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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Homemade Pizza

Thanks to my mother I have enjoyed fresh homemade pizza all of my life.  My job was the cheese grater ~ I didn't mind this job because I got to sneak and eat some mozzarella as I worked (I love cheese!) I guess you'd say its semi-homemade because we buy the pizza dough either from our local Italian bakery or in the frozen food section, brand "House of Pasta"  sold in a pack of 2 ~ both choices taste fresh and delicious.  It's quite simple and you could be creative with the toppings and cheeses.  Now that I'm the mom, I'm teaching my kids how to make their own pizza ~ we have make your own pizza night at my house, where I prepare the dough in the pan and set out the sauce, cheeses, spices and toppings and the kids assemble their own personal pizza.   Soon they'll learn how to stretch the dough.  Here are the kids pizzas and one topped with leftover sliced meatballs and sauteed mushrooms, the last pizza is topped with sautéed red pepper, onion, mushroom and garlic- which is delish!

1 Pizza dough at room temperature rolled lightly in flour to prevent sticking
Marinara sauce, homemade or jar works fine
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
sprinkle of Parmesan cheese
sprinkle of oregano
Toppings, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and position oven racks on bottom 3rd rack and upper rack. For a thick crust, Sicilian like pizza (pictured) lightly coat a 9 X 13" sheet pan with olive oil, for a thin crust, coat an 11 X 17" cookie sheet with olive oil.  For individual small pizzas - break the dough in half, stretch into rounds and place both rounds on a 11 X 17"  cookie sheet coated with olive oil.
Stretch the dough gently - I hold the dough up with the back of my knuckes,  with light pushes of your knucles rotate the dough in a circular motion until stretched out to fit pan.   Here is a video showing how: Lie in pan and stretch out the corners.  Spoon and spread sauce over dough- the amount you like, leaving about 1/4 in uncovered around the perimeter of the dough.  Sprinkle mozzarella over, then parmesan and oregano.  Place toppings as desired on top.  Bake on bottom rack for about 5 minutes, until underside is golden brown,  a few minutes longer for sicilian.  Then transfer to top rack and rotate pan, bake until edges are golden brown and cheese is bubbly about 5 minutes longer, a few mins more for sicilian.  Let cool a few mins then slice and enjoy!


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