Taking the Wheel

Pizza is the meal that is most definitely the strongest player in our rotation of dinners. I would say we as a family have pizza on average once a week.

My husband craves it every Sunday. Quinn asks for it every single day. I have to say that I don’t really complain about this.

When we lived in New Jersey, we loved the NY-style pizza. Thin crust, large slices that needed to be folded in half, loaded with crushed read pepper.

In Chicago, we loved the heart-attack inducing Chicago-style stuffed pizza. 3 inches of cheesy goodness. One piece and I was full.

When I was in college, I couldn’t get enough of Papa John’s pizza with garlic “butter” dipping sauce. Oh yes. No leftover crusts on this pizza. It was like two meals in one.

I remember walking into Papa John’s one time to pick up my meal. I saw them making a batch of their sauce-less pizza. They were spreading TONS of garlic “butter” sauce all over the dough. This was even before they spread a pound of cheese on it. Holy cow. I had no idea. It would explain the excessive weight gain I had in college…at least some of it anyway. Yeah, lets just say I surpassed the average “freshman fifteen” a student gains.

Now we are back in Cincinnati, and I have to say that my favorite pizza to eat is my own. I made a pact with myself that I would make home made pizza more often than ordering out. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. But at least I try.
Making your own pizza dough is such an easy task. It takes little effort, and tastes fantastic. In the end, you know exactly what your meal is made of. You have complete control of how much sauce, how much cheese, and what type of topping you like on it.

Mushroom and Onion Pizza

adapted from the Cooking Light Cookbook
1 package dry yeast
3/4 warm water, divided
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 Tb low-fat milk
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1 Tb olive oil
1 Tb cornmeal

Pizza Toppings
1 c canned crushed tomato
8 leaves fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 1/2 c sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 tsp kosher salt
tsp pepper
2 c mozzarella cheese

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 c warm water in a large bowl; let stand 20 minutes. Add 2 cups flour, 1/2 c warm water, milk, olive oil, and salt. Mix well.
Turn dough out on a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, until smooth. While kneading, add remaining flour 1 Tb at a time when needed to keep dough from getting sticky.
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Spray a bit on top part of dough as well.
Cover and let rise in a warm place for 40 minutes, until dough had doubled in size.
Punch dough down once in the middle; cover and let rest 5 more minutes.

Preheat Oven to 500F.

Roll out dough in a rectangle, to fit a cookie sheet. Place dough on a cookie sheet lightly floured with cornmeal.

In a medium bowl, mix tomato, oregano, basil, rosemary and red pepper. Spread mixture on bottom layer of pizza. Top pizza dough with remaining ingredients, spreading evenly. Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes, or until golden brown.

One thought on “Taking the Wheel

  1. Julianne

    Erin, I just love your blog. It is so creative and it combines two of my favorite things- looking at recipes and catching up on what my friends are doing. The recipes always sound so delicious. Sometime I may actually make one of them. Here’s a challenge for you…could you come up with a Skyline Pizza (vegetarian of course). Anyways, I’m glad you are well. Julianne PS- We just started a blog- TheRhodyLife


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