Jon attempts to cook – Pizza

I’ve never made a pizza from scratch before. I really didn’t this time either, but I got a lot closer. In the past when I’ve made my own pizza (aka, I didn’t just heat up a frozen, pre-done pizza), I’ve bought a pre-done crust, pre-done sauce, then maybe gotten some fresh cheese or something. Everything still came pre-done for me, I just put it together.

I decided to branch out a little bit and try more of a “fresh” alternative. I used fresh dough to make the crust, I made my own sauce (not totally from scratch, but kind of), I used freshly grated cheese, and I cut my own toppings.

Now, this is far from being totally from scratch, but it was a step in the right direction.

Pizza

Ingredients

Fresh pizza dough (bought at Publix)
Mozzarella Cheese (pre-shredded or do it yourself)
A stick of Boar’s Head Genoa Salami (or pre-cut)
A stick of Boar’s Head Pepperoni (or pre-cut)

Sauce

2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 to 2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Penzey’s cheese sprinkle

Hardware

Pizza baking stone
Knife
Sauce pot
Wooden Spoon
Cutting Board
Roller

So first, I made the sauce. You dump the two cans of tomato sauce and one can of tomato paste into a pot over medium heat. Then as you’re stirring, go ahead and dump in the spices, one by one. After stirring it all up, taste it and adjust from there to your liking.

Then turn the heat to a simmer, and cover the sauce for about 45 minutes or so. I took mine off at 30, but it’s basically done anyway.

Now comes the fun part. I didn’t have a roller. However, you need a roller. I tried and tried and tried to get the pizza dough to get to a shape I thought was normal for a pizza, but it just didn’t turn out right. I needed a roller to get it to where it needed to be. I ended up using a cup, and that just didn’t work as well.

It ends up looking like this:

IMG_1731

Once you have it to a normal shape, spray PAM on your baking stone (or cookie sheet if you’re limited in resources like me) – then it’s time to add the sauce, add your cheese, and add toppings. I won’t tell you how much of each to add because that is totally up to you.

I used a soup ladle full of sauce for the whole pizza, about a cup of cheese (maybe a bit more), and I made half of it just cheese for my picky guest, and half of it with salami and pepperoni for me. I used a knife and cut my own slices so they were a little thicker, but it felt so much more rewarding to just cut my own meat to put on the pizza, not sure why.

While you’re fixing up your pizza, pre-heat the over to 400 degrees. When you are done with your toppings and the oven is ready, stick it in for about 18 minutes. When time is up, check the pizza. You can cook it longer if you want the crust to be crunchier or not.

Then take it out, cut it up, and voila! Your very own pizza.

It was actually pretty good, despite it looking like the red-headed step child of pizzas. If I can just get the dough spread out better, it won’t be so bad. But the sauce was good, and the whole thing turned out alright.

Next up, I have a Cheesy Taco Soup recipe I am going to try out. It looks really good, and I will probably add a little of my own flair to it (MORE CHEESE). We’ll see how that turns out, and how big of a mess it becomes.

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Jon Lunceford is a sports media broadcaster and digital professional. Jon is a graduate of the University of Alabama school of journalism, and played football at Birmingham-Southern College. He has also won two AHSAA Football State Championships while at Homewood High School and was a two-time World Cyber Games Team USA representative. He currently hosts Primetime on WJOX 94.5 and runs the high school athletics site JoxPreps.