Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza

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When I was younger, almost every Friday night my Mom would make pizza. Hand make from scratch pizza. I never realized how lucky I was until life started getting busier, I started getting older and there was no more time for homemade pizza. I am a huge pizza fanatic, it is probably my favourite food, and I find that nothing really compares to eating a pizza that you put all the hard work into making. This recipe comes from the Looney Spoons cookbook, which I have now found out is out of print and makes me so sad because it is a hilarious and fantastic book. But I am sure there are still copies floating around Amazon, Ebay and thrift stores. For this recipe, you'll need: Pizza Dough

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  1 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Toppings - these are completely up to your judgement, but this is what I used

  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • handful of black olives
  • 5 stalks asparagus
  • half a chorizo sausage
  • salami
  • shredded pizza mozzarella
  • crumbled feta cheese

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1. To prepare dough, combine yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and warm water into a large bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes, until frothy. I made two pizzas for dinner, so everything in the recipe was doubled.

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2. In another bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, the remaining one teaspoon sugar and salt. My Mom also likes to add a couple pinches of basil and oregano to this step; it makes for a more flavourful dough.

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3. Set the flour mixture aside, and make sure your yeast mixture has frothed up. Stir olive oil into the yeast mixture.

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4. Add 1-3/4 cups of the flour mixture to the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. Use the remaining flour mixture to flour the counter top as you knead the dough for 3-4 minutes, until it is no longer sticky feeling.

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5. Pour a small amount of olive oil into your hand and rub it over the ball of dough and the bottom of a large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for an hour, until it doubles in size. I place the bowls in a closed oven that is not turned on. While the dough is rising, I like to take that time to chop/dice my toppings and grate cheese.

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6. Using a rolling pin and the leftover flour from the flour mixture, roll out the dough into a shape that resembles the size of the pan you are using. I rolled out two rectangles to fit side by side on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

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7. Place sauce and toppings on the pizza dough. For sauce, I used a can of crushed tomatoes, and added a pinch of salt to the top layer of the sauce. I made one pizza for the girls in the family, one loaded with veggies and some feta, and one for the boys with more meat, onions and cheese.

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8. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. Enjoy!

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The verdict:

Just look at them. The fact that there is hardly any grease dripping off the slices makes the pizza even more enticing to me. What I love most about homemade pizza is the crust. If you lightly turn the dough over on the edges and press in down, as shown in one of the pictures above, it makes for a very light crust, with a little air pocket in the middle. The fresh taste of homemade pizza is something that really crushes a craving for junk food, as it's something that is so delicious, and isn't too bad for you.

Have you ever made homemade pizza before? What are your favourite topping combinations?

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