Pizza a la Casa

I really like pizza.  It’s one of the most fun foods, and it is tied to so many good feelings and memories.  Whenever I smell it or bite into it, I am reminded of joyous pizza days in elementary school, paying $1 for a slice of cheese or pepperoni.  I am reminded of day camp.  I am reminded of Pizza Hut’s lunch buffet, complete with their dessert pizza in either cherry or apple.  I am reminded of late night studying, or of working in a group to help someone move, and splitting pizzas as a result. It’s the perfect reprieve when you are feeling too tired, lazy, or whatever to make dinner.  It can also be an elegant and romantic meal, especially if topped with gourmet toppings like goat cheese and truffle oil, and then lovingly hand-fed to your spouse by candlelight.

But my favourite way to enjoy pizza is homemade.  Not only is it one of Nick’s favourite dinners, but it’s a mini date night just making pizza together.  Throw on some music while it’s in the oven, pour some wine, light a candle, and presto date night at your own little trattoria.

I occasionally buy pre-made fresh dough at the grocery store, and then it’s really easy – roll out, top, bake.  After a while of that, I decided to be even more of a domestic goddess and make my own pizza dough – ridiculously easy, and makes a big batch so I can freeze extra and always have some on hand.  I adapted this recipe, swapping out some of the AP flour for whole wheat, and it goes like this:

No Knead Pizza Dough

  • 7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1000 grams) plus more for shaping dough
  • 4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 cups water

Directions

1. Whisk flour, salt, and yeast together.  While stirring, gradually add 3 cups water.  Mix well. Form dough into a ball, place in large bowl.

2. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for about 18 hours.  The surface will be covered with little bubbles, and the dough will have more than doubled.  I like to start on Friday evening, so this step is complete Saturday afternoon.

3. Place dough on a floured work area, and divide into 6 equal portions.  Dust with flour.  Let sit for about 1 hour.

4. At this point, dough is ready to use.  Wrap extra dough separate plastic wrap or resealable bags and freeze.  I usually throw these in the fridge overnight to thaw when needed.

Baking – roll out, top and bake at 450 for 13-15 minutes.

Our Favourite Homemade Pizza:  The one that’s been a continual hit at our place uses the dough above, then a generous layer of marinara sauce.  Top with shredded cheese (Italian blend), shredded grilled chicken, and bacon bits.  Sprinkle with basil, oregano, and garlic powder.

Buon Appetito!

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