October 25, 2009

Pizza Night

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem




I grew up in a house where "from scratch" meant "from box" and "homemade" meant "home pre-heated". Once I was married and cooking for myself, I started reconsidering the meaning of terms like the ones above and learned a whole new way of cooking. Making your food from scratch automatically cuts out loads of sodium and calories, not to mention all the unnatural things like preservatives and artificial flavors. Once you go scratch, you never go back!

The very first thing I made from scratch was pizza dough. I spent so long kneading that dough by hand, not sure exactly what it was supposed to feel like. It was hard work and I was only half confident it would turn out something edible. But Alhamdulillah, a few hours later we were biting into warm, home made pizza.

Since then pizza has become a weekly staple in our home. I've experimented with several different recipes only to find that tweaking it to my own taste is what works best for us*. I've made it for out-of-town guests, assembled it and taken it on the road to be baked at our destination, frozen batches of dough for friends to bake at their convenience and even baked mini-pizzas for a Ramadan Iftaar party. This is a very forgiving recipe and seems to be a real crown pleaser. Personalize it with your favorite toppings** and flavors, just have fun with it!

Pizza Dough
* this makes for a large and thick crust pizza. Divide in half for a thin crust, or do what I do and lop off 1/3 of it and freeze for calzones or bread sticks later in the week.
** sneak in a layer of grated zucchini for an extra vitamin boost for kids - and adults!

4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese (I've been omitting this and it still turns out fine)
2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 cup very warm water
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water, set aside.

2. In a large bowl (or an electric mixer) add flour, salt and oil. Mix to combine.

3. Add yeast mixture and continue to knead for 7 minutes by hand, 4 minutes in mixed (add more flour if mixture is too sticky).

4. Cover and let rise in an oiled bowl until doubled (1 1/2 hour)



5. Punch down and roll out to appropriate size (this is were I lop off 1/3 to freeze for later).

6. Dimple dough with fingers and brush entire dough with olive oil.



7. Pile on toppings of choice, saving the cheese for last (it will "glue" everything in place).


8. Bake in 400 preheated oven for 20 minutes, checking to make sure cheese is bubbling and crust is golden (you may need to turn the pizza half-way).

10 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. salaams i was just about say smells good but i forgot we r virtual. anyway i was thinkimg the dough process would be hard but it seems very simple. I was putting homemade pizza on this month's menu b cuz u just cant trust the store bought pizzas anymore... i will use this recipe and let u know how it turns out. InshaAllah. by the way please visit my blog the Muslimat MagaZeen a blog devoted to the remembrance of Allah (swt) and also geared bring the Muslimahs together through network opps, real islamic news, just something for us to learn 2 gether and much more.Please sign as a follower and let others know. leave feedback and comments.

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  3. Looks great, I'd like to try this soon. Thanks :)

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  4. Muslimar MagaZeen: it really is simple! And so rewarding to make your own bread! Let me know how it works out for you, and I'll try to head over to your site as soon as i find the time insha'allah :)

    Ms M: Glad you like it! Hope its becomes a favorite in your house too :)

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  5. Your pizza looks so much better than mine mashaallah. Still haven't tried this recipe as I have been using your old one.

    We have fallen off the weekly homemade pizza train....might need to climb back on!

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  6. Hey Jen! We've totally been out of our weekly pizza-nights too (due to our half-hearted attempt at low-carbing it) but every now and then we have to have it! And I'm a firm beleiver that pizza is not supposed to look pretty once its baked, which is why I only have one finished-product pic, heh. I don't remember the original recipe, can you send it to me again? lol

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  7. Assalamu alaykum,

    Insha'Allah i'll use this recipe soon. Getting in the mood for pizza.

    Just have to search your blog for a sauce recipe.

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  8. Walaikum Salaam Umm Mini,

    You know I haven't posted one, but I'll tell you how I do it: tomato paste thinned down with water, dash of salt and pepper and some italian seasonings (oregano, basil, whatever you have on hand!) Keep it pretty thick so the crust doesn't get too soggy but thin enough to spread. Sorry its not an exact recipe, I just mix some up as needed. Tell me how it works out for you inshallah!

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  9. Salaam alaykum,

    Jazaki Allahu ghairan sister!

    The recipe, wow, so simple to make and yet very tasty. I've been making again and again.

    I've managed the make 'sauce' instead of past(which I didn't have) I chopped couple of tomatoes very fine cooked them with the things you said and when water was evaporated I mashed them. It turned out good alhamdulillah.

    Also made bread and bread-stick-thingy's with the left-over dough.

    So a big thanks for sharing the recipe!

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Tell me what you think! As always, feedback and reviews are appreciated...happy cooking!