We have a family tradition of homemade pizzas on Fridays. The dough is so easy to make in the mid-afternoon and the toppings take no time at all to prep. The recipe we go off is from Farmgirl Fare (Susan runs an AWESOME blog!) with a little variation based on my sister’s significant other’s kitchen genius.
Here’s photos from what we made this past week.
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon yeast
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 1/3 cup water, about 90 degrees
Blend the flour, salt, and yeast. Then add water.
Knead the dough for a few minutes and then place it in the a clean bowl, lightly oiled. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it sit for two hours. Anytime between two and three hours is sufficient to let it rise. This recipe yields three medium sized pizzas, two large, and four small. I usually double the recipe if I’m cooking for another family as well.
3) Make your own tomato sauce in the meanwhile.
4) Or make your own pesto sauce.
Basil leaves, as fresh as possible. We tripled the batch, but you really only need a cupful (pre-cutting or washing).
Pine nuts, or brazil nuts, or a nut that’s oily. 1/4 cup of these in their whole form.
Parmesan cheese. Save your tastebuds and don’t get the pre-grated as it’s just so much better if you grate it yourself just before use. 1/4 cup grated.
Garlic clove. The real deal is best, and not the Spice World pre-diced stuff in a jar, or dried/jarred garlic in any form. 1 clove.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Use the best stuff you can as it really makes a difference on the flavor. About a cup.
Salt. A pinch. We use kosher salt or sea salt most often when cooking (flavor!).
Just five ingredients and a pinch of salt and you’re all set.
Prepare with the following:
Pounder: You will need something to pound everything to a paste with. I highly recommend a mortar & pestle. Otherwise you could use the end of a large cooking utensil that had a bulbous shape to emulate a pestle and just a bowl that can get banged up.
Heater: You will also need a toaster oven or conventional oven with a cookie sheet.
Tools: You’ll need a cheese grater, spatula, spoon, and measuring cups.
Garlic: Peel garlic clove and gently mash up with a knife. Place it into the mortar with a pinch of salt (helps break down the garlic and release its deliciousity).
Now pound away with pestle until it’s a beaten pulp.
Pine Nuts: toast them in the oven about 5-8 minutes until they’re a lovely brown. Watch out as they burn very quickly! Then add them to the garlic mix in the mortar.
Now mush! Keep going until the grains of the nuts are showing. Don’t give up early or your pesto will have hard spots.
Cheese. So you’ve grated it, now you add it to the pine nut mixture in the mortar. If you’re running out of room, move to a bigger bowl but still use the pestle. It really works to get them emulsified together, which is key to taste.
And you know the drill: mash it up.
Basil. At this point, remove everything from the mortar and put it into a separate bowl so as to make room for your basil. You will need to mash that up for a few minutes before adding it all together. Ensure your basil has been washed, dried (just not super wet), and coarsely chopped.
Now mash away. Everything comes together now.
Olive Oil. I add about a cup for the recipe as described above, but really just keep added and mixing until it looks and tastes right to you.
5) Back to the dough: shape and top.
Cut the dough into the number of pizzas you want. Shape the dough into pizza shape over your knuckles, using your thumbs to stretch it out. Flour is your friend. Lay it out on parchment paper, top with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then add your tomato or pesto sauce, and toppings of choice! Remember that the best cheese for pizza is a hard mozzarella grated, with a nice pecorino romano or parm freshly grated as well. Fresh pepperoni from the coop? YES! Yum.
6) Cook it!
A baking stone is a must so that you can simply slide the parchment paper with pizza on top onto it. It gives the crust such a nice finish and cooks it very evenly. Our oven is finished cooking in about 6 minutes at 500 degrees.
Bon Appetite! Pizza is so simple–you can totally do it too.