Recipe for my favorite homemade pizza

I’ve been making this pizza ever since my friend Robert gave me my bread machine back in 2000. That’s how much I love it. The book it came from is literally falling apart. And this recipe in particular has so many stains on the page that it’s almost illegible. I’m going to write the recipe out as the book has it, then put my own notes in bold.

First the crust. It’s supposed to be made in a bread machine, but I’m assuming that you can make it without the machine, just do it like you would make regular pizza dough. I’ve never tried this before though.

Crust Ingredients-
1 cup plus 2 tbs. water Room temperature
2 tbs. olive oil or vegetable oil
3 cups Better for Bread flour I have used all purpose before and it’s been fine, but you might need to add a little more water to get the right consistency 
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. bread machine yeast Regular yeast works fine

Add ingredients to bread machine in the order listed. Set to Dough cycle. Do not use Delay cycle.

If you don’t have a bread machine…
I found a similar recipe to mine that uses a stand mixer instead of a bread machine. You can see it here on Simply Recipes. Note that I’ve never tried it this way, but it seems similar to what my machine does in terms of kneading and resting time, etc.
Combine water and yeast. Let stand 5-10 minutes until yeast is dissolved. Stir if necessary. Using the paddle attachment, combine yeast mixture with remaining dough ingredients and mix on low for 1 minute. Remove the paddle mixer and put on the dough hook. Knead on low to medium speed for about 10 minutes, until it forms a smooth elastic dough ball. (You can also hand knead the dough if you don’t have a mixer).
Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for an hour, or until doubled in size. (See linked recipe for more details on this step). Punch down and let rest for 10 minutes.

While your dough is working, you can start on the Chunky Sauce.

Chunky Sauce ingredients-
3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped or you can use 2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 medium onion, chopped or use 1/2 cup pre-chopped frozen or fresh onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms I usually use the whole container of mushrooms because I love them. If you don’t like mushrooms, you can just chop up another tomato to bulk up the sauce 
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. fresh basil, or 1 tsp. dried
1 tbsp. fresh oregano, or 1 tsp. dried
1 tsp. salt I usually only use 1/2 tsp if I’m making a sausage pizza
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients. This can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge to let the flavors mix together.

Pizza Ingredients-
Pizza dough
2 tsp. olive or vegetable oil
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (about 8 oz.)
1 pound sausage or ground beef, cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Chunky tomato sauce

Now you have three choices, regular crust, thick crust, or really thick crust.

Thinner crust-
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Grease a jelly roll pan (15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch with oil). Press dough into bottom and sides of pan. Brush 2 tsp. oil over dough. I’ve skipped the extra oil before and it’s been fine. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Top with sausage, chunky sauce, parmesan cheese, and the remaining mozzarella.
Bake on bottom oven rack for 25-30 minutes, or until crust is brown and cheese is melted and bubbly. Let sit 10 minutes before slicing.

Thicker crust-
Brush two round pans (9 x 1 in.) with oil. Divide dough in half. Press dough into bottom and sides of pans. Continue with instructions above, placing half of the ingredients on each pizza. Bake as diected.

Super thick crust.
My two round pans got destroyed after a bad trip through the dishwasher. Instead of buying new pans, I decided to use what I had, which was a glass 9 x 11 cake pan. This makes a really thick squishy crust, ad I think it’s my favorite. The directions are the same, except you might want to keep it in the oven about 5 more minutes.

A few notes…
According to the book’s recipe, using hydroponic tomatoes is not recommended for the sauce due to higher water content.
I have made this using wheat flour, but it’s been awhile. I think my ratio was 1 cup wheat flour and 2 cups regular flour. I’ll try that next time and edit the recipe accordingly.
You can, of course use different toppings. I’ve made this pizza with many combinations of toppings.

Recipe for Phyllo Dough Pizza

I’ve been wanting to do something with phyllo for like, ever. Actually since 2004. I remember one of my New Year’s resolutions in 2005 was to make something with phyllo. Clearly I’m fantastic about keeping New Year’s resolutions. So here I am, seven years later just getting around to doing that. But I think it’s my new favorite thing right now. I’ve made these twice in one week so I think we have a winner.

It all started with this post from A Beautiful Mess. I changed things up a bit and came up with these two little cuties.

Jason decided this would be the perfect opportunity to bust out the new camera and take “action shots” of the process.


1 box phyllo dough, thawed using package directions
2 roma tomatoes
couple of pinches dried basil, or fresh would be even better
handfull of shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1 ripe peach
1/2 block of cream cheese
1 TBS brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out your thawed phyllo dough. Cut sheet in half, forming two rectangles. Set aside. Place a damp towel over your dough if you’re a slow chopper to keep it moist. Thinly slice tomatoes and place on first piece of dough.

Sprinkle with basil, salt and pepper, then add mozzarella on top.

Smear cream cheese on the other rectangle of dough. Slice peach and lay it on top of the cream cheese. Sprinkle with brown sugar.

Pop them in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bottom is crispy. (The original recipe says you can bake on parchment paper for easy cleanup).


Recipes I made (February 12-18)

After over a week of Jason cooking tasty food for me, I was ready to get cooking again.

I tried two new recipes this week. One from Jason’s Pinterest board.

Summer Peach and Balsamic Pizza from Love and Olive Oil

I altered this one quite a bit, using 2 ready made whole wheat Boboli pizza crusts instead of making my own dough. I made one peach pizza and another tomato basil pizza with delicious fresh tomatoes from Jason’s coworker. We really liked these. I don’t think I’ve cooked with goat cheese before, and I really enjoyed the tanginess of it against the sweetness of the peaches.

The other one was  from Kaylin’s Kitchen, my favorite South Beach Diet recipe sites.

Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup with Cilantro and Green Tobasco

Really delicious soup. I love almost any black bean soup, but the green tobacco was a great touch. I let the soup simmer a lot longer than required and it turned out fine, so I’ll probably omit the water next time if I need to cook it quicker.

The soup and pizzas will count towards two new healthy recipes in my 52 in 52 weeks Challenge.

I also made an old favorite this week, Fish Tacos. The original recipe came from Rachael Ray’s Get Real Meals cookbook called Paco’s Fish Tacos. I’ve modified it a bit over the years.

Fish Tacos

2 pounds tilapia (original recipe calls for grouper or halibut, but I like tilapia better)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 red onion
3 T dijon mustard
2 T red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
flour tortillas
1 lime
Hot sauce

Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray. Heat pan and add fish. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes on each side until cooked through. Remove from pan

Place jalepeno, cilantro, onion, mustard, vinegar, and oil in food processor and whir together.

Arrange fish on tortillas and add sauce. Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce.

Makes 4 tacos