Homemade Pizza!

There are two foods I love above all else:

# 1. Cookies (can you tell?) , and

#2. PIZZA


I’m always in the mood for pizza. I love every kind. Brick oven, new york style, deep dish, margarita…YUM. Unfortunately, I can’t have pizza too often due to acid reflux– The tomato sauce kills me. But when I do  I usually opt for white pizza.

I have yet to try Artichoke pizza and really, really, really want to.  So if you want to take me out on a date for a slice, feel free…;) I’m a cheap date!

I can't wait to try this!!!!!!

When I really like something, I try to make it myself rather than always going out for it. Same goes for cookies, when I love a cookie I attempt to figure out a way to replicate it at home. Things are always more satisfying when you make them yourself! When I succeed it’s the best feeling, and this pizza recipe was a great example of that. I was really proud of it, and extremely full after eating it.

I searched the internet far and wide comparing and contrasting pizza dough recipes. There are a LOT of them out there. I chose Bon Appetit’s overnight pizza dough recipe because of its great reviews. I have to agree with them, this dough was great, although a little bit more time and labor intensive than other pizza dough’s. The dough gets its flavor from a “sponge” (a mixture of warm water, yeast, and flour that’s allowed to ferment). This sponge rests over night.

WARNING: this makes a LOT of dough. I was initially going to halve the recipe, but the reviewers recommended freezing the left over dough and all praised this dough for still being delicious post freezing.

INGREDIENTS:

Sponge:

  • 1 cup lukewarm water (110°F to 115°F)
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast, divided
  • 1 cup all purpose flour, divided

Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm (110°F to 115°F) water
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 6 cups (or more) all purpose flour
  • Olive oil
  • Yellow cornmeal (this is really cheap, and really made the pizza authentic tasting!)
  • Sauces and toppings of choice. I was planning on making sauce from scratch, but in the interest of actually doing my homework that day, I used bottled marinara sauce. I was nervous about doing this, but it was great!
  • I shredded Mozzerella cheese and kept this pizza simple by only topping this pizza with chopped basil/crushed garlic/olive oil mix.

Special equipment:

  • Pizza stone ( I’m not sure if you read this, but thank you for giving Brett a pizza stone Aunt Linda!! I loved using it, and Brett enjoyed eating it 😉

STEPS (it’s not that hard don’t be intimidated!) :

For sponge:
Place 1 cup lukewarm water in large bowl of mixer. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon yeast (reserve remaining yeast for dough) and 1/4 teaspoon flour over water. Let stand until yeast dissolves and mixture looks spongy, about 4 minutes. Add remaining flour and whisk until smooth; scrape down sides of bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let sponge rest at room temperature in draft-free area overnight (about 12 hours; sponge will look bubbly).

For dough:
Add 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 envelope yeast, and reserved remaining yeast to sponge, then add 6 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, beating with dough hook to blend after each addition. Continue to beat until dough is smooth, comes cleanly away from sides of bowl, and is only slightly sticky to touch, scraping down bowl occasionally, about 5 minutes. If dough is very sticky, beat in more flour, 1/4 cupful at a time (I didn’t need to use any more flour, these measurements were perfect) . Scrape dough onto floured surface; knead into smooth ball.

Brush inside of large bowl with oil. Add dough; turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; chill 6 hours, kneading dough down when doubled (after 2 hours).

About 1 1/2 hours before baking, dust 2 baking sheets with flour. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead gently; shape into 16-inch log. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Knead each piece into smooth ball. Arrange 4 balls of dough on each sheet. Cover loosely with kitchen towels and let rise until almost doubled, 1 to 11/4 hours.

If using pizza stone, place in oven. (be careful this pizza stone will get REALLY REALLY hott, I was really nervous being around it because it was radiating heat into my tiny kitchen.)

Preheat oven to 500 Deg;F for 45 minutes. Working with 1 dough ball at a time, dust dough with flour. Press into 5-inch round, then gently stretch and roll out to 9-inch round.** Instead I used three of my balls to make THICK rectangle the size of my pizza stone. I put each of the remaining balls of dough into ziploc bags in the freezer, and now have a lot of dough handy for the next time I want to make pizza!**

If using pizza stone, sprinkle pizza peel or rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. If not using pizza stone, sprinkle large baking sheet with cornmeal. Place dough round on cornmeal; brush lightly with oil. Top as desired.

Slide pizza onto stone or place pizza on baking sheet into oven.

Sliding the pizza onto the stone was not as easy as this made it seem. The dough was mushy and didn’t slide off as easily as I had hoped. My pretty toppings got all smushed around. Brett’s half of the pizza was supposed to have more sauce,  and mine less….that was a lost cause..

Anyways, after a lot of snapping and yelling on my behalf, Brett and I managed to get this onto the stone without burning ourselves… or killing each other… It was a miracle. (I promise I’m trying to work on my temper Brett, thanks for bearing with me!)

Bake pizza until sauce is bubbling and crust is crisp and brown, lifting edge of pizza to check underside, about 14 minutes.

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Try this ! 🙂  Or alternatively, come over for some pizza….I DO have a lot of dough to use.

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