I put the pizza place to shame

We are in the middle of snowstorm number two for the year and I actually attempted to trudge out for a birthday celebration. I made a left hand turn and did a 180, saw someone suck in a huge ravine and was doing 40 on the freeway – I turned around. And while the company isn’t as good, the homemade pizza I’m making for dinner almost soothes away the sting. That, and the jammies, the Pinot grigio and the Grey’s Anatomy marathon.

I have worked long and hard to find the best homemade pizza recipe out there. I make the dough in my bread machine and I’ve found that 1.5 pounds of dough is the perfect amount for a medium-ish pizza that serves 4 people 2 large slices. I did a 1-pound ball tonight, which is good for a thin crust. I use tomato paste for the sauce, which is the perfect thickness and also gives a great rich flavor. I use fresh mozzarella and blot to keep it from getting too watery and top with all my favorite things. It’s the great thing about pizza – whatever sounds good, mix with sauce, cheese and bread. What could be more comforting?

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound dough
  • 1 12-oz can of tomato paste
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 2 T Italian seasoning
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • Toppings that sound yummy (I like chicken, caramelized onion, bell peppers, kalamata olives, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts.)

Get cooking:

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, pop it in while you prep the pizza. If not, you can prepare the pizza right on whatever pan you want to bake with.
  2. Slice the mozzarella as thin as you can, then place the slices between paper towel (at least two sheets thick) in a bowl and put a large can on top. This will squeeze out the moisture while you prep everything else.
  3. Roll out the crust to fit the pan (or stone). I have a pizza peel, so I coat that with some cornmeal and use it to transfer. If you don’t, you can cornmeal a piece of wax or parchment paper and use that to slide the pizza on the stone, or just prepare it on the pan you plan on baking with.
  4. Combine garlic, seasoning and tomato paste. Spread on crust.
  5. Put on whatever toppings you like.
  6. Remove cheese from paper towel and place on top (This allows the cheese to get brown and bubbly, as well as keep the moisture off the crust.)
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.

That’s it! Super easy and delicious. Serve with a salad if you want, though I usually have enough veggies on mine that I don’t feel the need. 😉


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