Still think I'm awesome?
Look, pizza from a pizza joint has always been more convenient albeit expensive. It just never occurred to me to make it on my own. Maybe because making a yeast dough, until this past year, was intimidating. Maybe because until we moved ordering a pizza didn't seem like a luxury.
We love pizza. Back in the day, we had it almost weekly. Now it has become a special event item, ordered for a celebration, a reward or a special night. Our taste buds live for the days when a visiting family member offered to pay for some pizza.
I had a hankering last week for pizza, a desperate yearning that gnawed at me for days. But rent, power and groceries told me that pizza would have to wait. While I was menu planning (the only thing that keeps me on budget when I grocery shop) I was flipping through The Pioneer Woman's cookbook and found her recipe for pizza dough. (FYI - the recipe I used from her book, is not on her website so far as I can tell, however, this link will bring you to her page for a number of her pizza recipes. All of which look delicious.)
If I want pizza, I thought, why not just make it. Yeast no longer scares me, we already have veggies down on the list, what's adding one or two more and the only major expense, cheese and meat, could be wiggled into the budget if I got rid of something, say like cereal, and planned more pancake breakfasts.
Pizza, my friends, was back in our lives! Bigtime!
Pizza dough is a sticky dough unlike bread dough. And there isn't any kneading. Although I used the Pioneer Woman's recipe, I modified it slightly to make it a bit more zesty with the flavor. I added basil, marjoram, garlic and pepper to the flour before mixing in the proofed yeast. My dough looks nothing like the photo's in PW's book but from the get go it smelled heavenly.
Three hours of rising later, my dough still didn't look like the pictures, but I figured if it had risen I must have gotten something right.
|I really love chopping vegetables. It's relaxing and delicious all at the same time.|
|Fresh mozzarella. Double and triple yum!|
|Pizza #1 - half Hawaiian, half pepperoni|
|Pizza #2 - I guess you could call it a supreme.|
Now, certainly there were some problems. Stretching the dough out was an issue. I tended to stretch it too thin in places. Also, I left the dough for the second sitting out uncovered while I made the first pizza and the dough got a tad dried out. Scott (who knows a thing or two about pizza, having worked in the industry) said that I overloaded the middle with toppings which prevented the crust in the middle to fully cook - it was a bit on the mushy, doughy side. The sauce I used was store bought and more of a marinara than a pizza sauce and I probably should have stuck with a plain pizza sauce. But other than that and despite the mushy middle, these were phenomenal and I could have kicked myself for not attempting homemade pizza before this.
Maybe after a few tries I'll look to making my own sauce too. And maybe, just maybe, if my gardening goes well this year, I'll truly be able to call a pizza "totally made from scratch."
Well, except for the flour. And the yeast. And the cheese. So I guess I'd just be able to call it mostly almost totally made from scratch.