Friday, April 9, 2010

Homemade Hot Pepperoni Pizza

Several years ago I quit buying fast food pizza and frozen pizza. There wasn't a rhyme or reason to my decision, but I discovered I could make a cheaper, healthier and more customizable edition at home. For a while, I used store bought, pre-made crusts. However, in the last year or so, I have ventured into the homemade crust realm.

My first few homemade crusts were a bomb. (Not THE bomb. A bomb. Epic fail.) I mean, they didn't taste bad...they just didn't flatten out correctly or have a good consistency. But...then I discovered the cook book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day." This completely changed my homemade pizza making abilities. Since adding this cookbook to my collection, I now keep fresh dough in my refrigerator almost all of the time. That means, whenever I want a homemade pizza, I just have to grab some dough, roll it out, and add toppings. Easy peasy!

Now, out of respect for the authors (who are very kind and always respond to my twitter messages), I am not going to post the recipe I used for my light whole wheat crust last night. Its in the chapter about peasant loafs, for those that check out the book. friend Kim sent me a recipe for pizza dough a while back, and you can definitely use this for your crust.

However...I will say...the bread cookbook is worth it! Seriously! And apparently they just put out a new cookbook on pizzas and flatbreads. I may have to check that one out too! If you want to know the original recipe I used, I will be happy to email it to you. I just don't want to post it online.

Here's the pizza I made last night:

Approximately 1 lb. homemade pizza dough
1 roma tomato, chopped (or tomato of choice)
1 small can tomato sauce
5-6 thinly sliced pieces of deli pepperoni (I bought this last week for muffulettas. They were sandwich size slices, but turned out well on the pizza)
shredded cheese of choice (mozzarella, Colby, Monterey jack, the pizza blend packet you buy at the store, etc.)

1. Preheat oven to 550 degrees. (I actually set mine on 525 last night, but probably needed to go to 550.)
2. Flour pastry board or other flat surface. Roll out pizza dough to approximately 1/8 inch.
3. Transfer crust to greased pizza or cookie sheet. Spread a thin layer of EVOO (olive oil) on the crust and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
4. Spread desired amount of tomato sauce on crust. Add a thin layer of chopped tomatoes, if desired. (I like the extra texture.)
5. Layer remaining ingredients - cheese, pepperoni, jalapenos, or whatever you choose.
6. Bake in over for approximately 12-15 minutes, or until edges of crust are firm.
7. Slice and serve! Makes approximately 8 slices.

Sides - When I make a pizza just for myself, I usually don't have a side. However, if you are making for someone else or your family, salad is always good to serve with pizza.

Wine suggestion - Had a glass of Guenoc Petit Syrah with my pizza last night. It was yum-o!

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