"In Napoli where love is king...

Posted by Jimmy | | Posted on 12:36 PM

... When boy meets girl here's what they say, When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, That's amore!"

I've always loved Italian culture.  Sometimes I dream that I'm part of the Godfather movies or on the Sopranos.  Not one of the gangsters, especially not one that gets killed, but at the table where everyone is feasting! 

I have these insane cravings for Italian food.  Pastas, pizzas or whatever!  Being a New Yorker in the middle of California Land, I find it real hard to find a good thin crust pizza out here.  There are some good pizza places but a lot of them are $15 for a 12" pie (BTW they don't call it a pie out here.  It's just "pizza". MADNESS!) So, I decided to make my own.

I scoured the Internet for a good pizza dough and sauce recipe and here's are my results!

First, I started with the Pizza dough. The dough took me a few tries to get right.  The recipe that I found wasn't quite right so I had to tweak it. Adapted from here.

4 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup of warm water
2 1/2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Add the water (about 90-105 degrees Fahrenheit), sugar and yeast together in a large mixing bowl and stir.  Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes for the yeast to activate.  (if you use instant yeast you can skip this step but you still need the same amount of water)  The mixture may start to foam, don't panic!  And if it doesn't, Don't panic either! As long as your yeast is fresh, it will work.  If your yeast is over 2 years old, buy new yeast.

After 10 minutes, mix in the rest of the ingredients and stir with a heavy spoon.  As the dough comes together, you'll see that you can start to work it with your hands.  If the dough sticks to your hands add more flour.  The dough should be soft and easy to work with.  Knead the dough for 10-12 minutes.   Split the dough into 3 small balls and place them in oiled bowls and cover.  Refrigerate if using the dough the next day or leave it at room temperature for 2 hours to bloom.  Your dough should double in size.  If it doesn't your yeast wasn't activated properly or you need new yeast.   This recipe makes enough for 3 12" pizzas.

Next, I made the sauce.  The sauce I found was very easy and didn't need much tweaking.  Recipe I found here.

1 28 oz can of whole peeled tomato
3 large sprigs of basil
2 cloves of garlic
pinch of red pepper flake
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 medium onion peeled and quartered
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Start by burr mixing your tomatoes into a sauce.  You can leave it chunky depending on how you like it.  Add the oil and butter in a pot and start over medium high heat.  When the butter is melted add your garlic, onion and spices and cook for 3 minutes.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.  Add the tomatoes, basil salt and pepper.  When the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and let it reduce.  Cook for 30 minutes to an hour. Afterwards burr mix the whole thing.  Add more salt, pepper or sugar to taste.  If you don't have a hand mixer you can use a blender.  Be careful when blending hot liquids as it can splatter and explode on you if you don't let the steam out.

Time to build!!!

Form your dough to as thin as you can get it.   Flour a pizza peel or cutting board and place the dough. Spoon sauce over the top of the pizza and add your toppings.  I kept it simple with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil.  You can add extra spices if you wish, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder or whatever you like.

To cook, I preheated the oven for 500 degrees for 30 minutes to get my pizza stone nice and hot. If you don't  have a pizza stone you need to get one.  You CANNOT make good pizza without it. You can get one from pampered chef.  Here is a link.

Carefully slide your pizza onto the stone and lower the heat to 400 degrees. Bake for 10-12 minutes.Viola!  You'll have a deliciously crispy thin crust pizza.

Make this on your first date and I guarantee you, love will be in the air!

Buon appetito! -Jimmy

Comments (1)

MAN! i love home made pizza! especially with all scratch dough! oh golly! so good. im drolling!

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