Wednesday, November 14

Pizza: My family's Favorite Meal

Lets make pizza together. I realize its Wednesday - not a football day - but I am craving a mid-week awesome lunch instead of my regular salad, and my hubby is home. So we are throwing on some pizza, and watching a space documentary about the Apollo Missions.  

Pizza is one of my family's all time favorite foods. It is the ONE recipe that is requested for date nights by son when he knows the babysitter is coming over. It one of three meals that my husband asks me make for movie nights and for football. So you think I would be sick of it, right? Nope. It's pizza! 

So the nuts and bolts of making pizza. Timing. Right? No one struggles to find toppings - they are everywhere. Dough is trickier, but I think finding the time to put it all together throws people. Why else would there be an entire half isle at the grocery store devoted to frozen pizzas. 

You need to try this recipe. I promise it is FAST and super easy. The first thing on the ingredient list isn't pizza dough either. You can make pizza in less than 25 minutes INCLUDING making the dough and letting it rise. See. I told you it was fast. There are MANY good dough recipes out there. But so many pizza recipes unfortunately took so long to make that I had to start cooking an hr and up to 2 1/2 hrs in advance! Many pizzerias make excellent dough too, that you can buy, and take home. But I think you will be impressed by the simple ingredients with no preservatives and still put on quick easy meal. 

So grab your ingredients and lets do this: 

2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1/2 Cup Oat flour 
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs white sugar* 
1 cup hot water (approx 120-130 degrees)
 1 Tbs fast rising yeast or bread machine yeast
2 Tbs Olive Oil

*I have made this with half this amount of sugar and it came out fine


1.  Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl

 2. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl

3. Use your hands to mix it well  (will look soupy at first)

4. Knead it until uniform for about 3-5 minutes
*If its tacky you need a tiny bit more flour - should be pretty easy to handle though

5. Let it rise/rest for 10 minutes
6. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees
7. Use a rolling pin and your hands to form/squish/roll the dough to fit your pizza pan

8. Par-bake the crust for 3 minutes at 500 degrees
9. After you pull it out of the oven add your toppings
10. Return the pizza back to the oven for 6-9 minutes at 500 degrees. Pizza should be golden brown and the cheese bubbly and melted 


Okay so this is where you add your stamp on this recipe and call it your own. What does your family like on their pizza? This recipe is so versatile. You can go with traditional toppings meat, cheese, veggie or come up with your own creations. 

my son loves helping with pizza!
My family loves traditional pepperoni so I top our pizza 90% of the time with the basics: pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, more mozzarella cheese, some grated Parmesan cheese, and an Italian seasoning blend sprinkled over the top. If its a Thursday night football game half of the pizza will most likely be pepperoni and the other half Canadian bacon & fresh pineapple like the picture at the top. My hubby has this thing with fruit being on his pizza (laugh) so I do it when he is at work.

Today we decided to made pizza, it was spontaneous, so I didn't have my normal toppings available. But wasn't going to let that stop me. I looked around my fridge finding leftover boneless/skinless chicken breast, hard salami lunch meat, and shredded cheese*. So I made my son and husband a smaller pizza with half of the pizza dough using the hard salami chopped up and mozzarella cheese, and used the chicken with the other dough to transform it into a bbq chicken pizza. Yum!  My pizza had chicken breast, cilantro, homemade bbq sauce, shredded mozzarella cheese, & frozen corn . Yum!!! It tasted so good. The only change I would've made looking back would've been adding red onion.  

My uncooked bbq chicken pizza half
My baked bbq chicken free-form pizza half
the uncooked salami & cheese half pizza

Not only can you use leftovers like I did with the chicken. You can choose whatever flavor you want the crust to be. Its very easy to add 1-2 Tbs of minced garlic into the crust before you start to knead it for a few minutes. It would be just as easy to add your favorite herb to the crust as well. 

Pick how you want your crust, what kind of cheese,(there are many good choices like cheddar, mozzarella  spicy pepper jack, and mild Monterrey jack cheese just to name a few), pick what kind of meat, and/or veggies, and a sauce. 

One note about sauces: this crust usually does well with 1/2 cup or less of sauce. Chunky salsa makes a wonderful sauce, as does red or white pasta sauce. Pizza sauce can also be found at the grocery store near the pasta or make your own. 

So here is the ball. Go ahead and run with it - have an excellent tasting pizza with whatever toppings make you smile. Enjoy my family's favorite meal and give the pizza delivery guy a night off from your house. 

From my Az kitchen to yours 

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Please feel to comment about the pictures or recipe above. Looking forward to reading your comments. Happy reading, cooking, eating, and sharing good food!