Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Homemade Pizza


 I have been wanting to master making homemade pizza for some time now and I haven't been able to quite get there. So many things about making the pizza has intimidated me. For example the dough. Active dry yeast (the word active always throws me. Is this stuff alive?!?!?), rising dough, kneading the dough, rising, kneading.... ahhh WHAT?!?!? So much to learn. Then there is the sauce, homemade vs jar sauce, which is better? Then there is how to mix the dough. Should you mix it by hand, using the KitchenAid, or a bread machine? Then there is the cooking. Pizza stone or pizza pan?!?! Which makes is crispy or doughy. It's just SO much that I just end up ordering from the local pizza store. But when I go to the Brickoven I sit there and watch them make my pizza and I think to myself that I can do this!! It doesn't look that hard.
Well, this past mother's day my boys gave me my first KitchenAid Mixer. And I am beyond excited!!

Just look at these adorable little goofy guys. Can you tell which one is going to be trouble raising?!?!?

It's so pretty and shiny!

So, that solved one of my problems. I am going to use the KitchenAid to make my dough. Now, to find the right recipe for my dough. Most of the recipe's that I found all start out the same. Some have added items to them but most have a basic 5 ingredients so I thought I'd start there and then the more experienced I got I could explore other recipes. I did want to have some herbs is my dough so I added some garlic, basil, and oregano.

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 F to 115F)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon cornmeal

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the dissolved yeast, salt, olive oil, and 2 cups of your flour to your mixing bowl. If using the KitchenAid attach the dough hook and turn to speed 2 and mix for about a minute.
While it is mixing start adding 1/2 cup of your remaining flour to the mix and until the dough clings to the hook and cleans the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down.

It's so pretty and already smells really good!

After Mother's Day is my birthday. And this year my parents gave me a little bit of spending money. So, what did I decide to buy??? A PIZZA STONE! Yea!! Another problem solved!

As you can tell the stone was not the only thing that I bought while shopping. While talking to the sales guy about how to bake on the stone I asked him how I was supposed to place the dough on an already hot stone (you are supposed to preheat them) and of course he had a solution. I needed a pizza peel (basically a huge spatula). So, after you build your pizza you put some cornmeal on the pizza peel, scoop up your pizza, and slide it onto the hot stone. I feel like I'm in the big leagues now and can't wait to get started. ;)
After my dough had risen for an hour I divided the dough so I could make two personal size pizzas. I then made somewhat of a circle shape using my hands.
I was so anxious to make my pizza that I didn't research tomato sauces and just bought Classico's traditional pizza sauce. My husband and I really liked the flavor and will definitely use it again when we don't feel like making homemade sauce in the future. Because our pizza was to feed our little guys too we went with simple pizza toppings this time. Good ole pepperoni, cheese, and our family favorite green & black olives. Yum!!
I baked the pizza's at 450 F for 15 minutes. Perfection!

Isn't it gorgeous!!

We LOVED the way it turned out!I can't wait to try ALL kinds of different pizzas. I think a pizza building party is in our near future. ;)

Source: My KitchenAid instructions (some of the instructions were modified) and the basic ingredients came from KitchenAid instructions and recipe manual. The added ingredients were my own.

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