Homemade Pizza

Joe and I decided to start (or I should say re-start from my childhood) a family tradition!  Making pizza!     Every Friday, when I was growing up was pizza night!  We would sometimes order pizza if we were busy or if my brother’s or I had something going on…or my Mom would make her own!  I can still remember the smell that took over my house on those nights!  It may be the BEST smell in the world!     Sauce, bubbling on the stove, dough being rolled out, cheese being shredded….and then once it was in the oven……Mmmmmmmmmmm

Now that I have my own family and the girls are getting old enough to help out I am excited to start this tradition and have it continue as long as we can!  Friday nights we normally don’t have anything going on aside from swim.  So I usually pull the dough early in the afternoon so it’s room temperature when I’m ready to roll.  I also start the sauce early and let it simmer for a while.   This is when those familiar smells begin to take over my kitchen!   My girls love spreading the sauce and sprinkling (and eating) the cheese and then it starts “Mmmmm…..it smells so good!”  “How much longer?”   “Is it almost ready?”

Approx 20 minutes later…..DING!  It’s done!  Fresh, hot, homemade pizza for my family….and it makes me happy because it’s one meal I know everyone will eat!   Perfect for football Sunday,Super Bowl, or any time you want some pizza!

One important factor that really makes a huge difference in the taste of the pizza is the dough.  I’ve gotten different kinds…frozen, from the bakery, refrigerated….and once I found the perfect dough (local:  Stop N Shop in the bakery..it’s their own dough) I won’t use anything else.  It’s easy to roll and shape and the taste is like none other!  So make sure you try different brands to find a good fit!

Homemade Pizza

Olive Oil

Garlic (minced)

Basil

Sugar

Large can of crushed tomatoes

Pizza dough (2 pounds = enough 2 pizzas)

Parmesan cheese

32oz of mozzarella cheese (shredded) OR I get the chunks and shred it myself!

Bring pizza dough to room temperature.  While waiting…….

Heat 1TBSP of olive oil in a pan.  Add garlic and basil for about 1 minute.  Add can of crushed tomatoes.  You can add any kind of seasonings to it that you’d like…oregano, hot pepper seeds, etc.  (My girls don’t like “brown stuff” in their gravy so I don’t add anything extra!)  Bring to boil and then lower to simmer.  Simmer on low for approx 25-30mins.

Preheat oven to 375° degrees.   While waiting for your gravy….

Using a small amount of olive oil grease your cookie sheets.

Once dough gets to room temp, begin rolling and stretching on well floured counter top until it gets to the size of your cookie sheets and the thickness you like your pizza..  I normally do rectangle cookie sheets, and like my pizza on the thinner side..but not extra thin.    You can use a round pizza pan, you can make your pizza crust thicker..it’s really whatever you like!

Once it’s to the thickness and size you’d like, carefully lift dough and place it on your cookie sheets/pizza pans.

Pinch gently around the perimeter to form a slight crust.

pizza1

Using a cheese grater, shred your cheese (if you are going this route).

pizza2

Your gravy should be done, or almost done.   Once it’s finished, ladle it on top of your crust and spread it evenly on top.  Make sure you leave some room around the edge for your “handle”.  

pizza3

Next sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and then nice handfuls of mozzarella cheese!  Spreading them evenly and using as much as you’d like! 

 Cook pizza in hot oven for approx 20-25 minutes, but keep checking it and cook to however you like it (crispy, well done, doughy, etc).   Normally 20 minutes is good for us, but we have a brand new oven and it really cooks everything evenly.  I know my Mom’s oven doesn’t so she has to cook it for longer and she sometimes rotates them during cooking time!

When you remove it from the oven, let it sit and settle for approx. 5 minutes.

ENJOY!!!

pizza4

~gianna~

I'm just starting out; leave me a comment or a like :)

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