Sunday, January 4, 2015

Homemade Pizza

This time our cousin Sinisa invited us over for dinner and he showed us how to make this delicious homemade pizza from scratch.  He is a great cook and has a lot of experience making pizza and many other dishes.  When Sinisa cooks, he does not follow a recipe and adds ingredients as needed.  It was great to watch him make the dough, knead it, and know exactly the perfect amount of flour, water, yeast, and other ingredients to make this awesome crust.  We took many photos that I have included in this blog to go along with the recipe.  

Ingredients (for 1 pizza): (Servings: 2)
  • 1/2 ounce (15 g) fresh yeast or 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • about 1 cup (250 ml) warm water
  • 2 cups (300 g) flour + extra (to dust hands and work surface)
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • sugar to taste
  • salt to taste

  • 1 can of tomato sauce 
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • tomato paste
  • crushed red hot pepper
  • oregano 
  • other toppings of your choice (we used: mushrooms, olives, red pepper, banana peppers, tomato, artichokes, feta cheese, goat cheese, ham, etc.)
  • shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese

  • Place warm water in a medium bowl, add yeast and sugar and let stand for about 10 minutes until bubbly 

  • Add flour and salt and mix well until you get a fairly sticky dough (add more warm water if needed)

  • Knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes. 

  • When the dough becomes firm and it no longer sticks to your hands and the work surface, lift up and punch it a few times to develop the gluten and place in the bowl.

  •  Dust the clean work surface with extra flour, take the dough out of the bowl onto the work surface.  Shape into a firm, round ball.  (When ready, the dough will be smooth and firm and will show air bubbles under the surface.)
  • Place in a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and with a cloth.

  • Set aside and let rise for 1 hour.
  • In the meantime prepare the tomato sauce.
  • Add 1 can of tomato sauce to a medium sized bowl, add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, a few tablespoons of tomato paste (or to taste), some crushed red hot pepper, and some salt to taste

  • Cut up all of the ingredients you are going to be using and set aside 

  • When the dough rises twice its original size, take out of the bowl, flour the clean working surface and knead some more. 

  • We made 3 times as much dough for 3 pizzas, so we had to divide it into three equal parts 

  • Start flattening out the ball of dough to form pizza dough like shown in the photo below 

  • And once you get enough practice and become a pro like our cousin Sinisa, you can try stretching the dough by throwing it in the air like he did in the photo. :)

  • In the meantime, place your pizza stone or pan in the oven and preheat the stove as high as possible.
  • If you have a pizza peel, place a piece of aluminum foil on it and place the dough on top.   

  • Now you can start adding your pizza toppings.  First add tomato sauce. 

  • Place other toppings of your choice next.
  • On this pizza we put red peppers, banana peppers, mushrooms, artichokes, and olives 

  • The next pizza that we made was half feta and goat cheese, half regular mozzarella cheese

  • The last pizza was with ham and mushrooms

  • Top with shredded mozzarella cheese 

  • Carry the pizza on the pizza peel to the oven, open and quickly slide the pizza together with the aluminum foil onto the pizza stone.
  • Bake for about 5-10 minutes (depending on the oven heat) until golden on top 

  • When done, take out of the oven and slice 

  • Let the pizza cool before serving 

  • Finally, it is ready to be served!  Enjoy with your favorite wine or beer!