Aside from the kneeling, the concussion protocol, and all around poor officiating, there are still a few things we love about game day. Around here game day usually doesn’t start until dark. There is always a lot to do here and we would prefer to be outside on a Sunday instead of in front of a t.v., but once the sun sets we do enjoy watching football and most of all eating. We really love to have home made pizza. This week we came up with a great twist, by combining two of our favorites, pizza and antipasto. One of the most important ingredients in our pizza is the sauce. It is made from canned tomatoes from the garden.
We simmer them down the day before and add oregano, basil, fresh garlic, and crushed red pepper. There is nothing as good as chunky homemade homegrown sauce. The next step is to make the dough. We have found that homemade dough tastes so much better than any frozen dough from the store, plus it is much cheaper. It costs less than a dollar to make. At some point we’d love to make it with our own flour.
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups of flour
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup of very warm water (about 100 degrees F)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil, plus additional for bowl
In a warmed mixer bowl (we run hot water in in for a minute or two), stir together the water and yeast. Once the yeast is dissolved, stir in the salt and the 2 tsp of olive oil. Add 2 1/2 cups of flour to the bowl. With the dough hook attachment, mix on speed 4 for about 2 minutes. Slowly add additional flour and mix until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl and is all gathered on the hook. Once the dough is on the hook, mix for an additional 2 minutes to knead. Transfer to an olive oil coated bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place** for about an hour or until doubled in bulk. Preheat oven to 450 deg F.
After the dough has risen, punch the dough down and turn out on a lightly floured board. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin to about 1/4″ thickness then transfer to a greased cookie sheet (we use a large 13″ x 17″, but this dough could be easily divided into 2 smaller pizzas or 4 personal size pizzas). Stretch the dough to the edges then top with whatever toppings you like.
Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!
**here’s a tip, before making the dough, we turn our oven on, temperature not relevant, leave it on for about 30 seconds, then turn it off. It creates a perfect warm “proofing box” for the dough. If it seems too warm when you are ready to let your dough rise, just leave your oven door open while the dough is rising. We use this method for all of our yeast risen baking.
Once the dough is made we add the sauce. When you spread the sauce, channel your inner pizza maker, just like when you were a kid and watched him make that beautiful spiral on the dough with the ladle.
After the sauce is spread, next comes the cheese. We use 8 oz of whole milk shredded mozzarella. Then the fun part is adding the toppings. We love all types of pizza, chicken wing, chicken parmigiana , even pulled pork, but this pie was on a whole new level. We chopped up our meats, which were left overs from Friday’s antipasto. We used cappicola, felino, prosciutto, sopressata, and coppa.
The pizza then goes into a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 15 min, relax and enjoy some of the game. While you are patiently waiting for the timer to ring on your pizza, you will be treated a beautiful symphony of aromas. You can smell crisping salty meat mixed with fresh tomatoes and fresh dough, you will think you are in Italy. The sound of the timer will awaken you from your Italian dream, but don’t be tempted to dive right in.
This is hot stuff, and you don’t want your cheese to slip. Allow your pizza to cool for 5 min then transfer to a cutting board for slicing with a pizza cutter, please don’t use a knife this pizza deserves the royal treatment. Then grab a cold beer and sit down and enjoy your pizza, you may even forget there is a game on.