The weekends are usually reserved for baking at my house. I don’t like to be rushed and it seems like the week nights just don’t allow me enough time to meander my way through a recipe or 3. But this weekend I decided to change it up a bit.
Actually, it’s not that I didn’t want to bake. More like I had to fill a serious void in our fall/winter Sunday ritual. See Sunday is all about the football in my house. We literally don’t do a thing all day long. By noon my butt’s in position on the chase, by 3:15 it’s a little numb, and by 7:30 the cushions and my cheeks have started to become one. We almost always get take out for the night game, because I simply cannot be bothered to cook. And since we don’t want to be gone from the TV for too long, take out usually means pizza from Papa Gino’s.
This weekend would have been no different, if I hadn’t initiated The Pact. After glancing over our expenses last month, it didn’t take a financial analyst to see that we’d eaten out waaaaaaaaaaaay too much. So the Hubby and I made a pact: no eating out till after Thanksgiving. No problem! Two and a half weeks will be a piece of cake! Oh how naive we were. It’s been a week with no take out and I seriously wonder if we’ll make ith through the next 11 days. That’s 33 meals people!! I should be ashamed of how weak we are.
So I really was left with no option but to pull out my homemade pizza recipes. Unlike The Pact, Sunday night pizza is non-negotiable. And if I do say so myself, my pizza is pretty damn good. But the thing that keeps it from reaching mythical status is the crust. Everything I’ve tried always comes out kinda limp and never really browns up. And limp and pale never make a good combination. Period. I’d heard quite a few good reviews of Giada’s basic thin crust pizza recipe, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Wow. Now I know why this woman has her own show. This stuff was fantastic! Crisp on the outside, but oh-so-tender on the inside. Combined with my pizza sauce, this very well could be the best pizza that’s ever graced my kitchen.
Giada’s Pizza Crust
3/4 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 cups (or more) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pour 3/4 cup warm water into small bowl; stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.
Brush large bowl lightly with olive oil. Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons oil; process until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface. KNEAD dough until smooth, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is very sticky, about 1 minute. Transfer to prepared bowl; turn dough in bowl to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. PUNCH down dough. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. ROLL out dough according to recipe instructions. (Start in center of dough, working outward toward edges but not rolling over them.)
Polly’s Pizza Sauce
1-15 oz. can of tomato sauce
1-10 oz. can of tomato puree
1 tablespoon of honey
3 tablespoons of parmesan
1 large clove of garlic, minced
3/4 tsp. of onion powder
1/4 tsp. of oregano
1/4 tsp. of basil
1/8 tsp. of cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
Salt to taste
1 tsp. of dried parsley
Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Simmer for 10 minutes. You can use immediately, but the sauce gets better the longer it sits and the flavors meld. Makes enough for 2 pizzas, maybe 3 if you don’t like a lot of sauce.
Top rolled out pizza dough with 1 cup of sauce, then 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and desired toppings. Spray crust with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with garlic salt (to taste).
Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese bubbles.