Friday, February 19, 2010

Pizza Pie

My parents and their food loving buddies decided that even without a wood fire pizza oven, it can’t be that hard to make pizza at home that compares to what the best local joints (like Serious Pie) put out. So they set out on a quest to make The. Best. Pizza. Ever... Many You Tube videos and pies later they found success and have perfected making thin crust pizza at home! Lucky for me they shared their secrets.

This is SO GOOD and SO EASY!

Pizza Dough - Makes two 12” pizzas
½ tsp. yeast
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup ice water

(You’ll also need cornmeal and cooking spray or oil)

Night before:
1. Stir dry ingredients first, then add water
2. Mix and place in refrigerator over night

Two hours before cooking your pizza:
3. Remove dough from the fridge 2 hours prior to making pizzas
4. Sprinkle with flour (it’s gonna be sticky, so don’t be shy with your flour)
5. Divide dough in half
6. Fold each half a few times like a letter
7. Shape into a ball (you’ll have two balls)
8. Place each ball on a small plate that’s been sprayed with PAM, spray the dough with a little more oil and sprinkle flour on top
9. Let it rise for two hours

When it’s time to eat:
10. Place your stone* in the oven and preheat it to 500 degrees
11. Spray a 12” piece of foil with oil
12. Sprinkle with cornmeal
13. Place one ball of dough on foil
14. Push to edge of foil (that’s right – no rolling pin!) Sprinkle with flour and spray with oil as needed to keep from sticking
15. At this point we cook the crust for about 3 min (if you need to do this or not probably depends on your oven.)
16. Add toppings (go easy on the toppings, otherwise you’ll end up with a soggy crust)
16. Bake on a stone in a 500 degree oven for 7-10 minutes

Ready for the secrets?
*If you don’t already own a pizza stone – don’t go spend $42 at Williams Sonoma – you can pick up a ceramic floor tile at your local hardware store for $2 and it does the trick! I’d recommend a 12” or 13” tile – that way it’s sure to fit in your oven with plenty of room for hot air to circulate and this crust recipe fits perfectly.

Secondly – even though it’s 10 minutes long and a bit annoying, watch Jim Mortenson’s You Tube video (click here) on making this pizza – you’ll see how easy it is when you watch him go through the steps!

Jim makes a fresh tomato sauce, but I went with Mario Batali’s Marinara sauce per my parents instructions:

Martio Batali’s Pizza Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 ½ cups whole, peeled, canned tomatoes in puree (about 1 – 28 oz. can), roughly chopped
Spring of fresh thyme
Sprig of fresh basil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and herb sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper, to taste. This can be used immediately, stored in the fridge for 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Curtis smoked a duck for our real Valentine’s Day dinner on Sunday, so Saturday I showed my love by making pre-V-day pizza. If Papa Murphy’s can make heart shaped pizza, so can I!

We topped our first pizza with pepperoni, caramelized onions and Parmigiano Reggiano and made a Margherita pizza (just tomato sauce, Mozzarella di Bufala and fresh basil) for our second course (Note: add the basil after it comes out of the oven).

Margherita Pizza

This is going to become one of our staples when we have friends over and for weeknight dinners (because it’s that easy)! When my parents made it for me they did a combination of fresh mushrooms cooked in butter, truffle cheese and drizzled truffle oil on top. I can’t wait to experiment with more topping combinations… I may even attempt Serious Pie’s green eggs and ham.


  1. A delicious homemade pizza is one of life's greatest comfort foods. This looks perfect!

  2. I am jealous, when are you making this for me?

  3. Looks great! I think I'll try that out this week!

  4. Dear valentine,
    next time you bring me a heart-shaped pizza it better be homemade, none of this papa murphys crap. :) jk. Thanks again for the pre-vday dinner and a movie and cookies!

  5. As always, your food posts almost make me wish I could cook!

  6. Looks scrumptious - but I'm not sure I believe a 2 day recipe can be considered 'just that easy'!! You're quite a woman Emily!

  7. Colleen, Day #1 takes about 3 minutes, it's so worth it!