Happy New Year everyone! Before all of those New Years Resolutions begin, I think you should spend one night eating like a college student.
Although boyfriend and I attempt to stay away from most stereotypical college diet staples, pizza is truly our biggest weakness. After you've experienced Track Town Pizza, there is no turning back. It's like Round Table Pizza, but with spicier sauce and higher quality pepperonis. Call me a pizza connoisseur.
Even better than Track Town, though, is this homemade pizza recipe. Part of me feels a bit guilty for dethroning them.
The thing that makes this pizza so good: the crust. I discovered this recipe awhile ago on AllRecipes. I've got to warn you though- I really did not get all that I could out of this recipe until I (ahem, boyfriend) finally got a pizza stone. This recipe is still great on a cookie sheet, but the stone brings out the flavor and makes the outside crispy.
Start by proofing the yeast by combining the water, yeast, and brown sugar. The water should be luke warm.
It'll look like this when it's ready:
Next, stir in the salt and oil. Here is your opportunity to stir in other goodies. I did garlic powder and Italian seasoning, but onion powder or anything else your creative minds can come up with would be great too!
Gradually add in a portion of the flour. I used the dough hook on my mixer for this. I tried to knead in the remaining flour with the mixer but ended up doing it with my hands.
Let rise until doubled, or for about an hour. I preheated the oven and set the dough to rise next to it to speed this process. An hour is just way, way too long when it comes to pizza. After about 40 minutes, put your pizza stone in the oven so it can begin heating.
While the dough is rising, you can begin making the sauce. The sauce is crucial to the perfect pizza masterpiece. Boyfriend is very particular about this, and usually adds too much red pepper flakes.
I start with a can of basic tomato sauce, or tomato paste and water depending on what's in my pantry, and add a combination of salt, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes. Sometimes I also add parmesan cheese right into the sauce. Combine in a small sauce pan and let cook on low for as long as you like. The more time it has to cook, the stronger the flavor will be.
When the dough has doubled, punch it down and let it rest for a minute. I think punching the dough is seriously fun. This recipe is enough for two pizzas, or a pizza and some bread sticks, which is what I did. Divide the dough into two equal balls. Sprinkle a clean surface with flour, and if you're weird like me, try your best to not think about the horrible feeling rubbing flour on your hands makes. Roll the dough out into a circle that is about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
Okay, I finally figured out a way to transport the rolled out pizza dough to the stone without destroying it! Although it does mean assembling the pizza on the stone. I was going to take pictures of this process, but forgot to have boyfriend do it. Flour the top of your rolled out dough a bit, then loosely roll it up on your rolling pin. Unroll it directly onto the pizza stone, and straighten out a bit if necessary. Remember, the stone is hot! Make sure you have all your toppings nearby and ready to go.
We did a simple pizza: good mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and pepperoni. I thought some Italian sausage would be good, too, but we were way too hungry to take the time to make that.
You can make bread sticks with the extra dough by pulling bits of dough into bread stick shape. Lay on a greased baking sheet. We topped ours with garlic salt and extra mozzarella.
Bake at 425 degrees, the pizza for 15 to 20 minutes, the breadsticks for 8 to 10 minutes.
I hope everyone had a great New Years Eve, and happy New Year! Have some pizza tonight before all the New Years Resolutions begin, you deserve it!
Modified from AllRecipes