Saturday, July 7, 2012

Homemade Pizza

Homemade pizza is one of my all-time favorites. I am not sure exactly why it is, but somehow it just is better than other pizza.

Growing up, homemade pizza was always a rectangle. Mom would use a boxed mix for the crust and it was usually a fairly simple pizza with a few toppings - pepperoni, green peppers, onions, mushrooms and olives. I can't really say if they were always on the pizza or not, I just remember those toppings being used on our pizza. The mushrooms were always from that cute little jar.

When I grew up, I had trouble finding that same boxed mix that my mom always used. There was a similar one, but it was a full kit and that wasn't what I wanted. I found some alternate mixes, which I still use on occasion.

Most of the time when we are having homemade pizza, we start with a loaf of frozen bread dough. We pull it out a few hours before we are ready to make it and allow it to thaw, covered on a counter, or it can be pulled out in the morning and placed in the refrigerator.
I put a little bit of cornmeal on the pizza stone and then, using my hands, spread the dough out over the stone.
The toppings are simple. I use a can of plain tomato sauce to cover the dough.
I add some Italian seasoning and use a fork to spread it around. Then, a layer of cheese.
Pizza cheese or mozzarella is fine, but to give it a little extra zing, I like to add a bit of fresh shredded fontina cheese to it. Sometimes we add pepperoni, sometimes we just have cheese and sometimes we go halvesies.

Once topped, I add a little basil and a little onion salt to the top. I generally place it in my hand and rub it as I drop it evenly on the pizza. You don't want too much, just enough to add some flavor.

Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. This is generally enough time to get a nice browning to the top of the cheese.


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