Daily Blog: #402 – Abbi’s Homemade Pizza Recipe

Yes, the time has come to share a delicious homemade pizza recipe. And, to make things easier for folks just wanting a recipe, here is the recipe card:

Recipe, all typed up and up front, no needless searching for the recipe – because that is annoying and those blogs drive me insane.

And for those of you actually wanting the story and history behind this particular recipe, here it is…

My Grandma Grasso meant the world to me growing up. She was my great grandma, and she made amazing…well she made amazing everything.

This is not her recipe, but parts of it are, and this recipe is the closest version to lower sodium and easy to make, as I can get.

The development of this recipe began in a simple enough place- how can we make pizza using stuff people have on hand, namely, regular old all-purpose flour. Then, how can we make it without salt? How can we make it easy and quick enough to make pizza for the boys on Dungeons and Dragons Day?

And after a couple of D&D Saturdays, and both Travis and Matt’s birthdays, I feel confident in posting the recipe.

I also wanted to make sure it made enough for at least two decent 12–14-inch pizzas, but could be cut in half, if for some reason you only wanted one pizza.

I wanted this pizza to also be good as leftovers and heat up well.

While it is better in the oven, it can be microwaved. It is also DELICIOUS cold, which, in my mind, is the ultimate test of a pizza, is it good cold? Pizza has to be good cold, in my mind.

So, this version of the pizza dough (and pizza making) recipe is versatile and allows you to make enough for you and friends/family, is easily halved for just yourself, or doubled for more friends or larger families. It can be made without a mixer, but also mixes up well if you are so lucky to have a stand mixer.

Foamy yeast mixture

This recipe is also delicious, doesn’t have added salt, and is made with honestly not a lot of special ingredients – the most exotic ingredient is yeast, which I feel most homes should keep on hand.

So, let’s talk about how to make this pizza.

Begin by proofing your yeast by mixing the warm (not hot) water with the (3 Teaspoon) sugar and (4-1/2 Teaspoon) yeast. Mix the sugar and warm water first, sprinkle yeast over the mixture, mix it up and make sure it gets nice and foamy and smells yeasty. Assuming your yeast is even a little fresh, it should be foamy.

Sponge mixture

While the mixture sets for a few minutes, mix 2 cups of the All Purpose Flour ( I don’t see why bread flour wouldn’t work for you loyalists), and the seasoning mixture. You can also add whatever other seasonings you want, or mix more than I have in this recipe card- spoilers, I sure as heck do at least double these because I love to flavor my food. I don’t use salt, but I do use 1-1/2 Teaspoon of “No Salt” which is a salt substitute derived from potassium.

Mix these seasonings and flour together, and then add the sugar, water, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, yeast mixture, which is now nice and foamy. Stir this up with a wooden spoon. You probably don’t *need* a wooden spoon, but Grandma Grasso always said to use wooden spoons, and I am not one to argue with her.

Elastic dough that has formed

Mix it up well, until it forms something akin to a sponge, and add flour until the dough pulls away from the bowl. This tends to take up a bit of flour, depending on the humidity, 2 to 2-1/2 cups is average for me in the very humid Texas, 1 – 2 cups are nearly guaranteed.

Eventually, a cohesive, elastic ball will form. I tend to mix with wooden spoon, and then switch to my stand mixer, but you can keep mixing with a spoon and then move to your hands.

Once you have the cohesive, elastic ball, coat a bowl with olive oil, and coat the dough ball after placing it in the coated bowl, before covering it tightly with plastic wrap. I like to add a cloth to the top of the bowl, on top of the plastic bowl, to keep it nice and dark, and store the bowl in the warmest part of your kitchen.

Dough, when covered

Allow the dough to rise for at least 30 minutes, until doubled. Once the dough is doubled, gently deflate the bowl and transfer to a floured surface and knead a few times. You can hand knead it a little or toss it in a stand mixer and let the mixer do the work. The goal here is a nice, smooth ball of dough.

