The pizza is a wonderful study of flavor and texture combinations. I find that the ones I like most are crunchy on the bottom and edge of the crust, but the center is firm, yet chewy. The peppers have a little crunch left in them and the onions pretty much just melt into the pizza adding a layer on beautifully delicious onion flavor. The meat is a 50/50 mixture of pork sausage and beef which is seasoned with onion and garlic powder, chili flakes, paprika, cayenne pepper, kosher salt, and regular pepper. Finally, the cheese provides the binding that keeps our pizza harmony from falling out of tune. This pie is packed full of flavor, and while making your own crust takes a little extra time, I find it’s 110% worth it. Every time.
Starting with the crust
2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
2 1/2 – 3 cups of AP flour (or bread flour if you want a little more chew)
1 cup of water (heated to between 120 and 130 degrees so that you don’t kill the wee beasties)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning mix
salt to taste
Mix the yeast, 1 cup of flour, water, oil, and Italian seasonings in an electric mixer bowl for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl more than once during mixing, be careful not to over mix! After this mixture has come together, taste a little bit of it, if the mixture tastes bland add some salt and/or more Italian seasoning, your mixture should taste a little salty in order to help bring out the flavor of the herbs in the Italian seasoning mix. Once the yeast mixture has come together slowly add another cup of flour to the mixture. Stop the mixer and poke your dough, if it is very sticky and clings to your fingers, add another cup of flour. Once the dough is firm, but still moderately moist to the touch, remove it to a clean countertop and knead it until it is firm and elastic. Cover the dough and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Once the dough has rested roll it out and lift it gently to a lightly oiled pizza stone. If you wish to have a crust with a raised edge, tuck 1/4 – 1/2 inch of dough under the pizza crust all the way around the edge. Poke holes all over the crust (except the raised edge if you chose to make your pizza that way) in order to let steam out while baking so that bubbles don’t form all over your crust. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 5-10 minutes or until the edge is barely golden brown.
Now the meat
You will need:
1 pound ground Italian pork sausage
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon red pepper chili flakes
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
Salt and pepper to taste.
Brown both meats in a skillet, then mix in all seasonings. Drain the mixture but do not rinse! Taste the meat and adjust the seasonings to your preferences.
Lastly, the veggies.
You will need-
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tablespoon butter
In a medium sized skillet, melt the butter. Once it is melted turn the burner down to low and let it heat the butter until it stops foaming and has turned slightly brown. Add in the vegetables and turn the heat up slightly. Allow vegetables to sweat until the pepper is tender and the onion is translucent.
Assembling the pie.
You will need-
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 – 3/4 cup pizza sauce
Start by spreading a thin layer of sauce over the crust just up to the raised edge (or within a half inch of the edge of the pizza). Then sprinkle half of the meat mixture onto the sauce, now half of both cheeses, and the rest of the meat. Top with the last of the cheese and then the pepper and onion mixture. Place in a 450 degree oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and crust is golden.
Here are some pictures of the pizza in the production stages
Look closely and you can see a grumpy old man in the cracks of the dough.
Make sure your crust is fairly even, no need to be 100% perfect though.
Poking the holes in the crust is very relieving after a stressful day.
Sweated to perfection.
That is some yummy looking sauce. :)
Well no more pictures, I was getting hungry (I’m sure you are too) and stopping to take pictures was making my agonizing wait even longer.
I hope you all realize that the pizza is like an art canvas, paint on the sauce, layer the vegetables and sprinkle on some meat. Your creativity will take you anywhere.