Thursday, July 5, 2012

Homemade Pizza

Homemade Pizza... Well Home Assembled & Baked Pizza is more like it. The dough was admittedly store bought and of course so were the ingredients, but the flavor profiles, the prepping, the assembling,  the anxiously waiting for the cheese to bubble, and the devouring more than one person should be allowed to eat on your average Thursday - that was all me.

I have a short list of things I have never been tempted to make at home, and pizza has often been pretty high on that list. I always thought it was one of those things that isn't hard to go pick up and is usually best when cooked in a special oven or tossed by hand by a master tosser. But after hearing of some NY friends who used Trader Joe's dough for a pizza making dinner party, I decided to give it a whirl. So on my usual Sunday trip to TJ's I grabbed all of the necessities. Here is my list of pizza essentials:

  • Pizza Dough
    • I bought one of the regular and one of the garlic herb - both were Dahlish
  • Sauce
    • You can use canned crushed tomatoes and just add some oregano for seasoning, or you can buy a jar of pizza sauce or marinara sauce. I also bought a jar of pesto to use as the first layer of my non-tomato based pie
  • Cheese
    • I grabbed already shredded mozzarella as well as shaved parm/asiago combo
  • Protein
    • One package of prosciutto and one of this great TJ's Pinot Grigio White Wine Salami
  • Other Toppings
    • Fresh diced pineapple for a sweet kick
    • Fresh sliced tomato for the pesto pizza
I also made a side salad of blanched kale, chopped little bell peppers, and cucumber with olive oil and lemon. It was good and refreshing but totally a second thought with my first pizza creating experience on the line.

Kale salad

How to put this thing together:

Let the dough sit out in the bag that it comes in for about 20 minutes or until it's close to room temp. Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees.

Prep all your ingredients, chop/slice/dice etc.

Take a baking sheet and sprinkle it liberally with flour, I just used a regular silverware table spoon and scooped about one and half's worth onto the sheet. I dipped the room temp dough ball into the flour and worked it for a minute until it was the shape I wanted. Then I added the toppings and popped those bad boys in the oven for about 12-15 minutes. Just keep an eye on them and you'll know when they're ready!

Here are the pizzas that I made. The first was a snazzy Hawaiian subbing prosciutto for ham. The second was a pesto pizza, complete with pesto as the base, followed by a layer of thinly sliced fresh tomato, cheese, and a sprinkle of those salami hunks I chopped up. Both were topped with a quick drizzle of olive oil before bubbling and baking away.

Enjoy the pics!!

The Snazzy Hawaiian:
The plain dough
With sauce
With mozz & pineapple

Topped with prosciutto & shaved parm
Baked to golden goodness 
YUM - O!
The Pesto:

Garlic herb dough
Pesto base
Sliced tomato layer
Cheese & salami hunks 
Every bit as salty and gooey as your taste buds might be suspecting 
Excited to check pizza creator off my list!
Well the meal was Dahlicious as usual, and what I love most is that despite knowing that the dough and the cured meats and the pound of cheese I consumed were high in calories, at least I know exactly what went into this pizza (aka freshly prepped ingredients) and most importantly that it was made with love!! So for those of you out there who are, like the old me, intimidated or uninterested in making pizza at home - I challenge you to try it and you just might be impressed with what you can whip up!


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