Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Homemade Pizza!

Before I developed milk allergies, my favorite food in the whole world was pizza. I could literally eat half a pie myself. Granted, I don't believe anything but cheese and sauce should top a pizza, but still. Since I don't actually drink milk itself, pizza was the hardest thing I had to say good-bye to :(. But my brother makes one amazing homemade pizza that my parents are always gushing about and I couldn't let him have all the glory, so I decided to try making my own variation of pizza! It was actually really fun to make because you have to let the pizza dough configuration set and rise for quite a while until it's ready to be baked. It was cool to see how this ball of mush grew. I felt like I was watching my baby grow up! Not really, but it was still pretty cool. 

So let me start from the beginning. I got to work with 2 ingredients I'd never used before: active dry yeast and bread flour. I read bread flour and was SO confused! I called my brother, "Tata, how in the world do I make bread flour?!" .. "Uhhh, dude, you buy it." .. "Ohhh!". I'm a spaz. A very smart spaz, but a spaz nonetheless. First I had to place the active dry yeast in a measuring cup and mix it with water. I let it sit in a warm enough area until it become frothy. In the meantime, I mixed the bread flour with salt and made a hole in the center (no, don't think doughnut this time, it was just a well). I added 1 olive oil, the reserved yeast mixture, and warm water, and then mixed it all together with a wooden spoon until it formed a smooth dough. I kneaded the dough on a floured surface - make sure it's floured or you're going to have sticky hands! I then returned the dough to the bowl, covered it with plastic wrap, and let it rise until it doubled in size. 

What did I do while I waited? Who knows, I was so bored I forgot. 

After about 30-40 minutes, it finally grew. It's aliiiiiive! Anyways, I stretched the dough out with my hands and placed it on our pizza stone (yup, we have a pizza stone, how cool is that?!). It was kind of a mission to spread it because it's not exactly the most cooperative form of dough I've ever worked with, but highly satisfying once I won and it had to succumb to it's circular mold. Muahaha. 

For the topping, I placed a can of crushed tomatoes, garlic cloves, dried basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large skillet and let it simmer in order to allow the sauce to thicken. Then I stirred in the tomato paste and let it cool slightly. Once it was ready, I spread it evenly over the pizza base and topped it with a plethora of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. My family are cheese fiends. 

I made half of it regular, the other half supreme cause I'm supremely awesome like that ;). I baked the pizza for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees. Actually, I probably left it a little longer because Mamy likes the crust to be real crispy. Not only was it real crispy, but it was real yummy too, from what I heard and saw .. more like, didn't see actually, because there was nothing left!

Buon Appetito! ;)

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