Monday, January 25, 2010

Make-your-own Pizza Night!

Growing up we always had make-your-own pizza nights! My mom would get the little pre-made pizza crusts and we'd use up leftover sauce. The toppings changed based on our cravings and what leftovers we had on hand to use up.

Ever since Biz posted her easy pizza dough recipe, when Johnny and I now have make-your-own pizza nights, we use that instead of the pre-made crusts. If you haven't tried it yet, you should! It's really easy and once you buy the yeast it's stuff always on hand and readily available. You can also easily turn it into calzones!

Tonight I just whipped the dough up in a bowl because I didn't want to wash my Cuisinart! I also made a slight adjustment to the recipe with the addition of garlic powder, which I think made it really delicious and special!

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 1/4 tsp yeast (or1 pkg)
1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp olive oil

Measure the flour, salt, and garlic powder into a medium sized mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Mix the yeast with the warm water and allow to sit for 5 minutes to activate. The water will become a creamy tan color and the top will foam a bit. Stir the olive oil into the yeast mixture and then pour slowly into the dry ingredients. Stir to mix everything and add up to 1/4 cup more flour if necessary to get the desired dough consistency. Knead for a few minutes and then leave in the bowl while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.

Tonight I was exceptionally lazy, did not have any jarred sauce on hand, and hadn't thought to thaw sauce from the freezer. I did the next best thing and popped this can open and using my stick blender pureed it right in the can! (These are another of my dad's Dollar Tree finds!) Viola!

For the toppings I cut up some onion, green pepper, garlic, and black olives. I thawed some frozen chopped spinach and also used up some leftover steamed broccoli. It helps to have all of this prepped and in little bowls ahead of time. We used a mixture of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese for a little more flavor.

Roll out half of the dough to about 12" or a lopsided oval, like mine. Pre-bake this for about 5 minutes in a 425° oven. Remove and then layer the sauce, cheese, and toppings. Bake another 20 minutes or until the cheese is starting to brown. For a chewier crust bake on a pan, for a crispier crust bake directly on the oven rack.

My pizza had onions, green peppers, garlic, black olives, leftover broccoli, and a sprinkle of dried basil and oregano.

Johnny's had spinach, garlic, green peppers, and onions. He went with the Chicago route of putting the toppings on the sauce and the cheese on top.

Again, this is really easy to make! Just because it's dough and it uses yeast doesn't mean it's hard or scary. The first time we made it was last January and I've easily made this 10 times since! Once was this past summer with my three younger cousins - they loved rolling out the dough and personalizing their toppings. I've even been lucky enough to have Biz make it for me herself!


Laura said...

yum! I love make your own pizza night-we try to do it once a week. I don't think I have ever had broccoli on it though. Hmmmmm

Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats said...

Yum! I'm a sucker for pizza. I could probably eat it everyday....seriously:) I need to also start making my own crust, it just makes sense!

Simply Life said...

We LOVE doing this! Great looking pizza

Memaw's memories said...

I just recently found your blog and love, love your recipes. I love pizza, but not pizza sauce so much. I've been getting a pizza that I call an oil based pizza at a restaurant locally, but would love to be able to make it at home. I'm going to experiment.

A@ Please Don't Eat Me! said...

YUMMMMMMMMY!!!! look here i am! i managed to sneak thru the firewalls.. lol shhhhhh

you know i am a big pizza fan!! looks delish :)

Christina said...

Laura, broccoli is one of my all-time favorite pizza toppings! You can put it on raw or pre-cooked.

Sweet and Savory, that's how Johnny is! I need a little more diversity, but he loves pizza and Mexican food!

Thanks Simply Life! :)

Memaw's memories I left a comment on your blog about some white pizza ideas!

haha Congrats Amy! Sneaky-sneaky!

Christo Gonzales said...

I love putting garlic in the dough - your pizzas look great...did you use any of that tasty italian cheese?

Christina said...

Christo I thought about it, but I decided I wanted to use it for more "special" things where I'd really be able to savor the flavor.

Unknown said...

I make pizza once a week and my family LOVES!!! pizza night.
Come by and visit so you can receive your NEW!!! HAPPINESS!!! award.

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

Oh geez, we haven't done pizza night in ages! I must get on this.

The Diva on a Diet said...

I'm a big fan of make-your-own-pizza nights ... especially for using up leftovers. So good and remarkably easy. Yum!

Anonymous said...

We do pizza night @ my casa every week - but I suck & no one gets to pick their toppings, I just make whatever we've got! (Though, living with two men, there's always a couple of pizzas, so there tends to be a variety!)

Spiceaholic said...

Okay, I think I can manage making pizza dough now -- you made it sound so easy!

I loved this: "Just because it's dough and it uses yeast doesn't mean it's hard or scary."

Anonymous said...

Sniff, sniff - I may not be having party pizza Friday tomorrow - Tony is getting tired of it - I'll just have to fix myself a pizza for lunch over the weekend then!

Thanks, as always, for the shout outs! :D

FilipinaFoodista said...

I am soooo in loved with your blogs and I cannot wait to try this too! I have always been told that I cannot make a pizza in a regular oven from home and have to have some special kind. I'm glad you posted this! I used to be terrified of making homemade pizza. I'll let you knwo how mine turns out when I take then time to do. You're fabulous, Christina! -)