Monday, October 19, 2009

It's not delivery, it's Dig....HOME MADE PIZZA!

Well what few of you readers are left after months of non-posting, we're back, or at least I'm back and I have a new friend whom you'll meet soon. After much traveling back and fourth from Louisville to Evansville with a spectacular 30th birthday to celebrate in New York (Wild as Mink, it was by far the best party I've been to), I finally had the chance to hang out in my own tiny kitchen where I cooked to my heart's desire. The menu was pizza, delicious, thin crust, tangy sauce pizza. And boy was it amazing. And with a side of O'Fallon Pumpkin Ale, what a Sunday.

I got the hankering for some thin crust and being far to stubborn to order out, I decided to whip up my own. I had all the ingredients for the crust but lacked the tomato base for the sauce, so I hopped in my car and drove to the Target. The newly remodeled Target that I had to go an entire year without. I was so excited, I actually went there twice on opening weekend.

Now to the good stuff. I suggest getting your beverage of choice ready, you're going to be kneading that dough like no body's business. You'll probably work up a sweat.

The Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal

In a large bowl, dissolve sugar and salt in water. Add oil and flour to bowl and stir like you mean it for 1 minute.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press into a circle. Sprinkle yeast evenly over dough and knead for 12 minutes. Luckily, I had the help of 'Lil Homie.

Divide dough into portions 3 equal portions. Place dough balls in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours in a warm location.

Now is the time to refill your drink, clean up your mess, and begin making your sauce and planning your toppings. I also suggest you begin preheating your pizza stone as to not waste time getting this pizza into your stomach.

Place a dough ball on a lightly floured surface and sprinkle a light coating of flour on top. Working from the edges to the center, press dough into a paper thin circle (or at least into the size of your pizza stone).

Coat a large cutting board with cornmeal and place the flattened dough onto the cornmeal. * A tip from my cousin: Cook your dough on the pizza stone for about 10 minutes before topping to ensure your crust gets crisp while your cheese stays un-blackened.

The Sauce

  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • A splash of vinegar
  • Secret Ingredient: 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir together.

Since this recipe makes about 3 pizzas, I opted for some cheesy garlic toast, a pepperoni, and a ham, green pepper, tomato, and pineapple (this one was by far the tastiest). Go crazy, it's your own creation!