I love pizza. Like seriously. I mean, I know other people really like pizza too. But I mean, I really like pizza.
And not like Domino’s or Pizza Hut. Not like that. I do enjoy getting a pizza out, or delivered, but it’s so hard to find a good pizza.
Growing up outside of Chicago spoiled me. There was a great Italian restaurant in the city I grew up in. Seriously, if you ever find yourself in northern Illinois near Rockford, jump off I-90 or wherever you are, take the jaunt through town and hit up Giuseppe’s. You will not regret it.
The other places that I have lived have made it kind of hard to find a good pizza. Never mind a deep dish. It just doesn’t exist. And if it does, it’s really like “what is this? You call this a ‘Chicago style’ pizza?” And then I flip tables.
So, I’ve gotten really good at making my own pizza. For a while I was using Boboli Pizza Crust, because their crust is just so damn good. But lately I have been making my own. And whoa is that even better.
My pizza dough goes something like this:
2 cups of flour
1 packet of Fleishmann’s Instant dry yeast
A little salt, like nickel sized in your palm
A swirl of olive oil
About a cup of warm water, I add a little at a time till i get the constancy I like
Italian seasoning, eyeball it (but use a good bit)
A little sprinkle of sugar
Mix it all together, and let rise about 10-20 minutes, then throw it on a flour dusted counter and roll it out. Put it on a pizza pan and pre-bake it about 10 minutes at about 425-450. My oven is a little off so I typically set it about 450.
This makes two decent sized crusts. I try to make them a little thinner, but you could totally make one out of this. Or you could make more and just make them thinner and a little smaller. I will also sometimes use only some of the dough, and wrap the rest up and freeze it.
Then I make the pizza. My wife and I’s favorite pizza to make at home is a Margherita pizza.
While the crust is rising and pre-baking I get everything else ready. I slice the tomatoes, I usually use 4-5 depending on how big they are, into thin slices and lay them out on paper towels. I’ll then lay paper towels on top and squish the water out, otherwise your pizza will be super wet. Then salt the tomatoes and leave them sit till your ready.
I wash and shake the water off a large bunch of Basil and chop it into small ribbons. I find the easiest way to do this is to lay several leaves on top of each other, then roll them together tightly lengthwise. Then if you can, fold that in half. Then, with a nice sharp butcher knife, start chopping.
Pull the crust out of the oven when it looks like it’s about half way done and start applying your ingredients.
A light swirl of olive oil (we like extra light tasting, because otherwise it’s too strong), swirled around with a spoon
Chopped garlic, add as much or as little depending on how much you like garlic (I keep a jar in the fridge, makes cooking so much easier, and keeps my fingers from smelling like garlic), spread around with spoon
Light layer of shredded Italian cheese
I like a couple shakes of red pepper flakes on mine, my wife doesn’t like hers spicy
Layer sliced mozzarella or mozzarella pearls, you can usually find these in the speciality cheese section of your grocery store. I usually cut the slices in half, but I prefer the pearls because they fit around the pizza better.
Place the pizza in the oven and cook for 10-20 minutes. Again this all depends on your oven, so keep an eye on your pizza! I like my cheese and crust golden brown so I let mine cook a little longer, and usually finish under the broiler. My wife likes her cheese white, and crust more blond, so I pull hers out sooner.
My favorite vegan pizza starts off the same way with the crust.
I’ll then chop up usually 2 shallots, and a red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, and some mushrooms. Ill sauté them in a little olive oil and garlic until they are soft and spots are blackened.
I will then cover my crust in (a lot) of pizza sauce, sprinkle Italian seasoning, then pour the pepper, onion, and mushroom mix on top. I bake this until the crust is golden brown, about 10-20 minutes at 425-450.
Not my pizza, I sometimes forget to take pictures of my cooking because I’m too excited to eat it. But this one looks very similar, minus the parmesan cheese, just so you get the idea.
Hope you all enjoy!