Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks (and Marinara Sauce)

Not only did I make blueberries and cream cookies this weekend, I also made a really good pizza on Monday. This required some preparation on Sunday, but it was well worth it. Let me tell you about this pizza dough recipe. I've mentioned it before. It takes some patience, not in kneading the dough, but just time. Time and planning to make the dough the night before so it can be refrigerated and time again to allow the dough to rest and rise the next day. But it's well worth it and way better than Trader Joe's pizza dough (sorry TJ's, it's true!) and anything from a chain pizza place.

I also went all out on Sunday evening and made marinara sauce from scratch to be used as my pizza sauce. A simple can of diced tomatoes, fresh garlic, onion, basil (from my garden, might I add) and dashes of salt, pepper and oregano & of course, olive oil, made for a really good, although chunky, marinara sauce. I recommend experimenting and making your own. It's fun, cheap and easy.

I made the dough and marinara sauce Sunday night and then made the pizza and bread sticks for dinner on Monday. It was well worth it and even though it's not healthy, it's way tastier and better for you than Papa John's or Domino's. So, if you have some time and patience, I recommend this pizza dough recipe. And if you're feeling crazy, try my marinara recipe too!

Pizza Dough Recipe adapted from Food & Wine

1 envelope dry active yeast
1 tsp honey (Food & Wine uses sugar)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (Food & Wine uses 2 1/2 tsp)
4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups warm water ( 90 -100 degrees F)
Olive oil

1. Mix 1/2 cup of warm water with yeast & honey. Set aside for about 5 minutes for yeast to activate.
(Note, if you don't see any frothy looking yeast bubble up in the five minutes, your yeast is not good or your water is too hot or too cold)
2. Add in flour and remaining mixture. Knead dough for 5 minutes until a smooth dough forms, adding flour when necessary to prevent sticking. I opted to use my kitchen aid mixer on the number 2 setting with the dough hook for 5 minutes and this worked well.
3. Lightly oil a bowl and place dough into bowl.
4. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and store in the fridge. Dough can be stored up to 3 days & should sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours before use.
5. Remove dough from bowl & cut into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on how big you will make your pizza. Knead each piece into a ball and set aside to rest & rise for at least 1 hour. I divided my dough into 3, the large one for the pizza, 1 small one for bread sticks and 1 remaining for another day to experiment with.
6. Shape dough into a pizza and add your favorite toppings.
7. Bake in a pre-heated oven @ 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese starts to brown.
8. Enjoy!
Bad picture, but good bread sticks

Bread Sticks
1. Shape dough into a pizza shape
2. Brush top with olive oil
3. Sprinkle on some garlic salt & pepper
4. Bake @ 450 degrees for 7-10 minutes or until the bottom starts to brown
5. Eat with homemade marinara sauce

Marinara Sauce

1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 garlic cloves, minced
Small handful of fresh basil
1/4 yellow onion, diced
Big dash of salt, oregano and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Heat pan on medium with olive oil
2. Toss in minced garlic and crushed garlic cloves. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until it starts to brown
3. Add in onion and cook until onion starts to become translucent
4. Reduce heat to low and add in can of tomatoes
5. Add basil, salt, pepper and oregano to taste
6. Simmer for 30 minutes on low heat
7. Enjoy!

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