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!
10 thoughts on “Cooking Basics: Making Your Own Pizza Sauce and Crust”
Are you sure there isn’t a little Italian in you mamasteph?
You never know, buddy! 🙂
That is good looking pizza! Home-made beats home-delivered any day.
Thanks, Claire! I totally agree. 🙂
This is pure comfort food, which is possible should be eaten on the couch while watching a movie. 😉
Your pizza looks so yummy!
Thank you, Mandy! 🙂 We love it and we did eat it while watching “Fly Away Home.” Such a great flick!
Mmmm. You just made me really hungry mamasteph!
Mangia, mangia! 🙂
Any reason you see why the dough couldn’t be done in a bread machine on the dough cycle?