I know what you’re thinking…3 posts, one night??! It seems like maybe I’m setting myself up for failure by posting too much, too soon, but I’m just so gosh darned excited and have done so much cooking over the weekend that I have to share it. Had I known I was going to write this blog, I would have taken a picture of the pizza. Unfortunately, I don’t have one. The pizza was delicious, especially when paired with Portlandia on IFC. Wonderful Friday night, if I do say so myself. The pizza took a little longer than expected, so I’ll give you a timeline, too 🙂
For a 7 PM pizza:
Anytime before 3:30 PM you need to make the crust:
In a food processor or kitchen-aid mixer combine
1 1/2 cups flour (wheat or white, I’ve made both and it works equally well)
1/4 tsp yeast
3 ounces warm water (it usually takes more for me, and it seems to take even a little more when using whole wheat flour)
Mix until a ball of dough forms. The dough should be moist but not sticky. If it is too dry, add more water, if too moist add more flour. Place in a bowl and cover with a cloth. Leave it out on the counter out of sun light. To avoid the dough from becoming cracked, grease the bowl and coat all sides of the dough by rolling it around in the bowl. You need to let it rise for at least 3 hours before baking.
5:30- make the sauce (can most definitely be made ahead of time, or make it for spaghetti and freeze)
Bring to a boil:
1 29 ounce can of diced tomatos (OR, 1 can diced, 1 can whole tomatos)
1 small can of tomato paste
enough water to make your sauce the desired consistency
suggested seasonings (the amounts really don’t matter, just play around):
salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, cloves, a bit of nutmeg, sage, fennel, bay leaf
sautee onion and a clove or two of garlic in olive oil or butter, then add to the sauce. Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes..add more water if needed
5:40 – while the sauce simmers, make the cheese (this recipe is from D.I.Y. Delicious, written by Vanessa Barrington)
bring 1 gallon of milk to 185 degrees F
Add 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar to the milk. Let it sit for 8 minutes, undisturbed.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the curds to a cheese cloth lined strainer. Less cheese cloth = drier cheese. I made my cheese very dry, which made it not melt very well. I honestly really liked this, it was more like a dry feta.
Once your cheese has reached the desired dryness, season it with sea salt (I used tea smoked salt).
6:30- spread the dough onto your pizza pan. I use a 14” pizza pan for a very thin crust. If you prefer a thicker crust, use a smaller pan. If you do not have a pizza pan, cookie sheets also work.
6:35- pre-bake the dough in the oven at 410 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your dough.
6:45- spread your sauce, add your cheese, add your toppings. I like to add whatever I have available in the kitchen. My most recent pizza was browned ground beef, onion, and spinach. If you have enough sauce left over, add some to the top of the pizza.
6:50- put back in oven for 10 minutes.
7 PM- enjoy..preferably with Blue Moon’s spiced amber ale 🙂
crust: $0.61 (whole wheat flour, $6.99, used 6/68 of the bag)
sauce: $1.25 (made for spaghetti night before, used half for spaghetti, half for pizza- can of whole tomatos- $0.99, can of diced tomatos – $0.68, can of tomato paste – $0.42, onion- $0.30, garlic – $0.10, spices ~ $0.10)
cheese: $3.00 – (used 3/4 of a gallon, only used 3/4 of the cheese made, gallon of milk was $6.00)
ground beef: $0.47 (bought ground beef on super sale, $1.88/lb a while ago, used 1/4 pound)
spinach: free! (roommate out of town, said I could use it)
That may seem a little bit expensive, but, compare that to a Little Caesar’s hot ‘n ready, which is about the same price. So much better, so much healthier 🙂