If It’s Thursday It’s Gotta Be Pizza Day

by Cathy on January 14, 2010

What are your favorite pizza toppings?  Do you use the same ingredients over and over or do you venture out and try new combinations of flavors and textures?  Have you tried anything “way out there” that turned out to be your favorite?  Some are winners, some losers, but I never worry about a flop because I’ve got a terrific pizza dough recipe and a quick and easy sauce that guarantee a first rate pizza every time even if I add nothing more than a little cheese. 

My Favorite Pizza Dough…adapted from a recipe by Wolfgang Puck

1 package active dry yeast (3/4 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water (105 – 155 degrees F)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Toppings of your choice

In a small bowl dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water.

In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and salt.  Add the oil, yeast mixture and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes. The pizza dough can also be made in a food processor.  Dissolve the yeast as above.  Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of the food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse once or twice, add the remaining ingredients and process until the dough begins to form a ball.

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer.  Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes.

Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Divide the dough in half for 2 10-inch pizzas.  Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball.  Repeat 4 or 5 times. On a smooth, unfloured surface roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute.  Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest for about 20 minutes.  At this point the dough can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for several weeks.  I like to  make the dough a day ahead so it gets a little additional rising time.  Bring the refrigerated dough to room temperature before preparing your pizzas.

To prepare each pizza, dust the ball of dough with flour, shake off the excess, place the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface and start to stretch the dough into a 10-inch circle.  Press down on the center, spreading the dough, with the outer border a little thicker than the inner circle. 

Spread dough with your favorite pizza sauce and arrange the toppings of your choice evenly over the dough.  I’ve tried many pizza sauces and my favorite is the No Cook Pizza Sauce recipe posted by Ann at Thibeault’s Table.  The flavors are so fresh and intense and you can adjust the seasonings to suit your own taste.  I use about 1/2 cup on a 10-inch pizza.  I promise that this will be your sauce of choice from now on.  It sure is mine.

I topped this week’s pizza with Canadian bacon (a slowly smoked, very lean pork loin), diced tomatoes and red onion and lots of  mozzarella cheese.  My local market smokes their own pork and it is out of this world delicious.

Using a lightly floured pizza peel, slide the pizza onto the hot baking stone and bake until the pizza crust is nicely browned, 10 – 12 minutes.  Carefully remove the pizza from the oven and slice into wedges.

Ann’s No Cook Pizza Sauce…from Thibeault’s Table
1 28 ounce can good quality Italian Tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
fennel seed
oregano
basil
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Puree tomatoes with the minced garlic. Grind the fennel seeds.  Add seeds, oregano, basil and the olive oil and mix together.
Ann notes that she uses a stick blender and blends all of the ingredients right in the can.  How easy it that?
This is a perfect pizza sauce because, although it is full of intense flavor, it doesn’t overpower the other toppings.  Just a sprinkling of cheese with the sauce is enough to make a delicious pizza.  Do give it a try.  Thanks, Ann, for a terrific recipe. 
It’s time for Foodie Friday again and this is my entry this week at Designs by Gollum. As always, Michael, thank you for hosting this event.

{ 47 comments… read them below or add one }

Rita September 26, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Beautiful pizza ; thank you for sharing that recipe; that crust and those toppings are spectacular.Used to have a pizza day when the kids were around. I just might try that again.
Rita

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Jamie January 20, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Ha ha ha! I love seeing that other people have pizza days as well. Ours is Friday. I do two singles for the sons with chorizo (no pepperoni to be found here) and two for hubs and I plain with a couple of handfuls of arugula thrown on top just as it comes out of the oven. Sometimes I grill zucchini and roast red peppers and add them in slices along with thinly sliced onions. Yum!

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Thibeault's Table January 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Cathy, your pizza is a beauty. And I like what you topped it with, especially the Canadian back bacon.

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Paula January 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Um, I think I signed in wrong. The above comment from Paula @Thalmann.com is from me! :-)

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Ciao Chow Linda January 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm

The pizza looks delicious, but I really love the creative work with the photos.

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[email protected] January 16, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Hi Cathy! Whoa … I love what you did with your photos! That's so cool! Your pizza looks terrific, and I love fennel in the sauce. My eyes zeroed in on your pizza peel. Sweet!

