I'm not gonna GOOP you. I'm all about short cuts or lazing out entirely and getting a take-out most nights. But this time of year, when the tomatoes are rolling in the door VOLUNTARILY, I make a lot of pizza. Yeah, from scratch (except the sauce. And I don't make the cheese, either. Just the crust, I guess...)
The secret to good home-made pizza is a pizza stone and about $3 worth of sauce and cheese. It's easy, sort of fast and makes a lot of food. This set-up I'll be talking about makes a 2 pizza-stone sized pizzas and one tiny one for Hazel. Pizza stones are at Target for about $20 and you absolutely need one. Other things you need? Flour, yeast, canned pizza sauce (I like Del Alpe) and real mozzarella cheese. OR you can just make this crust and go the tomato and olive oil route and skip the cheese and sauce entirely. Make it all about the tomatoes, I wouldn't blame you.
1. Pull the KitchenAid out of the corner, add one package of yeast, a pinch of sugar and one cup of hot water. Walk away for 10 minutes. Come back and add flour, KitchenAid on, until it becomes dough. It'a about 4 cups usually but it varies like CRAYZAY due to weather and PMS. Set it in a warm place for a whole flipping hour.
2. Preheat that pizza stone for that whole hour at 475. It's gonna make it hot in your house so have a few beers.
3. Slice your tomatoes and salt them. You have to salt them or they have too much liquid and will slide off your pizza and burn a hole in your foot. Occasionally you should smile at them and drain the liquid from them, just like I do for Hazel. Sometimes I just throw them in a colander with some salt and let it all just work itself out.
4. After an hour, divvy out your dough and roll one out. I just take a large handful and hit it up with a rolling pin on my well-floured* countertop. Remember you just need to make that sucker the size of the pizza stone. Any bigger is asking for the smoke detector to freak out the dog.
5. Pull off some hunks of cheese and open that can of sauce
6. Open the oven and singe off your eyebrows. Throw that dough up on the stone and dress your 'za while continuing to singe your eyebrows. Sauce, cheese and tomatoes.
7. Close it up and keep an eye on it. Should be about 12 minutes. Use your time to run out to the garden and grab an ass-load of fresh basil. Chop that up.
8. Pull your first pizza out with a fork onto a large dinner plate. Don't even attempt to cut it until it has cooled and solidified a little. The add that basil.
9. Throw your second pizza on.
*I recently ran out of flour to roll out the pizzas on. Interestingly, I just didn't have enough to roll out Dan's pizza and I'd already finished my pizza and Hazel's. So I used a 3 year old package of Cafe Du Monde beignet mix and he never noticed.