Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza

Mmm, pizza. Pizza pizza pizza. Is there anyone in the world who doesn't love pizza? Show me a person who says they don't like pizza, and I'll show you a liar. I mean, what's not to love about it? Tender (or crispy, or chewy) crust...tangy or creamy sauce...gooey melted cheese...and any yummy topping you could possibly want or think of...Is it any wonder that "Pizza Day" is basically every single kid's favorite day in the lunchroom?

Dan and I are very loyal Domino's customers (Pizza Hut has better wings, though), but I've been dying to make my own pizza for a while now. The Crumbly Cookie blog had a few tasty-looking posts about homemade pizza last year, and they've been sitting in my queue of bookmarked "must try" recipes since. But, with my repeated failed attempts at handling yeast, I had no confidence in my ability to make pizza dough, so I put off doing it, rationalizing that I couldn't make pizza properly anyway since, hey, no pizza stone. Then, this past weekend my stunning success making focaccia gave me a huge boost of confidence, and I figured, hell, let's try pizza!

(Yuck, this pizza did NOT photograph well...tasty though!)

I've been  really into the Pioneer Woman lately, so I actually went with her pizza recipe instead of Crumbly Cookie's, although as far as I could tell, their recipes were substantially similar if not identical. Yeast, flour, and salt mixed together, followed by a slow, cold rise in the fridge over night. My luck with yeast held, and the dough was wonderful. After many hours in the fridge it was more stretchy than sticky, despite not having as much flour as you'd expect, and it was easy to pull and stretch it into the shape and thinness I wanted. Awesome!

For the sauce, I cheated and went with store-bought Ragu. What can I say, I was feeling lazy, I didn't have crushed tomatoes or tomato paste, and Ragu is perfectly good pizza sauce in a pinch! Anyway. After saucing the dough, I loaded it down with shredded mozzarella, colby jack, parmesan, and pepperoni slices. 10 minutes at 500 degrees later, Dan and I were sitting down to a very delicious, cheesy, tender-crusted homemade pepperoni pizza. A very satisfying dinner, with plenty leftover for Dan's lunch. I still have enough dough for another pizza, so...keep your eyes peeled for another pizza post soon,  probably with white sauce and lots of vegetables.

Recipe can be found here, courtesy of The Pioneer Woman.

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