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Mari @ Once Upon a Plate January 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm

That is one beautiful pizza Cathy! And with your specially smoked pork loin I can just imagine the fabulous flavor.

I really like Wolfgang's pizza dough recipe too, it's no fail. Next time I'm going to try it your way. Doesn't that pizza peel make transporting the pizza to oven and back a pleasure?

Terrific photos and effects! xo

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Rettabug January 16, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I'm popping back in to let you know I've linked your soup recipe in my Sat. Blog Showcase post today. I didn't feel it would be right to put your recipe in there, since you have copyright rules posted on your site.

I hate it when people post recipes from books or magazines without thinking about the violation of copyright laws.

Your ham & bean soup was yummy! Thank you for the recipe.

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Michael Lee West January 16, 2010 at 2:55 am

Wow, this looks divine, like tiny stained glass pieces, a pizza mosaic. Bandwidth won't break out of the mushroom-pepperoni box. I like sun dried tomatoes, bacon, and red onion, very similar to your toppings. It's always such a delight to see what you've cooked!

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A Gracious Home January 15, 2010 at 10:01 pm

A beautiful pizza. I will have to make it. I hope mine is that pretty. I love pizza. Doylene

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Lea Ann January 15, 2010 at 6:58 pm

First of all, GREAT photo. Looks and sounds terrific. Thanks for these recipes. I've made pizza dough only one time, it was kind of a flop. I'll give this a try.

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Lisa January 15, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I've bookmarked this. I like pizza but don't usually make it myself. I think its time I worked that out. Your dough sounds great.

And I love the filtered pizza photo! Nice job.

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Anita January 15, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Pizza and Friday's go together…If I can get the ingredients without having to go out in the cold weather, this might be the meal for tonight. Off to the pantry to check my supplies!

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Kathleen January 15, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Never tried honey in the pizza dough..I have to give it a try..
Yours looks delicious..Mike makes the sauce for me..it is delicious..

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Joyce January 15, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Pizza is my #1 food of choice 24/7. It is such a comfort food for me. I like the addition of the honey in your pizza dough.
Joyce

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Lynda January 15, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Perfect looking pizza, Cathy…I must try the crust recipe and that yummy sounding sauce. Thanks!

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zurin January 15, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Im loving the no cook pizza sauce ! n that pizza looks amazing!!!

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Barbara January 15, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Going to try your crust- it looks perfect. Have also never tried the no-cook sauce. I don't make pizza often, but am copying everything now for my next time!

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Rettabug January 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm

I just love kneading dough, don't you?? The smell, the feel…all of it! I can think of no better activity on a cold winter day than to make yeast dough.

My great-grandfather & his brother owned "Felton Bakery" in Ohio & I remember my Dad making homemade bread & rolls from their recipes. Best day of the week was baking day!

He never did pizza though, so I'm looking forward to trying your version very soon.
Thanks for sharing it. :D


Rett

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Foley January 15, 2010 at 6:15 am

Looks delicious – I love homemade pizza much better!
Will have to try your dough recipe the next time.

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Nancy Jane January 15, 2010 at 5:52 am

We usually try to make pizza at least once a week this time of year. My husband favors, mushroom, garlic and pepperoni in any combination. I like white pizza, or a special one we make with arugula and shaved parmesan. I don't think we've ever met a pizza we haven't loved, and it looks pretty easy to fall in love with yours!

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Elra January 15, 2010 at 5:51 am

Sunch a wonderful pizza Cathy. I wouldn't mind to have a slice or two.

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Yvonne @ StoneGable January 15, 2010 at 5:19 am

Cathy, This is so mouth watering. I am going to make this next week. I would like to acknowledge your post in my weekly menu with a link! Oh, I am so excited to try this! Thanks
Yvonne

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Kathy January 15, 2010 at 5:10 am

Thanks for the recipes. I'll have to try these very soon. I love making my own pizza and haven't found a keeper yet, maybe these are them. :)

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Kathleen January 15, 2010 at 4:31 am

I honestly could live on pizza alone. I just bookmarked this page. I can't wait to try it!!

