When asked what his favorite foods are, my husband will always respond – a good sandwich (preferably a Philly Cheese Steak with Whiz), a killer hamburger (with cheese, of course) and pizza. He swears it’s all about the bread when it comes to a great sandwich, but when it comes to pizza he claims that it’s not only the crust, but the proper ratio of sauce to cheese. He firmly believes the less toppings, the better. I know I’ll regret saying this, but he’s right (just this time).
I’ve spent two days making pizza. I’m not a baker, but to my surprise the initial fear of using yeast and kneading dough were quickly erased. It was easy! I’d like to say we’ll never order takeout pizza again, but I think that’s a stretch. Homemade certainly doesn’t look perfect like what you pick up at the pizza place, but it definitely tastes great!
Here’s the dough recipe I used inspired by Emeril. There are many variations out there, some which use a stand mixer. I selected this recipe because you use your hands – it sounded like fun.
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 (1/4oz) envelope active dry yeast
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
Mix the water, yeast, honey and 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Stir and let sit until the yeast foams. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and the teaspoon of salt and mix by hand until it starts to come together. Continue to add more flour a 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition until the dough is smooth but still a little sticky. Both times I made it, I didn’t end up using all the flour. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until it is smooth. Form into a ball. Put the remaining tbsp of olive oil in a large bowl and turn the dough ball to coat, cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit to rise for a couple of hours in a warm, not drafty place. It should double in size.
Once the dough has risen, turn it out on a lightly floured surface and have fun!
We made three kinds of pizza as you can see in the photos above. Pizza Margherita, pesto pizza (both with fresh mozzarella and basil) and the third is similar to what the French call a Pissadeliere and the Spanish call a Coca de Cebes. Using a pizza crust, I call it another opportunity to eat anchovies. I see a lot more homemade pizza in our future.