Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Make your own pizza

I love pizza...but who doesn't? But buying quality pizza from many local eateries can really break the bank.  So what's a Graduate Gourmet to do? Make your own of course!  This has been made easier with Trader Joes' refrigerated pizza dough.  Simply let the dough sit at room temperature for 20 minutes while you chop any veggies/meats for your pizza, roll the dough out, and then bake!  Plus, you save some serious "dough" while using leftover veggies/meats from your fridge.  Below is what I did with what was in my fridge, but feel free to make it your own!

Veggie Whole Wheat Pizza
1 bag Trader Joes' refrigerated pizza dough (or other brand)
1 t cornmeal (optional)
3 T flour (for rolling out dough)
1/2 jar of favorite tomato sauce
1-1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (as needed to cover pizza)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 t olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 roasted red pepper, chopped
6 medium olives, sliced
1/4 ricotta cheese (or as needed)
Italian seasoning, salt & pepper (to taste)

  • Set dough on the counter from the fridge for at least 20 minutes and pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • While dough is coming to room temperature, put olive oil and garlic in large skillet on medium-high heat. When the garlic becomes fragrant (1-2 minutes), add mushrooms.  Saute, stirring occasionally until mushrooms begin to brown (~3-4 min).  Add salt & pepper to taste and take the mushrooms off the heat to cool a bit.  Cut the rest of the veggies for toppings.
  • When dough is ready, spread some flour on a clean surface and roll the dough out until it is approximately 1/8 inch in thickness.*
  • Before placing your rolled out dough on a non-stick baking sheet, put the sheet in the oven to get hot. When you are ready to bake, take the pan out of the oven, sprinkle on some cornmeal, place the dough on the cornmeal, and gently push the cornmeal into the dough.  This will give you a crunchier crust on the bottom.
  • Top the dough with the amount of sauce you prefer.
  • Spread out your veggies, cover with mozzarella cheese, and dollop ricotta cheese on top.  If you want a bit of extra flavor, sprinkle some Italian seasoning and pepper on top.
  • The instructions for the dough say to bake for 10 minutes, but mine took more like 20 to get it as crisp as I like. 
  • Once it is cooked to your preference, let it sit for one minute, cut, and enjoy!

* Note: Don't have a rolling pin? Neither do I! I used a mixture of pushing the dough into a circle and a large glass cup, which works just as well as the pin. Plus, no worries if you can't get it into an exact circle. It's about how it tastes, not how it looks!

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