As a young girl, I loved helping in the kitchen. I was a bit spoiled, I will say. We didn’t have much for money, nor did we get lots of toys and everything we wanted. But, when my parents built the new sugar house in 1988, they built an incredible commercial kitchen. So I had pretty much everything I wanted at my fingertips, as far as baking or cooking went. Everything in that kitchen was bought at a discount or paid for by raising Golden Retriever pups. A huge pot rack hung over top the butcher block, which helped keep all of our pots and pans organized and easily accessible.
Pizza is one of those things that my mom made often. She used to cook Italian sausage links, in a pan on the stovetop until they were cooked almost all the way through. With just a little pink in the center showing. Then she would slice them into rounds and place on top of our homemade pizza, along with a dusting of dried oregano. For the most part, my mom made an Italian style pizza. You sprinkle cornmeal on a wooden pizza paddle and slide it off onto a very hot stone in the center of your oven. I cannot count the times the entire kitchen was full of smoke because she’d be making multiple pizzas for a Birthday gathering or family dinner. The smell of the cooked cornmeal would fill the sugar house. She had a little broom that was meant specifically for the oven, which she would sweep up the burnt cornmeal and dump it outside into the garden.
I’ve always loved the rustic style pizza my mom made, but wanted to create a Greek Pan pizza. This type of pizza is a little different. It has a crunchy crust and a soft, airy bottom. You pull the dough gently into a round, flat circle with your hands. Then press it into a seasoned pizza pan. You can use a small cake pan if that is all you have. Several different grocery stores sell shredded cheese that is a pizza blend that is wonderful. But, if you don’t have that available, use mostly mozzarella with just a little touch of cheddar. The cheddar cheese gives you the nice, bubbly golden color. Let your kids help put on all the toppings. You can use pretty much anything you can think up. One of my favorites is sweet sausage, thinly sliced granny smith apples, onions and a little Gorgonzola cheese with a white sauce. (white sauce is basically a little olive oil and roasted garlic- spread it around with the back of a tablespoon) Try not to stress if they make a little mess. It can all be cleaned up later. Enjoy your homemade pizza with a freshly tossed garden salad.
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup warm milk
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 cups bread or all-purpose flour
- In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast, olive oil, sugar, warm milk and water. Add the eggs and combine. Add the flour and salt. Using a dough hook on your mixer, combine everything well. Scrape the bowl a few times with a rubber spatula to ensure it is evenly combined.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Spray the mixing bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough round back into the bowl to rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Take the dough out and divide into 6 even pieces. Shape the dough into rounds by folding the dough underneath. Let rise again, covered loosely with plastic wrap for about 30 minutes to 1 house.
- Gently press out the dough into flat rounds.Creating a small outside crust along the edge of each dough. Place into small pizza pans (grease the pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil) and press your fingers under the outer edge. Making a crust. Let rise for about 1 hour. Brush gently with egg wash.
- Place a few tablespoons of marinara sauce around the center of the dough with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with a little cheese and place your toppings. You want to still be able to see some sauce under the cheese. Otherwise, it will be too much cheese and not cook properly.
- Cook in a preheated 550 degree F oven for about 12-14 minutes. Or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. **(Part way through cooking, press the inside edge of the crust down with a fork)