Pizza from Scratch

If I had the time, I would make everything from scratch--bread, desserts, sauces, etc. It's not always convenient to do so, but I think it always tastes better. It's typically cheaper too, in the long run. If you think along the same lines as I do, then stay tuned. I have discovered an awesome pizza dough and sauce recipe that is quick and easy, and it tastes DELICIOUS!! I must confess that this recipe adventure began with store-bought dough. (gasp!) I was at Fresh & Easy and poked around in the markdown shelf since they have to get rid of their fresh stuff that expires unless it's frozen, which they won't do. I stumbled upon a garlic and herb pizza dough for $0.39. (Score!) I said, "Oh yeah!" like my Kindergartners do when they get a 1-second party for good behavior, and snatched it up to stick in my freezer, (which I am by no means opposed to doing unlike F&E).

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Now with this dough came the need to get some sauce. Fresh & Easy failed me in this department as easily as it won me in the next. They had no pizza sauce (that I could find), only marinara, which we all know is much too wet for pizza. I recalled the early days of making pizza when it was my turn to cook dinner over summer vacation (yes, I had to cook dinner when I was a kid, and yes, I am eternally grateful that I knew the basics of cooking when I hit college, and yes, I will probably make my kids do the same thing). All I could remember from that recipe was I needed tomato paste and oregano. I knew I had essential oil oregano if we didn't have it in the spice cabinet, and I grabbed some paste on my way out--determining to Pinterest my way around to a pizza sauce recipe that used it when I got home.

Pinterest did not disappoint. Barefoot and Baking saved the day with a recipe that included everything I had on hand. It was a cinch to make and tasted delicious!

PIZZA SAUCE Ingredients

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 T dried oregano
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t paprika
1/2 T dried basil
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t onion powderDirections Mix it all together, and it's ready to go! (Told you it was easy.)

For me, this sauce kept fine in the refrigerator for a week, covered with plastic wrap. Just give it a stir, and it's ready for another round! I don't like a ton of sauce, just enough to get the toppings to stick. So this recipe made enough for three, medium pizzas for me. It'd probably be good for two, medium pizzas for you. ;)

Because I was left with extra sauce that I didn't want to waste, I then needed a pizza dough recipe to make more pizza! Pinterest to the rescue!! Baked by Rachel for the win!
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CORNMEAL PIZZA DOUGH Ingredients

3/4C warm water 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar 2Tbsp olive oil 2C all purpose flour 1/2C cornmeal 1 tsp salt

Directions

Proof your yeast in a measuring cup with warm water and sugar. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Add olive oil.

Mix together salt, cornmeal and flour. Add liquid ingredients. Mix until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Shape into a ball. Cover and allow to rise in a warm location until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Shape dough into desired shape on a lightly greased baking sheet. Add desired toppings (we like to use lots of veggies from our Urban Fresh Delivery Box...peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, tomatoes, etc.) and bake for 12-15 minutes. Slice and serve warm.

Proofing the yeast ahead of time made this an even easier dough to make. It came out so puffy. This dough takes 10 minutes to make, and you can make it the night before so it's ready to go for dinner the next day. I put it in the fridge in the morning until I was ready for it later. A way to get it to rise extra is to roll it out and put it on the pan an hour before you're ready to cook it. But honestly, this recipe didn't really need it. It was still very puffy when used to make a medium pizza.

Tonight's masterpiece pizza included this sauce and dough topped with black beans, corn, mozzarella, cheddar, avocado, grape tomatoes, pepperoncini, black olives, and red onion.

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