What a dynamite weekend we had! On Friday night we were invited to our friends, Van & Kelly’s house for some homemade pizza from their brand new wood burning pizza oven. Two years ago we spent Thanksgiving with them–you may remember the spread they put on for nearly 30 of us! They love to entertain so they built an amazing outdoor kitchen (my dream!) which we were excited to check out. One word: MUSTARD!
The deal was they’d make the dough, sauce and provide the cheese, salad & wine. (Did I mention they just got back from a wine trip to France & Italy? Result!) We were to bring the toppings and the beers. It was a lot fun getting creative with the toppings. We brought over grilled veg, roast chicken, broiled balsamic radicchio, Prosciutto, homemade peanut sauce, fresh herbs and shredded carrots. Sounds crazy right? We made a veggie pizza, a chicken & veggie pizza, a hot pepper (straight from their garden) & Prosciutto pizza, a Thai pizza (using the fresh peanut sauce, shredded carrots, Thai basil & cilantro), a radicchio pizza (using the shredded carrots to balance out the bitterness from the radicchio) and well, a mix of everything really for the others.
What a perfect idea for a dinner party even if you don’t have your own wood burning oven. Everyone gets to take a turn making a pizza which is great craic really.
Here’s the standard recipe for homemade pizza:
Makes 4 pizza crusts
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups flour + additional for dusting
Mix the yeast and warm water in a mixing bowl. Let stand for 5-10 minutes approx, or until the yeast becomes active (it’ll start to bubble). Once it’s ready, add it to an electric mixer and gradually add in the olive oil, flour & salt. Mix with the dough hook until the dough comes together. Remove from mixer and on a floured surface (to prevent sticking) roll into a large ball. Divide the dough into 4 equally sized balls and place on an oiled oven tray. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and put the tray in a warm dry place until it rises, 45 minutes approx.
Preheat oven to 450°F.
When ready to make your pizzas, sprinkle flour on a clean work surface and roll out the dough to a thin crust using a rolling pin. Be sure to dust your rolling pin with flour to also prevent from sticking.
NOTE: The dough rises when baking which is why you want roll it into a thin crust prior.
Place the pizza base on a floured oven tray and add your toppings.
As for how long your pizzas take to bake, just keep an eye on it. I like the bottom of mine to be crispy but not burned.
TIP: The key here is to have your meat and vegetable toppings already cooked. You’re basically baking the dough and warming up the rest so there’s no worry if the meats are cooked through or not.
We had such an amazing time as always. Thinking about asking Santa for a pizza oven—I say I have two hopes: No hope and Bob Hope. Good thing Van & Kelly live close by!
All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.