Who doesn't love pizza? It makes a great weeknight dinner dish. It's yummy, satisfying. and if you use lots of veggies along with some pepperoni it can meet the meet and 2 veg requirement for dinner.
The first inclination with pizza is always to run out and buy some from your favorite pizza shop. Let's face it their ovens can cook it so much faster than ours and you don't have to get your hands all floury with the dough making part.
But pizza from home doesn't have to be super time consuming or messy. It's something your kids can get in there and help you with. And you can even prepare some of the components in advance! Say what??!!
Let's start with the history…
THe History of PIZZA
The story goes that pizza originated in the city of Naples, which is in Italy. (there are also some forms of pizza that date back to ancient Greece)
A well-known baker, named Raffaelle Esposito, is said to have created the pizza in honor of Queen Margherita during the late 19th century. The pizza, using the beautiful colors of the Italian flag of red, green, and white became the queen's favorite. The white of the flag was the mozzarella cheese, red was the sauce, and the green, was the basil.
Somehow this fabulous dish made it's way to New York in America. It took off from there and people now think pizza originated in the US. And it is an American favorite.
Pizza Doesn't Have to Be Time Consuming
Pizza tastes so lovely and often we think that it can be really time consuming. While moms love it as an all-in-one dish for weeknight dinners we often think it will take too much time to create.
Depending upon how much time and effort you want to put in each layer of your pizza it can take a while (such a proofing and rising of the bread crust). Or you can either take some short cuts or do some things in advance for a quick pizza.
Make in Advance Pizza Tips
- Make your crust in advance. Make enough dough for 2 or more pizzas. Roll them out and prebake them. Once they are cooled. Wrap them against freezer burn and keep them in the freezer for a quick pizza.
- Create your sauce and freeze or can for the future. I like to use my summer tomatoes this way. My sauce can be used for spaghetti as well.
- I buy cheese from Costco and keep it in the freezer.
Shortcut Pizza Tips
- Use Premade Pizza Crusts or even tortillas for your pizza crust.
- Buy jarred pizza sauce
- Your toppings can be purchased precut as well.
- Cheese can be purchased already shredded and ready to go.
SImple Ingredients to UPgrade your Homemade PIzza
While I have never had pizza in Naples I have had pizza in the city of Rome. Thin chew crust, delicious sauce, and just the barest of toppings make a delightful taste treat.
It doesn't take much tweaking to take your home pizza to another level
It is said that to get that real Neaoplitan pizza crust you should use 00 flour.
00 flour has a lower gluten content than other flours and it is ground very finely. Coming together it creates that delicious chewy crispy crust that pizza is known for.
This type of flour is more readily available these days but if you are still at a loss as to where to acquire this Bread Flour will also give you a better crust than plain ALL Purpose Flour.
European Extra Virgin Olive OIl
Also in the making of your crust be sure to use European Extra Virgin Olive Oil to give it that distinctly Italian Mediterranean taste.
European Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been prized in Europe for centuries. Farmers have cultivated hundreds of varieties of olive trees and grown them to their optimal best depending upon the different environments and terrains of Europe.
I use olive oil at a few points in my pizza making and I really love the taste that comes through.
I try to use European Extra Virgin Olive Oil which is extracted from the first cold pressed olives. It is made by crushing the olives as opposed to using heat or chemicals.
Depending upon which part of Europe, and the climate the olives were grown in it will have different qualities and flavors.
For making pizza I like to use Italian Olive Oil which is usually dark green and has an herbal aroma and a grassy flavor.
I use European Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the making of the crust, to brush over the crust, and in the making of the pizza sauce.
#Momsmeet and the Flavor Your Life Campaign recently sent me some European Olive Oils from Olitalia to try out in the creation of this post. And I decided to use them to make homemade Pizza.
the Flavor Your Life Campaign is aiming to educate we Northern Americans on the beauty of European Extra Virgin Olive Oil. On how it's grown, the uniqueness of each country of origins, and the different ways in which you can use this beautiful ingredient.
I would like to share my recipe with you so you can make delicious pizza at home as well.
Remember to get your hands on some European Extra Virgin Olive Oil for that authentic Italian flavor.
Making Pizza at Home in the Oven
- 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup European Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cups flour
- 1 pinch sugar
- ½ tablespoon salt
- 1/4 cup European Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 each onion finely cut
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic minced
- 2 cups stewed Italian tomatoes
- 6 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese shredded
- sliced green peppers
- sliced mushrooms
Saute your onions in the olive until limp.
Add everything else and bring to a simmer.
Simmer sauce for about an hour until thicker and reduced. Stir it often. Keep an eye on it and remove it from the stove.
In the bowl of your mixer add yeast and sugar to the lukewarm water and lightly mix together. Let this mixture sit until the yeast starts to bubble up. Usually within a few minutes, the mixture will become foamy. I let it sit about 5 minutes.
Stir in the flour, European Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt.
Using your dough hook use your mixer to mix all the ingredients together and knead on high for about 6 to 8 minutes.
At this point the dough should be all combined and a nice elastic ball. Cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for about an hour and a half or until doubled.
Once the dough has risen preheat the oven to 500 degrees farenheight.
Punch your dough down and divide into two pieces. Roll each out into a round disk (or whatever shape you prefer). Roll until it is about 1/8 inch thick.
Make sure to form a lip all around the edges of the pizza dough to act as a wall to hold whatever sauce or toppings you use.
Lay the rolled out crust in your prepared pan and brush it with some more European Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Then use a fork to pierce the dough all around.
Pre-bake your crust for 6 minutes.
Putting Your Pizza Together
After you prebake your pizza and take it out of the oven layer your ingredients on. Start with your pizza sauce, then your meat and veggies and finally your cheeses.
Bake your pizza for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it!
When your pizza is cooked to your liking take it out, cut and serve.
I love making Pizza at home for my family. I don't do it enough but if I can do things like make the sauce in advance it's a great treat for a weeknight meal.
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