for my pizza crust recipe so here it is to be followed with our other pizza faves.

This recipe comes from the RTS cookbook which will mean nothing to most of you and something to a few of you. The page is so crusted over (hahaha) that I open right to the page. I double it and it makes 3-4 pizzas for us. I use mostly cookie sheets and my one loan pizza stone.

1 c. warm water
1T. yeast
1T. sugar
1 1/2 t salt
1 T vegetable oil
1 1/4 c flour ( I use whole white wheat)
1 1/2 - 2 c additional flour
1T olive oil
1/3 c parmesan cheese

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar, salt and oil and mix. Knead several times. (I actually do all this in my mixer) Place in greased bowl and let rise until double(about 45min unless you leave in steaming hot TX and then it takes as little as 20) Pat and stretch onto 1 large pizza pan or 2 medium pans. Let rise 10 min. (I never do this) Spray crust with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese(this is what makes this one totally rockstar of a pizza crust) before layering with other ingredients. Bake at 450 for 20-25 min. We prefer to prebake the crust for 8-10 min and then bake with toppings for another 8-10 min.


My Favorite Pizza Sauce

I have long lost the exact recipe but here is what I do...

Put a bit of olive oil in a saucepan. Heat it up. Add a generous amount of minced garlic; I buy the kind in the jar so I don't end up with hands that smell like garlic. Sautee a couple of minutes. It will get brown fast. Add a large can(if you don't have a bazillion and one kids like me you can use a small can and keep that in mind when adding your garlic) of tomato puree or crushed tomatoes. Totally a personal preference kind of thing. Add a spoonful of sugar(I prefer to use sucanat or brown sugar) to cut the acidity. Then add a generous amount of Italian seasoning until it just looks right. Lastly, add a pinch of red pepper. I like to buy mine in bulk from HEB. You are going to use a lot and HEB's bulk spices are really cheap!

That is our normal pizza making, but we have several alternatives. One is pizza bread. When we make pizza bread I make up some bread dough; any bread recipe will do or you can even buy it in the frozen food section. Again, since I have a bazillion and one kids, I use my recipe that makes 4 loaves of bread. This recipe will actually yield 5-6 loaves of pizza bread. We like to stick the leftovers in the freezer for a quick lunch. So you divide your dough up into dough balls. Roll each ball out into a rectangle like you are going to make cinnamon rolls. Mentally, divide the rectangle into thirds(if I hadn't had a screaming baby tonight, I'd have taken pctures of all this! ;-). In the middle third, layer some pepperoni and cheese (or whatever toppings you like). Then fold one of the sides over the toppings. Layer more pepperoni and cheese on top of that layer of dough. Pull the last third of dough over top of that. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 30 min at 350 degrees. We can usually fit 2-3 on a cookie sheet. We slice it up and dip it in the sauce. Yum!!!

Then there are our quick pizza versions.

The first is tortilla pizzas. This is a great one if you are in a hurry or a really easy version for young kids to help with. All you do is use a tortilla for your crust and add your sauce and toppings. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 6-8 min at 350 degrees. Fast and easy thin crust pizza.

The last version I adapted from Tanya Thomasson...Pizza Sandwiches. They are basically a pizzafied grilled cheese. We just butter our bread and fill with pepperoni and cheese and cook on the griddle until both sides are brown. These are also good dipped in sauce. Tanya uses a mayonnaise and italian seasoning mixture on the outside of the bread instead of butter and dips them in tomato soup.

Hope this gives you some new ideas for a pizza night soon!!!!


**My it's a small world moment: When I looked up the recipe and copied it out, I looked to see who had submitted the recipe. It was submitted by a lady whose husband was in seminary at the same time Jon was there. I met her and her family including her daughter who now goes to our church. I wonder if they still make this same crust. Luci, if you happen to read this, you'll have to let me know!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011