Thursday, July 28, 2011

Homemade Pizza

One more week, and I'm moving out of my room in Austin!  Kinda bittersweet, though....I've wanted to live on my own, working a job, etc etc for god knows how long, and in that sense I'm VERY excited!  It'll be amazing to not have to go to school, and just be teaching full-time and cooking/cleaning on my own.  On the other hand, it's been really sad to clean out my bedroom :(  I went through all of my books and beanie babies, which was really funny to look through old diary entries and such, but it's so sad to be leaving Austin.  I know it's exciting to be moving on and living my brand-new life, but it's still pretty sad.

The ankle's been getting better; I've been walking around much more now!  The downside to that is that I've been shopping....heh, oops.  But I've really been gaining strength and energy, and should definitely be ready to survive in Urbana on my own! 

So last night, my dad thought it would be fun to make homemade pizza for dinner!  What I didn't remember about pizza dough was how physically exhausting it is, haha.  I'm sure it's a million times easier without a hurt ankle, and the mixing/kneading would most likely be loads easier if I weren't 5'2, but alas, I "made it work," a la Tim Gunn (yeah, I've been watching reruns of Project Runway all day long).  Because I wanted to make individual pizzas for a family of 4, I made a double recipe.  There were so many ingredients for the dough in my Kitchen Maid mixing bowl that pieces of flour were flying all over my kitchen, and I had to mix all of it by hand!  Moral of the story: I'd highly recommend making 1 batch at a time so it all fits in your mixer.  Trust's the right thing to do :P

As many problems as I had making it, it tasted SO delicious!  I hope you guys decide to make's definitely a crowd pleaser :)

Homemade Pizza (makes 1 large pizza and 2 medium pizzas)
Pizza dough:
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil (you may need a lot more)
1 red and green pepper, sliced
8 oz baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 small can artichoke hearts
garlic salt
fresh basil leaves
1/2 onion, sliced
Italian Sausage, crumbled
grated mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
3 small cans tomato paste

Combine the active dry yeast with the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until yeast is dissolved and mixture is creamy.  Combine the flour and salt, and with the mixer on low, slowly add the olive oil until it is just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Stir the yeast mixture and with the mixer still on low, slowly add the yeast mixture until the dough forms a ball and comes away from the sides of the pan.  If the dough looks a little too dry, keep on adding olive oil as needed until it forms a solid dough.  Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead a few times by hand until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours.  Divide dough in half if you want to make two pizzas, and preheat the oven to 500º F.

Sauté red and green peppers in olive oil for 5-7 minutes, until tender; set aside.  Sauté mushrooms in olive oil for 5-7 minutes, until tender; set aside.  Sauté onion in olive oil for 4-5 minutes, until tender; set aside.  Crumble the sausage, and cook in the same pan until browned; set aside.

Once the toppings are done, roll out the pizza(s) on a floured surface to however thick you want your pizza dough to be.  Move pizzas to large baking sheets, and spread tomato paste on top of the pizza, leaving some room along the edges for a crust.  Sprinkle salt and pepper along the crust, arrange assorted veggies and meat on the pizza, and top with a generous amount of cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown.  Cut into slices or squares, and serve immediately.

Hope y'all enjoy!

xoxo, Sara

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