Friday, May 13, 2011

My very first homemade pizza!

Yep, I’m 35 and never made a pizza before Wednesday night.  While I’ve eaten plenty of it in my day (I did go to college, after all), I’ve never considered myself a good enough baker to get the dough right.  Luckily, I recently came across the Brokeass Gourmet’s pizza dough recipe, which really is as easy to make as she says (I used a mixing bowl and wooden spoon, nothing high-tech), and decided it was once again worth trying to achieve success with flour and active dry yeast. 

It was also time to take a bunch of big basil leaves off my plant before they all started turning brown and sloughing off to make room for the ones growing in behind them, so I can say that the sauce on my very first pizza was pesto rather than a regular red sauce.  A quick Google search turned up this traditional pesto recipe, which I followed to the letter except that I doubled the garlic to four cloves; two just didn’t seem like enough for the amount of basil I harvested.

With these two things made, it was just a question of rolling out a little less than half the pizza dough onto a 12-inch pizza pan (which Steve, dear that he is, went out and bought since we didn’t have one), slathering on about half of the pesto (about half a cup), covering it over with thinly sliced mozzarella and the toppings we had.  I didn't have any other ideas for the mushrooms we had in the fridge, so that’s what you see here.  Into the 400 degree oven it went for 20 minutes, and voilà! 


I'm not sure if it's because of the pizza pan being non-stick or not, but the bottom part of the crust actually started to brown after about 15 minutes; it was another five minutes before the top edges were brown enough to call the pizza done.  In any case, having a non-stick pan was very handy, since we also don't have a pizza cutter.  With the non-stick pan, it was easy just to slide the pizza off the pan and onto a cutting board for slicing with a regular serrated knife.

Since I ran 9 miles Wednesday morning, I still had a few calories to replace and helped myself to three slices; Steve had two.  The leftovers were just as good for lunch on Thursday after about 40 seconds in the microwave per slice.

So, tonight I made a spinach and feta pizza - just like the one at the Hunter-Gatherer in Columbia - that turned out just as well!  This time I did whip together a quick tomato sauce: eight-ounce can of tomato sauce, half a tablespoon of dried Italian herbs, two cloves of garlic and one pinch each of salt and pepper.  I eyeballed the chopped spinach and crumbled feta, but I pretty much covered the mozzarella before putting it in the oven.  Same as Wednesday: 400 degrees, 20 minutes.

It went in the oven around 7:00, and all of it was eaten before Jeopardy was over.

Pizza, Marian style – homemade sauce and dough.  Who knows?  Maybe when some of the veggies in the backyard have ripened, they’ll also make an appearance atop one of my pizzas!  Tomato slices, mmmm….

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