Do you have certain foods that just baffle you? Maybe you’ve tried to recreate them and flopped big time, or maybe it just seems so overwhelming you won’t even try. I have foods like that. Sponge cake used to be on that list. Homemade pizza, too. I know, I know. You’re saying, “Pizza? What’s so hard about pizza?” Well, it’s not that I couldn’t make a pizza. I just couldn’t make a good pizza. I wanted that crisp, crackery crust but with a nice flavor and some good chew, if possible. And although I don’t have a pizza peel, I wanted to use my pizza stone.
Yet pizza after pizza was a sticky doughy mess. It was impossible to shape. It stuck to the pan. It fell apart. It was thick and bread-y in some spots and torn and holey in the others. So I avoided it. Good homemade pizza was not for me. Yet Melissa felt my pain-and came to my rescue! We pow-wowed over recipes and techniques and when it was all over I did the happy dance all around the kitchen.
Spicy Pizza Sausagemakes 2 cups, prep 5 min, cook 15 min
- 1 lb ground pork (or 1/2 pork, 1/2 turkey)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp parsley, fresh or dried
- 1 tbsp basil, fresh or dried
- 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup red wine
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients except wine-mix well.
- Heat a skillet to medium heat. Press meat mixture into skillet and allow to cook for several minutes undisturbed.
- Continue cooking sausage until browned, breaking into small to medium chunks.
- Once sausage is browned, add wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up browned bits. Continue cooking until wine evaporates.
- When done, drain sausage over paper towels.
There are two ways to make the dough so you can choose depending on how much time you have. The way below uses typical active dry yeast. To use Rapid-Rise of Pizza Crust yeast, combine the yeast, flour, and salt in a large bowl, then add the liquids and combine. Knead the dough and allow it to rest/rise for at least 10 minutes then shape and bake.
makes 2 (14 inch) thin pizzas or 8 (6 inch) calzones, prep 15 min, cook 13 min, allow time for rest/rise, adapted from Food.com
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 packet yeast
- 2 1/2 cup bread flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Combine honey and warm water in a bowl. Sprinkle with yeast and allow to foam.
- Combine flour and salt in a separate bowl.
- Add flour to yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add oil.
- Stir if possible, then turn mixture out on to a floured surface and knead for several minutes until smooth.
- Oil dough ball and set aside. Allow to rise until doubled or so.
- Once ready to cook, preheat oven to 500°F. Divide dough into two equal balls.
- Roll a dough ball into a flat, circular shape and lift onto a piece of parchment paper.
- Cut parchment paper around pizza so there is no overhang. Add sauce, cheese, etc to pizza.
- Working carefully, slide parchment paper and pizza onto hot pizza stone.
- Bake pizza until browned and hot and bubbly, checking often.
- Remove pizza by sliding parchment from pizza stone to cutting board.
- Allow pizza to cool slightly before slicing.