There are some foods that are as close to an adult’s heart as a scruffy-soft teddy bear is to a three-year-old’s. These are foods that we love so much we’ll eat them cold or hot, morning or night, homemade or chef-prepared. These are not necessarily “health foods” for most of us; they’re often very high in carbs, smothered in cheese, spread with icing, or flooded with gravy. Obviously, most of us enjoy a grilled chicken salad at times, but there are other times when we just have a craving.
You know what it feels like; standing in front of the refrigerator, looking at its unsatisfactory contents, with a hole in your soul that cold lettuce can’t fill. A must-have-it-can’t-find-it-where-is-it craving!
When I have such a craving, it is not really for a salad; it’s usually for something decadent. Saturday night, I had such a craving: I required hot, steamy, deep-dish homemade pizza. Required. I decided to turn to Bobby Flay, he of grilling expertise on the Food Network. He also makes a mean pizza dough!
Here’s his recipe:
Bobby Flay’s Pizza Dough
Bread flour will give you a crispier crust. If you prefer a chewy crust, as I do, use plain flour.
3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus more if needed
1 tsp sugar
1 envelope instant dry yeast
2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups warm water (110º)
2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
Servings: Yields enough dough for 2 14-inch pizzas
Active Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 1 hour 20 min.
1. Combine 3 1/2 cups of the flour and sugar, yeast, and salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. (note: I didn’t want to drag out my food processor, so I used my stand mixer. When the dough began to form a ball, I switched from the paddle attachment to the dough hook.) While processing, add the water and 2 Tbsp of the oil until dough forms a ball. If the dough is sticky, add 1 Tbsp of flour at a time and continue processing until it comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add 1 Tbsp of water at a time. Scrape dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Form into a smooth ball.
2. Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil, add dough, cover with plastic wrap, place in a warm area, and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal pieces; cover each with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
While the warm, fragrant dough was rising, I made the pizza sauce. It’s quite simple to do, and I love the ability to adjust the flavors to my own preference.
Easy Pizza Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small Spanish onion, finely diced (I used a small yellow onion; any kind will do)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch of red chili flakes (or more if you prefer more heat)
1 28-oz. can plum tomatoes with juices, pureed (I used cans of pureed tomatoes to cut out a step)
2 TBS fresh basil, chopped (dried basil is ok, as well as other spices you may enjoy, such as oregano)
Salt and black pepper
At a glance:
Servings: Yields enough for 2 14-inch pizzas
Active Time: 10 min.
Total Time: 35 min.
Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add garlic and chili flakes; cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, increase heat to high, and cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, 20 minutes. Stir in basil; season with salt and pepper to taste.
Yields enough for 2 14-inch pizzas. Per serving: 60 calories, 5g carbs, 1g protein, no cholesterol, and 3.5g fat.
Next, I brought out some things we could use for toppings: mozzarella, of course, and parmigiano-reggiano (which I haven’t found in Tyler, but found and bought a large chunk of at Central Market in Plano recently). We also used sliced jalapenos, diced onions, Canadian bacon, pineapple chunks, and sliced mushrooms. I can’t be any more creative than these things, or my dear family will turn up their noses at it.
They turned out beautifully, (after having baked about 25 minutes at 350 degrees), and everyone in my home ate two platefuls of the steamy, chewy slices. I hope when your homemade-pizza craving pounces upon you, you’ll remember this post, try it out for yourself, and let me know what you think. I love your feedback!