A trip to a wonderful U-Pick farm inspired this delicious meal! We had an abundance of freshly-picked tomatoes to use.
The first step was to get my pizza dough started. Of course, you can always use a store-bought dough for this. Pizza dough is VERY easy and inexpensive to make. It just requires a little bit of forethought so it has time to rise. (Get the kids involved in this! They love helping and making their own little pizzas!)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 packet of Active Dry Yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons Olive Oil
- 2-1/4 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup warm water
Put the water and sugar in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water and allow it to stand for around 5 minutes. It will become foamy-looking.
Mix in the flour until it is just combined. Turn it out onto a lightly floured counter.
Knead it for a few minutes until it turns into an elastic ball, adding more flour to the surface if needed. Place it in an oiled bowl. Put a little more oil over the top of it. Cover it and allow it to stand in a draft-free area for around 45 minutes. It will nearly double in size.
Press down the dough without removing it from the bowl. Cover it back up. Allow it to rise again for around 30 minutes. After this second rise, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it out to your desired size. This either makes 4 personal-sized pizzas or two large pizzas.
During the second rise was the perfect time to roast some garlic.
Roasting garlic is super easy. All you have to do is take your head of garlic and cut the top off. Drizzle some olive oil over it, loosely wrap it in foil, and bake it at 400⁰ for around 35 minutes. It will be fragrant and the color of the cloves becomes more golden than white. The cloves will become very soft and (after it cools), you can squeeze the garlic right out. Amazing!!
Once your dough has been rolled out, it is time to assemble your pizza. You can bake a pizza on a cookie sheet, on a pizza stone, or one of these handy round metal pans with little holes in it. I promise it will be delicious no matter what you bake it on.
Get all your toppings ready. I quickly cooked my rock shrimp in a pan over high heat. (I did not cook them all the way through because since I knew they were going to spend time in the oven.) I used a mozzarella/parmesan cheese blend.
If you are using a red sauce, go ahead and put it on. I just brushed my dough with olive oil and seasoned it. Then, I added the roasted garlic and VERY carefully spread it out on the dough as gently as possible.
Add the rest of your toppings!
Bake this in a preheated 400⁰ oven until it is brown, bubbling, and fragrant. Everyone likes their pizza cooked differently. Some love it well-done, some might not. Keep an eye on it. I baked mine for around 15 minutes.
Pizza is one of those things… once you learn the method, the possibilities are literally ENDLESS!! Anything in your fridge can go on a pizza. Leftover veggies, chicken, sausage… small amounts of various leftover cheeses. Have fun and ENJOY!