What is that heavenly smell?! I know, it must be the homemade pizza I just made! It’s baking away in my oven, and I am giddy with excitement. This is 90% homemade (I didn’t make the cheese or grow the veggies). The sauce and dough were made by me, in my kitchen!
My roommate has come back home after a week away, and I celebrated by making vegetarian pizza with extra sauce, just the way she likes it! The oven just beeped; let’s look at the finished product, shall we?
Oh yes, I can’t wait to dig into this. Should I even wait for it to cool down?
I went a little camera happy with this particular post because I was so thrilled with how it turned out. It is loaded with my favourite veggies, fresh basil from our basil and mint plant, low fat cheese, slow-simmered sauce made from canned tomatoes, and a focaccia style pizza crust. I am happy to report, it tastes incredible too. You can always tell the difference between fresh, and frozen. Here’s a sneak peak at what it looked like before I put it in the oven.
I’ve included more pictures for reference points. Making pizza is such a rewarding process, especially when you’ve got someone to share it with!
Here, you can see the thickness of the crust. I let the dough rise for a long time before baking.
My favourite part is the focaccia style pizza dough! I prefer a thicker crust, and this dough is perfectly crispy on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside. Enjoy this process, it’s a lot of fun! Even more fun with a friend.
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cup warm water
- 1 envelope red star instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 ¼ cup canned tomatoes with liquid (I used canned tomatoes seasoned with Italian herbs)
- 1 can tomato paste (Unico, 156 ml)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil (optional)
- 1 - 2 cups shredded cheese (I used a Swiss-Cheddar blend)
- 10 sliced mushrooms
- ½ red pepper sliced
- any other pizza toppings that you love
- Make the dough first, this will give it time to rise while you make the sauce. In a bowl, combine 1 cup of warm water (body temperature) with the yeast. It will start to froth.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, paprika, and pepper. Pour in the yeast and water mixture and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Knead the dough, add the remaining half cup of water as needed to produce an elastic dough.
- Put your ball of dough in the bowl and cover with a tea cloth and let rise until it has doubled in volume.
- In a pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add in ½ teaspoon of minced garlic and saute until the garlic starts to brown. Pour in the diced, canned tomatoes with the juices.
- While stirring, add in the vegetable broth, onion powder, pepper, chili pepper flakes, oregano, and basil, if using.
- Sauce will eventually thicken, mash the tomatoes down into the sauce with a wooden spoon as it heats up. Once sauce is at desired consistency, lower heat and cover to keep warm.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Make sure the oven is very hot before you put in the pizza.
- Spray a cookie sheet with baking spray. Punch down the doubled dough and roll the dough out onto the baking sheet and press outward. Roll up the edges as shown in the pictures. Dough should be shrinking away from the cookie sheet - let sit for five minutes and flatten out towards the edges of the cookie sheet again.
- Repeat this process until the dough is exactly the size of the pan. Let the dough rise for another 10 minutes.
- Spoon on sauce and spread out towards the crust. Add as much or as little as you want.
- Sprinkle 3/4 of the cheese on top of the sauce covering the entire pizza. Add on your toppings (red peppers, mushrooms), and then sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
- Bake for 12 minutes, until cheese starts to bubble and the crust is golden brown.
- Slice while hot, and serve!