Pizza for two

One of our favorite things to make at home is pizza. This has become our favorite pizza, and we don’t miss delivered pizzas at all. The dough is easy to make in a food processor and needs an hour to rise.  I make a very simple tomato sauce, and then I used a ball of fresh mozzarella and some parmesan.

It’s best if you have a pizza peel and a pizza stone.  Baking the pizza on a hot stone gives you a crispy crust without burning.  If you don’t have one, you can use a cookie sheet.

This makes one 12 inch pizza.

For the pizza crust

2 ¼ cups bread flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

½ tablespoon yeast

1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

¾ cup warm water

For the tomato sauce

1 14 ounce can of tomatoes. (I usually use unsalted diced tomatoes and puree them with a stick blender before I add them to the sauce.)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon oregano, or to taste

1 tablespoon honey (optional)

For the pizza

One 8 ounce ball of fresh mozzerella, cut into small pieces

½ cup grated parmesan cheese, or to taste.

Corn meal for the pizza peel (about 2 tablespoons)

Make the pizza dough

In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and yeast. Pulse a couple of times to combine.

Add the olive oil and water, pulsing until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a board and knead it a few times. The dough should be smooth and elastic. If it is sticky, toss a bit of flour on to the board and knead the dough to incorporate the flour.

Gather the dough into a ball and put it in a bowl. Put a little flour on top of the ball and turn it once or twice to coat in flour.  Cover the bowl with a plate and let it rise for an hour.  It should almost double in size.

Pizza dough, before and after rising

Make the tomato sauce

Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the garlic for about 30 seconds.

Stir in the tomatoes.

Add the oregano and honey, if using. Honey can reduce acidity from the tomatoes.

Let the sauce simmer uncovered over medium low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cook the sauce until it is saucy.  It should be fairly thick with most of the juice from the tomatoes is cooked off. If the sauce has too much juice, your pizza may be soggy.

Assemble the pizza

Put your pizza stone into the oven on the second rack, and preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Place the dough on a table or board.  If the dough feels at all sticky, flour it so that it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin.  Roll out the dough into a 12-14 inch circle, and crimp the edges.

Sprinkle corn meal onto the pizza peel, and transfer the dough onto the pizza peel. The corn meal will help the uncooked pizza slide easily from the peel onto the hot pizza stone.

If you like, brush or spray some olive oil on the crimped edges of the crust.

Turn the tomato sauce out of the pan and onto the crust. Use a butter knife to spread the sauce and cover the dough. (If you use a wooden spoon to spread the sauce, it will stick to the spoon).

Lay the small pieces of mozzarella on top of the sauce, to cover the pizza.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top of the mozzarella.

Pizza, ready for the oven

When the oven and pizza stone are hot, slide the pizza off the pizza peel and onto the pizza stone. Bake for 15 minutes.

When the pizza is done, slide the pizza peel under the pizza and take it out of the oven.

Let the pizza rest about 5 minutes before cutting into pieces.