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vignette design January 15, 2010 at 4:28 am

I love homemade pizza. Sounds good right now! –Delores

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Donna-FFW January 15, 2010 at 4:04 am

MMMM< what an absolutely delicious post. I am so craving some pizza after all these gorgeous photos and tempting descriptions. Love it!!

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Liz Crain January 15, 2010 at 2:04 am

YUM! I love making pizza at home too! I really like my dough but I've never added honey and I think I'll add a little next time and see how that changes it.

My last homemade pizza that I loved was topped with spicy Italian sausage, sliced green olives, scallions, and minced garlic. Delicious.

In terms of copying and pasting into blog posts I'd suggest using Notepad or a similar program to remove all formatting. Copy into that and then copy again into your blog post. Worth a try…

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Barbara Bakes January 15, 2010 at 1:53 am

Your pizza looks fabulous! I've haven't tried fennel in a pizza sauce. I'll have to give it a try.

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noble pig January 14, 2010 at 11:32 pm

I always want Hawaiian pizza but no one else at my house likes it so I get voted down. Your pizza looks like a beauty.

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The Muse January 14, 2010 at 10:03 pm

we are always fans for trying something new…
my beloved is a firm believer in using the kitchen as his "lab" or "workshop".
and since i reap the rewards, i am 100% supportive!

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George Gaston January 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Cathy, looks like you are a master pizza maker. I like your dough recipe and will definitely give it a try. Nothing like mixing & matching ingredients on top of a pizza. Great recipe, thanks…

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Cathy January 14, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Ahrisha – I have tried to copy and paste many times but it never works. Sure would be a timesaver. Does anybody have the answer to this question? It would be nice to move a recipe from one of my Word documents to my blog. I'm working on a cookbook and can't move those recipes either. Grrrrr.

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~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ January 14, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Pizza from scratch is something I've not done but It's on my list. I'm copying your recipe.
Oh, got a ? for you. Do you type your recipes directly in your blogger post or do you move them over from someplace else by the copy & Paste method?
I attempted to copy & paste from my Word document and for the life of me could not paste it into my blogger post. Had to retype it again. Such a waste of time. Suggestions?
Thanks~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

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La Table De Nana January 14, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Here ..if it's Friday it's Pizza! Yours looks yummy.I love pizza..home made..Toppings? These days..I just love our home roasted red peppers.. sauce and cheese..J loves anchovies.. hot italian sausage..we don't really put that much..:)

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Bellini Valli January 14, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Pizza is a weekly item around here as well.

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Jolita January 14, 2010 at 8:44 pm

What an intereting idea to use honey in the dough! My favourite topping is caramelized onions and cheese. Always the winner!

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SavoringTime in the Kitchen January 14, 2010 at 8:38 pm

I don't make pizza very often but with tried and true recipes like these I'll have to try it again!

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pigpigscorner January 14, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Looks so good! Mine must have caramelised onions! Time for some homemade pizza!

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teresa January 14, 2010 at 8:26 pm

oh yum, homemade pizza is one of my faves!

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Mary January 14, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I've made this crust and it is really terrific. The pizza sauce also looks wonderful.

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Lori (All That Splatters) January 14, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I love homemade pizza and yours looks delicious. I'll have to try your pizza dough recipe!

Love your artistic slant with your photos, too!

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The Japanese Redneck January 14, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Both recipes look really good. We love pizza.

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Susan January 14, 2010 at 7:27 pm

I will try your crust. Have made Ann's pizza sauce and agree that it is so good. Your pizza looks wonderful!!

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Janine January 14, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Well isn't that just perfect timing.. Pizza night is tomorrow night in our house. At least this week… so guess what I am doing???

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Cindy January 14, 2010 at 6:56 pm

Pizza day is on Fridays at our house. Our favorite toppings are: carmelized onions, roasted red peppers, sweet Italian chicken sausage, sauteed mushrooms, roasted garlic, mozzarella and chevre cheeses, and if they're in season, fresh tomatoes. I always use a pesto sauce for the base. I usually buy the dough ready to go at New Seasons, because I'm usually pressed for time. I'll have to give your dough recipe a shot next time.

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Debbie January 14, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Looks terrific! Maybe one day I will try making my own pizza!

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