Happy Father’s Day!
I am not sure what happened but this day kind of snuck up on me. I know you are asking how is that even possible. It is a busy time of year for me. I am on a fundraising board which I have been on I think for the last 10 years but I have proudly supported them since the beginning 17 years ago! Both my kids have their birthdays and my youngest just turned 25 UGH not sure how that happened either. The time goes by so fast; it seems like in a blink of an eye they went from just starting to walk and talk to running and talking back. Then came their their license and off to college and back. Through it all I couldn’t have asked for a better father for my children.
So how are we going to celebrate this extremely hardworking man? Luckily he loves food just as much as I do. I am sure many people are going to be grilling out today and I thought about that but then decided to make homemade pizza in my Uuni pellet burning pizza oven and invite over both of our fathers to share in the yumminess!
I had never even heard of an Uuni oven before but there was a raffle sheet at the office so for $20 I wrote my name on 5 tickets and forgot all about it. Then a month or so later I got a call that I won! Pretty crazy actually and it is a crazy little unit but I love it. We had some friends over a couple of weeks ago and unanimously declared this little $20; to me item; was SO worth it and such a fun social thing to do, plus made excellent pizza. It says you can make other things in it but I haven’t explored that yet.
I know you can buy pizza dough at most markets and can even ask your local pizza place to buy some of their dough but my dough is better than any I have ever brought home. That goes the same as with my pizza sauce.
Basic Pizza Sauce
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 28 ounce can peeled, crushed tomatoes with puree
1 bay leaf
1 ½ tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
¾ cup dry white wine
Several shakes of crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in 3-4 quart sauce pan and cook the garlic for 30 seconds. DO NOT allow it to brown or burn. If you do start over; add the remaining ingredients and simmer; stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened and the flavors meld about 30-40 minutes. Any leftovers can be frozen.
Basic Pizza Dough – enough for 2 round 14” or 1 rectangle 11”x17”
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
Pinch of sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Corn Meal helps keeps the dough from sticking on the pizza peel or stone or whatever you are placing and transferring the dough to.
Pour the water and yeast into a large bowl or your stand mixing bowl. Stir and put a pinch of sugar in it. Let is stand in a warm draft place for about 5 minutes until the yeast starts to activate into bubbles. If it doesn’t bubble you are going to have to start over.
Add the olive oil and then sift the sugar and salt. Into the yeast mixture. Work the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If you are using a stand mixer with the dough hook, let the machine knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. If you are doing it by hand work the dough till it feels springy. If it’s too stiff add a little warm water a teaspoon at a time.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl that’s been lightly oiled.
Cover with a damp towel and place in a warm draft free place. Until the dough has doubled in size takes about an hour or so.
Punch the dough down, place on a lightly floured surface. This is the time to decide what size(s) you are making and split the dough as needed. I tend to make individual pizzas so I break mine down quite a bit.
Roll out your dough ball and place on a lightly cornmeal pizza peel, stone or sheet pan. At this point you can cover it a let it rise a little again for a thicker crust or just put a little sauce, cheese and your toppings. It’s best to not LOAD your toppings but place them sparingly so the pizza moves around easily for you. Not a fun mess to clean up topping debris after a split pizza dough. Bake as you will in a very hot oven around 450’F for 10-30 minutes depending on how large your pizza is.