From here, the ball should be big enough to at least split into two or three pieces to make into a nice dough, unless you halved the recipe.

Dough after it has doubled

Now, this is hard to explain how to do, more so since I have spent most of my life making pizza, either helping Grandma Grasso, or any of the ten years I have spent working in various pizza joints – but your mission, should you chose to accept it, and I bet you will since you now have a big ball of dough in front of you, is to make the dough into a nice looking pizza looking crust.

Dough ball before being stretched into the pizza shape

Flouring your hands, make a crust with your hands and slowly stretch the dough out- you want to make the dough thin, thin crust is better crust. If you put holes in the dough, just pinch it back together, it’s no big deal. I wish I could explain how to stretch it out better than saying “just do it” but, alas, it’s easier to show. Try YouTube.

But to try to explain- use your hands, well, your fingertips, and stretch the dough out slowly working it out working in a circular motion. If you get adventurous, you can toss the dough like we do in pizza shops, if you aren’t…you can use a rolling pin. Honestly, any video would likely give you a visual, should you need it.

Once you have the pizza dough stretched out to the desired size and thickness, for me, as thin as possible and 12-14 inches in diameter.

Stretched out dough, after it has been sauced

I prefer to bake the pizza on a pizza stone. These aren’t too expensive, you can get one for less than 20, or buy a nicer one, but either way, affordable, and make your pizza’s soooo delicious. Frozen pizzas, should you decide to go that route, are also made a million times better on a pizza stone, so if you like pizza even a little, please infest in a pizza stone. If not, a round baking sheet will work just fine, but a pizza stone will be so much better.

Once you have the pizza dough done, toss it on the pizza stone or baking sheet, and then put a little olive oil on it, spread it across the entire dough surface, and then use a fork to poke holes all over the dough- I mean ALL over the dough, poke a ton of little indentions in the dough, to keep it from bubbling up.

Pizza when topped with my cheese, toppings, cheese style, prebake

Once you do this, it is time for sauce! You can use your favorite jar sauce, or your preferred homemade sauce. I use Grandma Grasso’s two-day sauce. I may not be willing to part with all the details that go into her recipes, but if you want to know how to make your own version of her sauce, let me know, and maybe I will be willing to share. I think she would like to share these things with people who will put it to good use. Comment or DM me if you want a sauce recipe. Otherwise, grab a sauce you like.

 Now comes the fun part- toppings!

I tend to make a meat pizza for the boys, a cheese pizza for me, and sometimes for fun, margarita pizza, but since a meat pizza or a cheese pizza covers most preferences, and gives you the knowledge to do whatever you may want, let’s dive into how to top the pizzas.

Cheese pizza before being baked

Some pizza places start with cheese and then add toppings, while others do cheese after.

I do cheese on both.

I do a light layer of cheese on the bottom, right on top of the sauce, to help act as a glue for the toppings. A very light sprinkling, before then adding toppings. This most recent time, the meat pizza had sausage, this delicious sausage from the smokehouse at the farmers market that Travis picked out, along with Canadian Bacon and Pepperoni.

I put the Canadian bacon down first, and then put the pepperoni down, before finally sprinkling on the sausage. Once all the toppings are on, I sprinkle more cheese, a much more generous portion, to help hold down the rest of the cheese.

Baked cheese pizza- time to cut and eat!

You can follow this same method for any toppings you use, including veggies, and make whatever sort of pizza you want, and then top it with cheese.

For my cheese pizza, I did mozzarella and provolone with dollops of ricotta, and added some parsley.

The oven, preheated to 425, toss the pizza in the oven, and bake until golden brown.

Let the pizza sit a minute or so, and then slice it up- either traditional, or Chicago style (little squares) whichever you prefer, and then dig in!

If you have questions about how to make this pizza, or questions on making this dough, topping the pizza, baking it, etc., comment or DM me!

Enjoy your pizza, and as always.

Thanks for reading!

Abbi  

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