Every week, no matter what we have going on, or even when the day has to move around. we make homemade pizza and spend the night as a family. Sometimes we use this time to catch up on some of our favorite shows, like The Mandalorian, or The Book of Boba Fett, or other nerd related shows and movies. We are a nerdy family.
But it's the one night a week we come together as a family and don't let things like our phones, school, work, or the outside world interrupt us.
One of the really great things about this is that we make that pizza from scratch.
Making anything from scratch sounds like a time consuming, and if you ask some people, unnecessary task.
I have heard that a lot, in fact.
Why do these things when you don't have too?
Why spend almost two hours making pizza from scratch when you can just place an order, get the food faster, and not have to waste time making it.
It's less mess.
But its less filling.
And when the food comes from someone else's kitchen, you get a lot less say about what's in it. Sure with pizza you can choose your sauce and toppings, but what about your crust? How much say do you get about the ingredients?
I know for most people it doesn't matter.
Crust is crust, right?
But I have a kid that has some gastrointestinal issues. Nothing major, but I do have to be conscience about what he eats and how much of it. When you buy food you take a gamble.
Maybe it's gonna be great and its super close to natural and you have nothing to worry about.
Or maybe its loaded up with a bunch of synthetic sweeteners and it's going to back up my son so bad that he might break the toilet by the time he manages to get it all out of his system. Its hard to know what exactly you're gettin into. (Unless you want to spend an hour with the nutrition facts and google.)
So I make it myself.
Like we try to make everything ourselves at the Misfit Homestead.
We like to say homemade in this house.
I looked through several recipes, each one was different and talked about different wait times and ingredients. I made several of them but didn't really find one that I liked or that suited our families needs.
Then my sister told me about a recipe she had been using for the last few months. She likes it a lot for her family, there are only a few ingredients, and it only takes an hour to rise, instead of the standard two for most of the recipes. It also made enough dough in one go to make three large pizzas. With three young sons and a husband to feed, I needed the extra pizza.
So the dough is really simple. Five and half cups a flour, two packets of yeast, a cup and a half of warm water, some salt, and some olive oil. Its a really basic recipe. I like to add some oregano and parsley flakes to the dough. It gives it a nice bit of flavor and dough looks cooler.
Look at that dough! So springy and round, that is gonna make a really great pizza.
One of the best parts about pizza at the Misfit Homestead is our pizza sauce.
Because of a really awesome harvest this year on our Roma vines, we have enough homemade pizza sauce for a year.
When we planted our tomato vines last year, we really wanted to make sure we got enough to make pizza sauce for our weekly pizza nights. And enough spaghetti sauce to keep my part Italian husband happy.
And boy did we get tomatoes.
My husband in his wisdom and experience, set up our six Roma plants up against our chicken run. This way the plants had support and our girls got to eat anything that grew on and through the fence. They got tasty fresh tomatoes which was a win for all of us.
We harvested so many tomatoes that we started giving them away in bags.
And we still had enough to make so much sauce we're good for more than a year.
First thing you do, make the dough, let it rise for an hour covered until it's doubled in size. Sometimes, if the kitchen is warm enough, it takes less than an hour, but its a good standard to hold to.
This is usually the time I start to preheat my oven. It needs to get all the way up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and it takes my oven a little while to get there.
Lightly flour your countertop, and then pull the dough out.
At this point you have options.
I like to cut my dough into thirds, this makes three large pizzas with a decent thickness on the crust without it being too think or too thin.
But you can quarter it and make them a little smaller. We've done that before with the boys so they all got their own pizza while Tim and I shared.
Then comes the amazing sauce!
The sauce is good.
Its really good.
It spreads around really nice, doesn't get clumpy, and the herbs we use were cut down small enough that you don't risk biting into a big o hunk of basil.
One very important thing I've learned about pizza is that when you make yourself, nothing says you have to have crust. You can take that sauce and the cheese all the way to the edge if you want to.
Now it's time for cheese!!!
At this point you can put whatever you want onto the pizza.
We usually keep things pretty basic here, we've got some picky eaters in the house. So we toss on some pepperoni and cheese, and then into the oven.
My oven is a little weird and runs hot sometimes.
So I bake for about 9 to 10 minutes. This toasts the cheese nicely but does leave the crust a little softer on the bottom.
We have a pizza stone, but butter or oil leaked on it and now it smokes like five year old coal miner from 1902. I know there are ways to clean it, and I've tried a couple, but nothing has worked so far.
I'll keep trying.
If you use a pizza stone, make sure you toss down a good amount of corn meal to keep that bad boy from sticking.
Your end result should look something like this:
Its super, delicious and makes for my favorite dinner of the week.
5 1/2 C
All purpose flour
Yeas (4.5 tsp) I use rapid rise, but you can use whatever works for you
1 1/2 C
Warm water (Not to hot, you don't want to kill the yeast!)
Up to you
Sauce and toppings of your choice
1. Add half a cup of warm water, sugar, and yeast to a small bowl and set aside to rise
2. Add flour, salt, and olive oil to the bowl of a stand mixer, or large bowl - mix until well combined using the dough hook attachment or a wooden spoon.
3. When yeast has risen, add to mixing bowl on low speed, add the remaining 1 cup of warm water.
4. Mix on med to low speed for five minuets or until rough dough ball forms.
5. Lightly flour a flat surface and knead dough until a springy round ball forms set into a bowl and cover. Set in warm area and allow to rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.
6. Preheat over to 500 degrees
7. On a lightly floured surface roll dough out cut into thirds or quarters, depending on how many pizza's you want to make. Roll each portion out to desired size and thickness. If using pizza pan, place dough onto parchment paper covered pan. (Do not use wax paper, it will burn!)
8. Add sauce and toppings to your liking. Put pan into over and set timer for 9 to 10 minutes. Or generously sprinkle pizza stone with cornmeal and (CAREFULLY!), transfer.
9. When toppings appear done to your liking, remove pizza from oven. Allow to cool for at least 5 mins before you cut it.