I love pizza! I think it should be a separate food group. Growing up with my parents owning a grocery store; on Friday nights after they closed the store my brothers and I could each pick out our own frozen pizza and my dad would bake a whole pizza for each of us in his big convection oven. He could bake 5 pizzas in 12 minutes! I guess we were a little spoiled…
As I got older; those “cardboard” frozen pizzas just weren’t cutting it anymore. I tried the canned pizza dough that you roll out, really didn’t like that. I then tried the packet of flour that all you had to do is add water – didn’t like that because I would load up the pizza with so many toppings that the crust was always soggy. I then tried making whole wheat pizza dough…that almost broke a tooth. Then I found this wonderful crispy, thin crust recipe at Robbie’s Recipe Collection I am not a food scientist; but I think that the reason this crust works so well is that you are baking it at 500 degrees and baking it on the lowest rack in your oven.
THIN & CRISPY PIZZA DOUGH:
.25 packet active dry yeast
1/4 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup 110 degree water(if you’re not sure about how yeast works, see the “there’s nothing like a ham sandwich post”)
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Combine the yeast, sugar and water in mixing bowl. Let rest for 8 minutes to let the yeast start working. Add the flour and salt. Mix well by hand or use a stand mixer w/dough hook. Let set for 10 minutes covered with a towel. Lightly spray with cooking spray a 12 inch pizza pan, stretch the dough out and top as desired. Preheat oven to 500 degrees and move oven rack to the lowest possible rack. Place pizza in oven and bake 8-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.
NOW FOR THE SAUCE:
I always used a jarred, store bought sauce; but a few years back when I had tomatoes ripening every day in my garden, I discovered this wonderful, wonderful sauce mix.
It is hard to grow tomatoes in Arizona, so I just go to the farmer’s market’s and buy vine ripened tomatoes and I get the same results.
This is a good project as it takes most of the day; but it is so worth it! Makes your pizza taste divine!
All you need to make 5 pints is:
1 packet of Mrs. Wages pizza sauce mix
5 T. granulated sugar
6 #’s fresh tomatoes
You can find the directions by clicking the link. What I found is that I put the prepared sauce in 1/2 pint jars, this is just enough for one 12″ pizza.
NOW FOR THE TOPPINGS:
My philosophy is the more the better…even if you are using this thin crust, it will still stay crispy!
At our house, we like to caramelize our onions and red bell peppers before placing them on the pizza. Trust me you will never want to eat plain onions and peppers again.
CARAMELIZED ONIONS & PEPPERS (this will make a large batch; but I make the whole batch as they are great on burgers, in stews and soups)
Heat in a very large skillet over medium heat until the butter is melted:
3T. real butter
3T. olive oil
3 #’s of very thinly sliced onions (can be red, white or yellow)
4 very thinly sliced red bell peppers (can be red, yellow, orange or green)
Sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp. salt
Cook, stirring constantly, 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft and brown, about 45 minutes. If the residue from the juices has built up in the pan, add: 1/2 cup white wine or water (wine is best). Stir to scrape the pan to dissolve the browned bits. They will immediately mix into the veggies, darkening them further. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
We like to put lots of different toppings on our pizza: sausage, Canadian bacon, jalapenos, mushrooms, olives, pineapple and of course lots of cheese!
Well now that you’ve read this whole post, I hope I have made you hungry for homemade pizza…I know I am!