A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Homemade Pizzas with Red Sauce

Superbowl food!
A stay-at-home weekend is the perfect time for homemade pizza.  I make all ingredients from scratch, including the sausage and cheese.  No other pizza compares in taste to one prepared with totally homemade ingredients.  It's worth the extra work; homemade ingredients will give it a much better taste over packaged pizzas.  For the best texture and flavor, I use fresh (not canned) veggies.  You may want to make the mozarella ahead of time (see post 7/27/11).  It's surprisingly easy and only takes a short time.  Fresh, warm cheese on top of a homemade pizza is mouthwatering!  The more time you put into it, the more prized the end result will be.  Following are recipes for the crust, sausage and sauce.
Pizza Crust  (makes two 12" round or 9" square pizzas)
3 cups flour
1 package dry yeast
1 cup luke-warm water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
-Mix half of the flour with yeast and salt;  Add oil and warm water and stir to combine well.  Beat for a few minutes.  Add flour until a stiff ball can be formed.  Turn out onto counter and add any remaining flour.  Knead 6-8 minutes.  Divide in half. 
For thin crust pizzas:  Cover balls and let rest 10 minutes.  Grease two 12" pizza pans.  Roll out dough to fit pans with a bit extra.  Put into pans and build up edges.  Bake @ 425 for 10-12 min--until lightly browned.
For pan pizzas:  Grease two 9" square pans.  Pat dough into pans, going halfway up sides.  Cover and let rise until double in bulk (30-45 min).  Bake @ 375 for 20-25 min, until lightly browned.
Red Sauce 
1 can Hunts tomato sauce (15 oz can); (or cook down 6 garden-fresh          tomatoes until soft and strain for sauce)
2 Tablespoons fresh, finely-chopped oregano
  (or 1 Tablespoon dried oregano)
2 teaspoons fresh, finely-chopped basil
  (or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves)
2 tsp sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Homemade Sausage
1 pound ground pork
1 Tablespoon rubbed sage
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Italian Herb seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
pinch ground clove
--combine all and fry into crumbles
Toppings:  Use any or all of the following fresh toppings:  onion, green  peppers, mushrooms, sliced olives and cheese.  Note:  recipe for homemade mozarella is on 7/27/11 blog post.
Assembling and Baking:  Spread sauce over hot pizza crusts.  Place desired toppings on sauce.  Add cheese last. (can be frozen at this point)
Bake thin crust pizzas @ 425 for 10-15 min. more, until cheese melted and bubbly.  Bake pan pizzas @ 375 for 15-20 min more, until cheese melted and bubbly.

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