Our Favorite Pizza Crust & Easy Pizza Sauce

After 4 years of posting recipes from our table there are still a few "regulars" that I've neglected to type up.  We make pizza a few times a month and it's very much a team effort.  I prep the dough and toppings, hubby tosses the crust, I decorate, he perfectly slides the completed pies off the peel into the eyebrow-toasting oven.  I do all right with the peel, but I am terrified of throwing the dough in the air...it takes a deftness of hand I'm uncertain I possess.  And it's dinner at stake, after all.

We're a little picky about our pizza.  In our nearly 8 years of marriage, we've ordered out only once and regretted it fairly quickly (I was pregnant, I had a craving, it was better in my head).  Nothing holds a candle to homemade, and one of the beautiful things about making your own pizza is the ability to customize so everyone can enjoy their favorite toppings.  We typically top with mozzarella and Parmesan, caramelized onions, ground beef, and broccoli.  Right now we've got some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes coming from the garden as well as fresh, fragrant basil, so our most recent pizzas were topped with those.

We bake on a FibraMent stone that stays in our oven all the time.  It is a great investment if you enjoy making bread and pizza, producing perfect crusts.  

This recipe uses a food processor, but you could use a stand mixer or your hands instead.

Our Favorite Pizza Crust (adapted from the recipe that came with our Cuisinart food processor)

2 tsp. dry active yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/4 c. warm water (105-115 degrees F)
2 1/3 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water, and let stand until foamy.  Meanwhile, combine flours, salt, oregano, and 2 tsp. of the olive oil in the bowl of  the food processor.   With the machine running on dough speed, pour the yeast mixture through the feed tube as fast as the flour will absorb it.  Process for 30 seconds to knead the dough.  When the dough is smooth and elastic (and slightly sticky, not dry --add more flour or liquid as needed) divide into two pieces.  Coat each piece in the remaining olive oil, and place in a shallow bowl to rise covered with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.  When ready to prepare, punch down and roll (or toss it if you're braver than I am) into desired crust size/thickness.  A thin crust pizza will take about 7-9 minutes to bake at 500 degrees F.

I'll often use jarred pizza sauce (Mid's is fabulous) to speed things up, but homemade is a treat.  We like this recipe.

Easy Pizza Sauce

1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 T. dried oregano
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 T. dried basil
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 cloves minced garlic
dash of red pepper flakes

Stir ingredients together until smooth.  Use to top pizzas.  Optional: sing "That's Amore.


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