Showing off our Pizza Perfection

As I'm coming up on my last day of the Whole30 I can't seem to stop thinking about pizza! So I found some photos from a pizza making class I took a while back that was fun, delicious and totally worth sharing with all of you so you can make these great pizzas yourself. The class was at the San Francisco Cooking School , which I highly recommend, and their dough and sauce recipes are fantastic. Super fun for a Sunday family/friend dinner experience that will bring everyone together for a good time to connect, cook and eat some yummy food.  Buon appetito!

First things first, let's make that pizza dough so it has ample time to rise...

Pizza Dough Recipe

2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (one ¼-ounce envelope)
2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
5 to 5½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 TBS kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil, for bowl

Place a pizza stone (you can also use an upside down cake pan) on the floor of a gas oven or the bottom rack of an electric oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees for 1 hour.

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 3 cups flour and teh salt stirring until smooth.  Stir in an additional 2 cups flour; continue adding flour (up to ½ cup), 1 TBS at a time, stirring until dough comes away from bowl but is still sticky.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead with lightly floured hands kneading until dough is smooth, elastic and soft, but a little tacky...about 10 minutes. When you press the dough with your finger; it should spring back.

Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl; turn to coat. Cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 2 hours. Press it with your finger to see if it's done; an indent should remain.

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While the oven is preheating, turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface and cut it into 4 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball making sure all seams are pinched shut all the way around.  Dust with flour and cover with plastic. Let rest 20-30 minutes, allowing dough to relax and almost double (again).

Take each dough ball and shape into a round using your hands. See a video on a good approach to doing this here.  When dough is the size and shape you like, transfer to a floured pizza peel (or the back of a sheet pan, floured).  Give the surface a little shake to make sure your dough isn't sticking to the surface before you start adding toppings (if it is, lift the dough and throw a bit more flour underneath).

Pizza Dough Making Time!

While the dough is rising, make your sauce and toppings...here is my favorite sauce recipe and a few of my favorite toppings combinations.  Remember, less is more with pizza.  Trust me on this.

Uncooked Pizza Sauce (my favorite out of the 3 we made)

1 28oz can Italian plum tomatoes, drained
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
2¼ tsp kosher salt
2 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp crushed red pepper

In the bowl of a food processor, add the tomatoes and pulse briefly.  Add the olive oil, salt, oregano, and crushed red pepper.  Taste for seasoning. Now for the toppings...

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Some of SavoryGirl's Favorite Pizza Topping Suggestions

Margherita: sauce, mozzarella cheese, fresh basil
Sausage: sauce, ground sausage, carmelized fennel (or onion), mozzarella and mushrooms
Bianca: thin layer of olive oil, drizzle of cream, mozzarella, parmesan and salt
Lemon Ricotta: drizzle of cream, dollops of ricotta, thin slices of lemon, cracked black pepper (I also like to add sliced zucchini and fresh tomatoes)
Fig, Onion & Sausage: drizzle of cream, dollops of ricotta or goat cheese, sliced figs, carmelized onion, ground sausage
Pear & Gorgonzola: drizzle of cream, dollops of Gorgonzola, thinly sliced pear, add arugula after it comes out of the oven
Pesto: pesto sauce, thinly sliced potato (or freshly chopped tomato) and goat cheese

Once you're sauce is finished and your toppings are all set out within easy reach...it's important to work kind of fast through this next phase so the sauce doesn't seep through the raw dough and make it soggy when it cooks.

Toppings ready to go!

Arrange sauce and desired toppings to the pizza crust, being careful not to add too many, which I mentioned before.  Too many toppings tends to keep the crust from getting nice and crispy, and no one wants that!  Slide the pizza from the peel to the oven and cook until the bottom is browned, usually 7-10 minutes.

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Remove from the oven, ooh and aaah at them for a minute, then slice and serve.

Showcasing our pies!

Pizzapalooza

Mmmmmm....pizza!

 

Adapted from SF Cooking School recipes

 

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