Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pizza, Pizza!

I love pizza. It is, for sure, one of my favorite food, but what I love even more is making pizza! Growing up, my sis and I used to dabble in making pizzas. We were above Boboli and store bought crust, so we opted for Stop & Shop's fresh dough. We never stretched it very well, so it would come out super thick and with lots of crust (not that we really objected.) We would treat the crust as a side roll and put butter on it. We never got too fancy with topping and would just make standard cheese.

Today, I go crazy trying new topping pairings and try to add lots of veggies to them. I also invested in a pizza stone which I adore! When I first moved to NYC, I got the craving and went out to buy some pizza dough. I went to 4 supermarkets and was shocked to find not a single one had dough. I was pretty miserable! This sparked me to start experiment with making homemade dough. I tried a couple recipes and would discuss with my mom who was also trying out some recipes. Many were quite disappointing with basically no flavor! They didn't have enough salt and sugar! After experimenting, mom found this one, which has been the best dough recipe find thus far:

Homemade Pizza Dough


- Mix:
1 cup of flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of salt
1 pkg of yeast

- Then add:
1 cup of hot tap water
2 tablespoons of oil

- And then add up to 2 more cups of flour to make a non sticky dough
- Knead for 5 minutes
- Place in oiled bowl, cover with towel and let rise for an hour
- Then punch down and divide in two balls ( I usually freeze one for later)

I did finally find other sources for dough in this big city, so when time is of essence, Good old Trader Joes and Whole Foods sell pizza dough!!!!! Thank god somebody out there in NYC can provide for me like Stop & Shop who never lets a girl down! They are also a steal. Trader Joes is .99 cents and Wholes food is $1.69. I usually have a dough ball stocked in the freezer, for back up.

After being away for the weekend, it is time to pull one of those balls out. Today's pizza was one of my go to classics:

Spinach Pizza


pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
1/8 cup tomato sauce
1 cup frozen spinach
dash of salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese


- Take dough out of the refrigerator
- Preheat over to 450 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven to preheat it as well
- Defrost spinach in microwave for 1 minute; drain any unnecessary water from bowl
- Stretch dough out and place on preheated stone
- Cover with sauce, spinach, seasoning, and cheese
- Cook for about 12 minutes

Other Pizza Tips:

- Tomato Basil Sauce - I am weird and don't like tomato sauce when it comes to pasta. I solely buy it for using on pizza! My favorite kind tends to be Tomato Basil flavors. I hate a sauce which is too sweet. Tomato basil usually has great flavor!

- Italian Seasoning - I have some in the cupboard and love to sprinkle some on all my pizza. It really adds some pizzazz!

- Experiment with different cheeses - I used to always just stick with mozzarella, but now I have been having fun trying all different kinds of cheeses. Rachel Ray introduced me to using Provolone, which is quite good on pizza. Her all time favorite pizza

- Buy a Pizza Stone - While not necessary, I love mine. It makes the crust have a nice crisp to it, but allows it to still be soft inside. By preheating the stone with the oven, pizzas cook wicked quick, so you get to eat sooner!

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