The Perfect Pizza

The Perfect Pizza | sarahesh.com
Shortly after Herm and I were married, I invited my family over for dinner. I learned to cook and bake at a very young age - by nine or ten I knew how to make yeast bread and not too long after that yogurt. It wasn't uncommon for me to make supper for our family of seven. But hosting people in my own home seemed much different than simply cooking a meal at my parents home, where the pantry is fully stocked, unlike my very minimal pantry at the time. My sister volunteered to come over for the afternoon to help prepare the meal. She suggested that we make pizza.
I had never made pizza before, and was never really that impressed with the homemade pizzas that I had tried. The crust was always lacking, I thought. The recipe Kate shared with me was from The Pioneer Women's cookbook, so even though I wasn't too keen on homemade pizza I knew this was worth the effort, because be honest, when was the last time that Ree Drummond failed you? Um, never. Exactly.
The meal that evening was a success, and the pizza was surprisingly simple to make. In fact, it is now one of my go-to ideas for a simple but delicious meal. I've made it so many times that I no longer need to pull out the recipe, it's just filed away in my brain. I also use the same dough recipe for Stromboli.
I tweaked the recipe a bit; I add a few seasoning for extra flavor, and just a bit of sugar, which makes the dough soft and chewy. Sometimes I will experiment with different kinds of flour too, like fresh ground whole wheat or oat. But for the sake of simplicity, I am sharing the basic recipe and will let you experiment with it however you please.
The dough can be refrigerated for up to a week, which I often do if we are hosting guests, so that when it's time to make supper, all I need to do is pull out the dough and let is rise a bit before rolling it out and adding toppings.
Okay, enough with me gushing about this pizza. I'll just share the recipe and let you discover it for yourself.
It might be a life-changer.

The Perfect Pizza

DOUGH: (adapted from the Pioneer Woman's recipe)
  • 3/4 cup Warm Water
  • 1 teaspoon Instant or Active Dry Yeast
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
Sprinkle yeast over warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
In mixer, combine flour, salt, granulated garlic, Italian seasoning, and sugar. With mixer running on low speed, drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast and water mixture until combined.
Cover mixing bowl with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise for an hour, or store in fridge until you need it.
When you are ready to make the pizza, preheat the oven to 450*. Punch the dough down into a nice, tight ball, then roll it out thin with a rolling pin.  When the crust is nice and thin, lay it onto an oiled stone or pan. (I always use a pizza stone, and dust it with cornmeal after oiling it.) Bake the dough for about 7 minutes, then pull it out and put your favorite toppings on it. Place the pizza back into the oven for 10 more minutes.
  • 1/3 cup Pizza Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Mayo
  • Handful of Spinach
  • 1/2 cup Caramelized Onion
  • Hot Peppers to taste
  • 1 cup cooked, shredded Chicken
  • 1 cup Cheese of choice
  • Hot Sauce
Mix pizza sauce and mayo together, spread over crust. Layer spinach, caramelized onions, hot peppers, chicken and cheese on top. Sprinkle with a hint of hot sauce, and finish baking as directed.


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