Putting a home-made twist on pizza night

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It’s always an easy option to pick up a pizza on the way home for dinner, but if you have time, home-made is fun and delicious. Plus you can tailor it to your own tastes, no matter what combination that may lead to.

There are several key home-made ingredients in my pizza.

The first is homemade pizza sauce. I discovered this a couple of years ago as a mix to add to my tomatoes I was canning and I have not looked back since. I like to can them in half-pint jars, rather than pints because that is just the right amount for two pizzas. It has that home-grown tomato taste in the middle of winter.

I also like to make my own dough. As I’ve said before I like to use my bread machine for all of my breads, and pizza dough is no exception. There wasn’t a good pizza dough recipe in my bread machine book, so I started researching several and took the best of each to create this recipe (see recipe).

With a combination of oregano, basil, cilantro and more, the dough has so much flavor it hardly needs any toppings. But we are making pizza, not just bread, so toppings are important.

Once your dough is rolled out (and only roll it out when you are ready for it, otherwise it will continue to shrink back up), cover it with sauce and start layering on your toppings.

You can then bake it in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or cook it in the grill for 5 to 10 minutes. Watch for the dough to brown and cheese to melt, then you know it’s done.
One trick to getting the pizza to slide onto and off of the pan on which you cook it is to put cornmeal on the pan before putting the dough on it.

Once it is done, slice and enjoy!

Until next time, happy garden-fresh eating!

Herb Pizza Dough
(makes two pizzas)

1 cup warm water
3 T. olive oil
3 T. sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp. oregano,
1/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cilantro (or crushed corriander)
1 1/2 tsp. yeast (quick rise)

Add all ingredients in order to bread machine. Select dough cycle. When complete, remove dough and cover. Let rise 30 minutes. Divide in half and roll out. Then top with sauce and toppings.
Julie Clements is a Butler County Master Gardener.
Share your ideas for garden-fresh recipes or ways to preserve at julieclements75@gmail.com and some will be featured in upcoming columns.

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