The house is so quiet, and I am alone during the day again. Why is it so annoying when the kids come home for holidays? Lights left on. Dirty dishes in the sink like it’s my job to clean them. Clothes in the washer and dryer that I have to fold if I want to use it! I would be so happy to have any of those annoying little problems right now.
Too quiet, so yesterday I made bread (twice a week, usually) and pizza! I love pizza. We usually have pizza on Sunday and watch football, but yesterday (Monday) we had a BIG football game (which we won’t discuss) so I made pizza. And since I have gotten off-topic on the reason for this blog (recipes for my kids), I will start posting more recipes.
1 28 oz can whole, peeled San Marzano Tomatoes
4 cloves minced garlic
1 t salt
1 T oregano, dry
If you can’t find San Marzano tomatoes or don’t want to pay for them, ok. Just use regular whole, peeled roma tomatoes. But the San Marzano’s really are better, plus, the Italian’s have a copyright on their Piazza Napoletana sauce, and they use San Marzano tomatoes. So make it authentic!
Take your tomatoes and put them in a small sauce pan. Bust out your potato masher and mash the tomatoes up. This sauce is more like a jam then a smooth sauce. Add your garlic, oregano and salt and simmer the sauce until the water is gone. You will be left with a lovely tomato jam, this takes about 1.5-2 hours.
2.5 c flour
1 c warm water
1.5 t yeast (or 1 package)
1 t salt
1 T olive oil
.25 c Starter, if you have. Not necessary if you don’t.
Mix together in a large bowl the water, yeast and honey and let sit until the yeast foams. (That way you know it’s working, no surprises later.) Add the starter if you have some, this will give your dough a little bit of a sour, tangy taste; nummy! Add the salt and olive oil. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix well. If you are using a stand mixer, add flour until the dough stops sticking to the sides of the bowl. You may not need the entire 2.5 cups, I rarely use that much! It just depends on how much starter I use and the day; whether it’s humid or dry outside. If you are mixing by hand, do the same, and add flour until it stops sticking to the bowl. I turn the flour with a big metal spoon, or sometimes I use my hands, mixing it up right in the bowl. When you’re done adding flour, cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 15-30 minutes. It takes less time to knead later if you do this. After it’s little rest, knead the dough for approximately 7 minutes with a mixer or 10-12 minutes by hand, until it’s smooth and springy. Then put the dough in a clean bowl with a lid or cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap.
Allow the dough to rise to twice its size, then punch it down, about 45 minutes. Pre-heat your oven to 500 F degrees. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven now. When the dough is twice its size again, it is ready. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 2 to 4 pieces, depending on the size of your pizza. (If you want to make one large pizza, this recipe is enough dough for a sheet pan, the 1/2 size sheet that people have in their homes.) I shape my dough pieces into round shapes now. Cover the dough with a damp paper towel and let sit for 5-10 minutes. You’re finally ready to make pizza! Trust me, it is worth the work! Press your dough on to a lightly oiled pizza pan or onto a floured surface. If you have a baking stone, put your pressed-out dough on a pizza peel with a little corn meal sprinkled on top so the dough won’t stick. When your pizza is ready, slide it right on to the stone and turn the oven down to 450 F degrees. It takes about 12-15 minutes to cook. My favorite toppings are basil and prosciutto with fresh mozzarella, but you can make yours any way you want!