By: Spencer Cutright
As a kid, summertime in my home always meant fresh ingredients, bright colors and bold flavors. No dish better accentuated all of these characteristics than homemade pizza. Since I was young, my parents have always encouraged (and required) family meals together. Making pizza was a not only great way to spend quality time with my siblings and parents, but it gave me the option to create whatever funky recipes I could imagine. My favorite type of pizza to make was a Tuscan style calabrese (or salami) pizza. Here is how to make it.
The base of every pizza is the dough. Think of the dough as a blank canvas upon which you build your masterpiece. My dad always made our pizza dough from scratch, which gave the dough a signature homemade taste.
MAKING THE PIZZA CRUST
- Instant dry yeast
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Mix one and a half cups of warm water with one packet of instant dry yeast, letting the mixture stand until it is foamy.
- Add about three and a half cups of flour and a teaspoon of salt to the mixture. Make sure your dough is not too sticky or too dry.
- Once the dough is a good consistency, place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place it in a warm area.
- After the dough has doubled in size, remove the dough, place it on a floured surface and lightly knead the dough one or two times.
- Split the dough into two equal parts, and hand stretch the dough into desired pizza sizes.
Now that you have made your dough, it’s time to start adding toppings. Here is what I use:
TOPPING THE PIZZA
- 1 can San Marzano tomato sauce
- 1 package mozzarella
- 1 package Italian salami or pepperoni
- 2 to 3 chopped basil leaves
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Spread pizza sauce over the entire pizza, leaving just enough room for a small edge.
- A pinch of salt and spread the chopped basil evenly.
- Cover the pizza in mozzarella and salami, how much you add is up to you.
- Top with Parmesan, and place on a pizza try and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, let cool and enjoy!
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Don’t feel like making homemade dough? Most grocery stores sell canned pre-made dough.
- Instead of a tomato sauce use alfredo, pesto or extra virgin olive oil
- Replace toppings with non-traditional pizza ingredients like pickles, hamburger meat or bacon.
- Have a sweet tooth? Make a dessert pizza with a cream chees sauce, covered in chocolate and any candy of your choice.
With pizza, the possibilities are endless! Buon appetito!