Yesterday I was searching RecipeZaar online and found they had listed their top 100 recipes in 2009. While browsing through, I found a recipe for Thin Crust Pizza Dough and another one for Homemade Pizza Sauce. I had very little ingredients around in the kitchen, but I did have everything I needed for both of these recipes. Don't you love it when a plan comes together?
The pizza dough came together quick and easy and only needed to rise one time for 20-30 minutes. In no time, my house smelled like a pizzeria. My daughter could hardly wait for the pizza to be finished.
As you can see, my picky eaters won out with their pepperoni pizza. I would've loved to do a spinach and artichoke pizza, but I was outnumbered. Maybe one day I can convince my husband and daughter that vegetables aren't evil. For now, I guess I'm lucky they eat tomato sauce.
HOMEMADE PIZZA SAUCE *
**MAKES ENOUGH TO TOP 2 - 12" PIZZAS**
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup onion chopped
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 - (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1- (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon fennel seed
In a large skillet, melt butter with the oil. Add the onion, celery and garlic and saute until soft and transparent. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste and stir until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and bring to slow simmer. Simmer for 30-60 minutes (or not at all depending on your taste and time frame).
PIZZA DOUGH FOR THIN CRUST PIZZA
**MAKES 2 - 12" PIZZAS**
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour (may sub whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the all-purpose)
1 - (1/4 oz.) package active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1/2 to 1 tablespoon olive oil
cornmeal for sprinkling
Mix a little sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle yeast on top. Wait for 10 minutes or until it gets all foamy. Pour into a large bowl. Add flour, salt, olive oil. Combine. Knead for 6-8 minutes until you have a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (add a bit more flour if you need to). Cover and let rest for 20-30 minutes.
Lightly grease two 12-inch pizza pans. Sprinkle with a little bit of cornmeal. Divide dough in half. Place each half on a pizza pan and pat it with your fingers until it stretches over the whole pan. Try to make it thicker around the edge. If desired, pre-bake at 425 F for 10 minutes (I don't always do this). Then spread with pizza sauce and use the toppings of your choice. Bake at 425 F for 10-20 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot. Makes 2 12-inch pizzas.
TO FREEZE THE DOUGH:
Take a portion of dough, form into a ball, rub olive oil over it and place it in a freezer bag (the oil makes it easier to take out of the bag). When you want to make a pizza, take dough out of freezer and allow to thaw before using.
NOTES/RESULTS: I was really pleased at how well this pizza turned out. The thin crust pizza dough works well with whole wheat, which I love. The dough comes together very quick and I love that it only has to rise once for only 20-30 minutes! How can you beat that? In addition, the dough was pliable and easy to roll into a 12 inch circle. The crust is perfectly thin and gets a little crispy on the bottom when baked on the pizza stone. The thin crust pizza dough is a definite keeper! The pizza sauce smelled terrific and was pretty tasty. I'm not sure if it was my favorite, but it is a good solid recipe, especially if you don't have any on hand and need to throw some together quickly. It was a little on the thick side, but full of flavor. In fact, I may want my pizza sauce a little more mild so that the toppings have a chance to shine. All in all, I'm really glad that I tried both recipes. I will definitely be making the pizza dough for thin crust pizza again!