Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Red Sauce, White Sauce: Two Homemade Pizzas

Pizza, man. I mean, what can you say about pizza? There’s a reason why there are millions of pizzeria’s out there. It’s just one of those beloved foods with such a variety of ways to make it that everyone has their favorite. We eat more than our fair share of frozen or delivery pizzas, but over the long weekend I decided to try my hand at homemade. I really wanted to try a white pizza, but Steve definitely prefers a red, so I made both. I got the dough recipe from Savoring the Thyme, the red sauce I adapted from a recipe on The Kitchn, and the white sauce was a garlic cream sauce I found on Simple Comfort Food. This might seem like a lot of work, but it was actually much simpler than you would think.

1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons dried herbs
3 cups all-purpose flour

I probably will try another dough recipe when I make pizza in the future. This dough was good, but it wasn’t particularly memorable. I think it could have used more salt. Steve thought it needed a hint of sweetness. If you do make this dough, start it about two hours before you need it. Put the lukewarm water in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let that sit for five minutes or so until it gets frothy. Mine never got really frothy for some reason, but I went ahead anyway and it was fine. Add the olive oil, salt and herbs and stir. I used an Italian seasoning mix, but you could just do half basil and half oregano if you prefer.

Incorporate the flour slowly, stirring between additions to make sure it is completely soaked up. I started with a cup, then did half cups from there. Once you’ve added all the flour, knead the dough a few times until it’s smooth (don’t be afraid to flour your hands generously). Then put it in a greased bowl, cover it lightly with saran wrap, and let it rise for an hour or more until you’re ready to make your pizzas. I like to put mine in the microwave to rest. Once it’s risen, punch it down and divide it in two parts. Using flour to keep it from sticking everywhere, roll the dough into pizza shaped circles. Or toss it in the air if you’re daring and don’t mind a floury mess on your floor.

Garlic Cloves
Olive Oil
Hunt’s Tomato Sauce (about 20 oz)
1 Tbs Tomato Paste
½ cup water
½ Tsp Black Pepper
1 ½ Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Marjoram
1 Tsp Thyme
1 Tsp Basil
¼ Tsp Cayenne (optional)

Mince the garlic (as much or as little as you want) and lightly sauté it in olive oil in a saucepan. Then add the tomato paste and stir that up for a minute or so. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir, letting the flavors develop over medium heat. Don’t let it boil or you’ll have a big mess.

1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of 2% milk
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
Generous pinch of salt
Generous pinch of black pepper
Very small pinch of red chili flakes

Melt the butter and olive oil in a skillet. We actually used the same skillet that we used to cook up sausage for the topping, which added some good flavor. Saute the garlic over medium heat for a quick minute then add the cream and milk. Stir and bring it to a light boil, then add the rest of the ingredients. It will thicken quickly (keep stirring!) so you need to stay on top of it and pull it off the heat when it does. Try to time this sauce up so you are ready to use it fairly quickly.

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees using a pizza stone if you have one. Then prep your toppings. We used cooked ground sausage, thinly sliced onions, and mushrooms on both pizzas (mozzarella cheese on the red pizza only), but obviously you can use whatever toppings you fancy. Wow, that was British of me, wasn’t it?

Carefully put your dough on your hot pizza stone and spoon on your sauce. I suggest making the white pizza first if you are doing both. Then add your toppings and pop it in the oven for around 15-18 minutes. Take it out when it looks good. I mean, you know what pizza should look like, right? Slice it up. Let it cool. Eat it. One thing I can guarantee is that it will definitely taste better than any pizza you can get delivered. 

(Click here for printable recipe)

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