About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Pandemic Pizza

Image result for pizza
At last, I've got everybody where I want them.  At home, in the kitchen, cooking for themselves and their family.  There's no excuse, the restaurants are closed.  I was actually glad to see there was no flour left on the shelves.  That means you think you might need to make something yourself instead of eating processed, packaged foods.  I'm having a blast using all my kitchen toys, the bread machine, the multifunction cooker, the vacuum sealer, the sous vide and the usual pots and pans.  Most of what I see on the food web sites are quick and easy, one pot dishes, which is fine.  We may all put on a few pounds with these high carb pantry recipes but there's a time and place for everything and this is that time.  So don't panic - eat pizza!  Just think of our Italian friends.  Let's empathize and make a great homemade pizza and STAY HOME.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup water @ 100 degrees
1/2 tsp instant yeast

Combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Dissolve the yeast in the water for 5 minutes then add to the dry mixture.  Knead by hand for 5 minutes until the dough forms a smooth elastic ball.  Lightly oil a bowl and put the dough in then cover with plastic wrap sprayed with baking spray (or a bit of oil).  Allow to rise 1-2 hours until dough is double in size.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees for 1 hour.  If you have a pizza stone put it in while the oven preheats.

In the mean time, prepare the sauce.

28 oz can of peeled tomatoes (scrape out the seeds if you prefer)
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbls olive oil
salt to taste
 1 tsp sugar
small pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Combine in a blender until smooth, then strain.  You can reduce the sauce over heat if you want it thicker.

Once the dough has doubled in size dump it out onto a surface lightly dusted with half flour, half corn meal.  Divide it in half and shape each half into a taught ball by moving the dough in a circular pattern between your cupped hands.  Keep tucking the bottom under.  Place the dough on a floured baking sheet or covered in parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap sprayed lightly with cooking spray to keep it from sticking.  Let the dough rest for 30 minutes covered.

Shape one ball of dough at a time into a 10-12 inch circle.  Flatten with your fist, then drape over your knuckles and carefully stretch and turn the dough until it's the right diameter.  Place on a pizza peel, ladle on a thin layer of sauce spreading in a circular pattern within 1 inch of the dough's edge.  Top with mozzarellas and your favorite toppings.  Slide onto the pizza stone or onto a hot baking sheet for 10 minutes then broil for 1 minute, watching carefully.  Remove from the oven and brush the edges of the crust with:

1/2 cup olive oil that has been heated with 2 cloves of slice garlic cloves and a pinch of crushed red pepper then strained.


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