Friday, November 5, 2010

Pizza and Pondering on a Friday Night

Sometimes I ask myself why I blog.  I am not no more of an extraordinary home cook than many bloggers online.  I don't necessarily always cook the most elaborate meals, or the most exotic.  And I certainly don't often have access to the finest ingredients money has to buy.  But I do know what I CAN do.  I can stretch 2 chickens into four meals for four people.  I can create entire meals under $5.  I can mix organic and natural foods in my family's diet on a budget.  I can make delicious food that doesn't require any level of cooking skill, intricate tools or a lot of time.  And I can certainly love the feeling I get when I go into the kitchen and make something so good that I feel like someone else needs to know about it!  So I will continue to try my best to bring you recipes, information and tips that get me through my day to day trials in the kitchen, and beyond.........Whew! With all that said, let's talk about pizza.

I don't know many people who have a whole lot of luck at making really good homemade pizza dough.  I love pizza but there's nothing I hate more than shelling out $30 for a pizza night and getting some suck-a$$ pizza! It's always 50/50 with these pizza places, sometimes a hit and sometimes a major, major miss.  Actually for me it's more like an 80/20 miss-hit ratio.  So after some research online, I found a great dough recipe and made pizza without even getting out a pot for the sauce! Not to mention the obvious health benefits of making your own food as opposed to eating out, and saving MAJOR dough (<-----pun intended).

Happy Helper/Eater #1
Happy Eater #2

The best thing about this dough recipe is that it is so simple, and can be ready to bake in an hour if you wait until the last minute on a weeknight.  Or you could fancy it up with toppings for a girls' night or game day with the guys.  If you make it ahead, this is literally at 15 minute, $5 dinner kind of night.  It also works well regardless if you like thick or thin crust.  Some variations I made on this recipe:
  • I also substituted instant yeast for active dry yeast.  If you have instant yeast, you don't even have to start the yeast in warm water, just add it in with the dry ingredients before adding to the wet.  
  • I also par-baked the crust for about 7 minutes before adding the toppings to prevent sogginess.  
  • For the sauce, I opened a can of crushed tomatoes and spooned it onto the crust, then sprinkled lightly with garlic powder, a pinch of salt, and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning. Add movie and enjoy!

 Prep Time: 5 min + 1 hr proof time    Cook time: 15 minutes
Cost:  $6.23 for two pizzas       Servings: 2 large pizzas
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (I substituted instant)
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and brown sugar in the water, and let sit for 10 minutes.(Skip if using instant yeast)
  2. Stir the salt and oil into the yeast (or water/sugar) solution. Mix in 2 1/2 cups of the flour, adding instant yeast to flour if you're subbing for active dry.
  3. Turn dough out onto a clean, well floured surface, and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, and cover with a cloth. Let the dough rise until double; this should take about 1 hour. Punch down the dough, and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to relax for a minute before rolling out. Use for your favorite pizza recipe.
  4. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (220 degrees C). If you are baking the dough on a pizza stone, you may place your toppings on the dough, and bake immediately. If you are baking your pizza in a pan, lightly oil the pan, and let the dough rise for 15 or 20 minutes before topping and baking it.
  5. Bake pizza in preheated oven, until the cheese and crust are golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.


MiraGirl said...

this is my favorite post thus far...i love the pics of the kids and the candid opening commentary...keep em coming!

Naimah AM said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog. Your amazing, the pictures just capture your food perfectly. Also i adore your name AZUCAR! (sugar in spanish, and the a phrase coined by my fav Salsa artist Celia Cruz) Keep up the amazing work my fellow Muslimah Food Blogger!

Hanifah Abdul-Baqi said...

You and your blog are awesome and unique in many many ways, keep it coming because we love it!

The Sukkar Chef said...

Thank you ladies for your support! I do what I love and I thank you for coming along for the ride :)

The Sukkar Chef said...

Thank you ladies for your support! I do what I love and I thank you for coming along for the ride :)

The Sukkar Chef said...

Thank you ladies for your support! I do what I love and I thank you for coming along for the ride :)