Pizza from Scratch

First of all: this is definitely not a quick-and-easy recipe. This is the type of recipe you make when you just. need. to cook. And cook something big. I promise there is no better feeling than making a dough from scratch. You knead it. You watch it rise. It gets the stress out. And then at the end you get to eat something too.

For the dough I referenced a recipe from Bon Appetit, and I have a few comments on it. It was very resistant to maintaining a stretch, so be sure to really nail the hydration levels. Be patient. You might have to let the dough relax a little bit in the midst of the stretching process, and be sure to avoid over-adding oil or water. We don’t want sticky. 

And now a note on toppings: if balsamic fig pizza isn’t your jam, use different toppings. If the price tag of vegan cheese is looming in front of your face, don’t buy it. We’ve all been eating pizza since you were kids, you know what you like. Without further ado, the shining gem of the pizza world:

Ingredients:

 For the sauce:

  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the dough:

  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, more as needed
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

For the toppings:

  • 3 black mission figs, thinly sliced
  • Miyoko’s vegan mozzarella (optiona)
  • Arugula
  • Balsamic glaze

Instructions:

For the sauce:

  1. Combine all ingredients except garlic and olive oil in a food processor or blender, and pulse to combine, leaving a few chunks here and there.
  2. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add oil and garlic and cook until fragrant but not browned. Transfer tomato mixture into pan. Cover and let simmer 20-40 minutes, until dark red and thickened. Remove from heat, add to jars, and let cool. Store in fridge until ready to use.

For the pizza:

  1. Add warm water and yeast to a bowl. Stir and then let sit until yeast is dissolved (about 5 minutes). 
  2. Add yeast mixture to a bowl with remaining ingredients, and mix until a slightly sticky ball forms. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth – you might have to add more flour here. Coat a bowl with oil and place dough in bowl. Cover. Let rise for 1 hour.
  3. By now, the dough will be doubled in size. Punch down and store in airtight container overnight, until ready to use. 
  4. When ready, preheat oven to highest temp. Let oven heat for at least one hour before cooking pizza. Turn dough onto floured surface and divide in four pieces. Coat a 10” cast iron skillet with oil (or a foil-lined baking sheet). Stretch dough into a pizza shape – keeping in mind this might not happen without some coaxing. 
  5. Once formed, add 3-4 spoonfuls of sauce to pizza and spread to cover. Top with your desired toppings, and bake until golden brown (about 10-20 minutes). 

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