Homemade Pizza

I usually follow the rules when cooking and baking.

Pizza-purists everywhere will cringe if they see this post. My hunger got the best of me and I committed several pizza crimes. The end result was delicious nonetheless!

[Pizza crime #1] This is just semi-homemade pizza. I copped out and used a pizza dough mix. Yes, I know…but I was in a hurry (translate: hungry) and I didn’t have time to wait for the dough to rise and all that jazz.

First, move the rack in your oven to the lowest level and then crank the temperature as high as it will go. For me, that’s 500 degress.

I blended the dough mix with hot water and let it sit for a few minutes. While the dough was resting, I floured the counter and got my rolling pin. I rolled out the dough to 1/4″ thick, folded it in quarters and unfolded it out onto my baking sheet, which was lined with my Silpat.

[Pizza crime #2] I know I’m supposed to use a pizza stone, but mine broke in an unfortunate accident involving me placing it on the stove and proceeding to turn on the wrong burner sending pizza stone shards flying everywhere. There was also an incident where I baked a pizza on an unfloured, un-cornmealed baking sheet and the pizza cemented itself on there. Sad day…I didn’t want a repeat…

Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle on some Italian seasoning. Par-bake the dough for about 7 minutes, until it gets a little firm and a little bit of color to it.

[Pizza crime #3] I used a canned pizza sauce. Not even a gourmet one…just a $0.99 can of pizza sauce. It did the job. Obviously if you’ve got marinara sauce or the homemade stuff, go for it…pesto, alfredo sauce, or even a bechamel sauce would be great too.

Then 1-1/2 cups of cheese. I used a 4-cheese Italian blend.

[Pizza crime #4] I always put on wayyy too many toppings. What can I say? I love it all. I can’t pick just a few! Just a few pointers for you topping lovers out there…

1. Slice everything thinly. You’ll be able to spread out the flavors, without adding too much weight.

2. After you slice, place the ingredients on a kitchen towel or paper towels to drain out the excess liquid. This is especially for ingredients like bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, etc.

3. Don’t even think about using a pizza peel to transfer your pie into the oven. If you’ve loaded it with toppings, there is no way that baby is gonna slide off. Even with a few deft flicks of the wrist, that pie will remain firmly seated as the toppings come flying off. You’re better off making the pizza right on the baking sheet.

So anyway, this pizza has: 1/2 lb turkey Italian sauage, a handful of turkey pepperoni slices…

1/2 a thinly sliced bell pepper, 6 thinly sliced mushrooms, 10 thinly sliced jalapeno-stuffed olives…

…& 9 paper thin slices of beefsteak tomato.

I would have also added onion, but that would have been too much! 😛

Top off with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and maybe a few shakes of Italian seasoning…and yes, maybe a light drizzling of olive oil.

Bake until everything is nicely browned, about 20 minutes.

Transfer it onto a wooden cutting board (to keep it from getting soggy) and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Cut into squares and ENJOY!!!

Oh and mix these ingredients for an amazing dipping accompaniment!..I know…you’re thinking I already have enough flavors going on already…

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