When my children were small, I decided that I was going to create my own family traditions for the holidays. One of those traditions is homemade pizza on Christmas Eve. It’s very simple really. If I’m pressed for time, I buy the pre-made pizza crusts but homemade from scratch is sooo much better! All you need is a good crust, a good sauce and your favorite toppings and then you’ve got your own homemade pizza! Here’s my recipe:
4 cups all purpose flour
2 cups warm water
2 envelopes yeast
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Mix the yeast and warm water, then add the sugar. Wait for the yeast to begin to get bubbly. Then start adding the flour until all is combined and the dough is slightly sticky. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and let the dough rise in a warm area for about 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a floured area and knead with your hands about 5 to 10 times. Roll the dough to desired thickness and put in your pans. I normally bake my pizza crust for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees before putting sauce and other toppings on. This keeps the dough from getting soggy. It doesn’t always get soggy so you don’t have to do it this way.
The sauce is a bit more difficult to put down since I actually just throw it together, so if you have a question just give me a holler!
1 (28 oz.) can stewed tomatoes, crushed
2 (28 oz.) cans of tomato sauce
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or 2 teaspoons garlic powder (or both, if you love garlic like I do!!)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (if you like your sauce on the spicy side!)
1 – 2 teaspoons sugar (if you like your sauce on the sweet side!)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste (If your tomato sauce has added salt you may not need to add more.)
Notes: I wouldn’t use both red pepper flakes and sugar. Choose one or the other. You can choose to add finely chopped onion and bell pepper, sliced mushrooms and ground Italian sausage. If you like your sauce chunky, leave chunks of tomato, mushroom, bell pepper and onion in the sauce. If you like it smooth, then run your veggies in the food processor with a little tomato sauce before adding to pot. It’s just all about what YOU like and tweaking this recipe (or any other recipe) to satisfy your own family’s tastes. This sauce doubles as a Spaghetti Sauce so make a batch and then save some for your pizza!
Let your sauce simmer while you prepare the pizza toppings. (It’s best if it simmers for at least an hour.)
I use a combination of Mozzarella and Monterey Jack chesses, Parmesan and /or Romano cheese, pepperoni, Genoa salami, anchovies, black olives, mushrooms, bell pepper. You can use whatever your heart desires!
When your pizza is topped and everyone’s hungry, bake it at about 375 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Ta-da! Our Christmas Eve Tradition is alive again! Enjoy!