Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Homemade Pizzas: Mushroom & Eggplant-Pepperoni

Who doesn't love pizza? Pizza is one of my favorite foods and it's perfect in so many ways. It's warm and comforting and yet still delicious served cold the next day and the toppings are endless. How many foods fit that description?! And, as a cheese lover, I don't think I could turn down something covered in melted cheese.

One of my favorite local pizza places is Za Restaurant in Arlington, MA. They have really unique combinations on the menu, or you can just order whatever toppings you like. My favorite pizza combo is onions, mushrooms, garlic and bacon. Delicious!

I realized a couple of months back that I should try to make my own pizza. It seemed like it would be a fun stay-at-home date night or great for a party. I made my first two pies by buying the frozen pizza dough from Whole Foods and adding the tomato sauce, cheese and toppings, but that wasn't really as satisfying as doing it all myself. So, after searching around on google, I settled on this basic pizza dough recipe on an Italian cooking site. I tried to mix the dough on my counter-top and wow, what hilarity ensued when I added the water to my little flour well. I felt like I was on an episode of I Love Lucy! Next time I'll mix the dough in a bowl.

Here is the ingredient list (the linked-to site above includes a video if you need a walkthrough). The dough was very easy (and fun!) to pull together but was a little bland so next time I think I'll add a bit of honey to give it a little more depth.

1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups (500 g) flour
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
[my change for next time: replace 1 T of water with honey]

yeast is proofed, and a small well is made in the flour

after a bit of panic I was able to corral the
water-yeast mixture back to my flour pile and mixed up my dough

oiled, scored and into a bowl to rise


"punched" down and turned out onto my bench

then divided into thirds and rolled out into pizza shape.
I froze one third to use another time and made up two pizzas

At this point I kind of diverged from the directions and just baked it on a sheet pan. I didn't worry about using a special pizza pan or pizza stone...and? Came out perfectly!

the first pizza was eggplant and pepperoni

the eggplant was a little dry (next time I'll cook it first) but overall, it was great

molto bene!

next up: mushroom

look at all that yummy cheese...


Bye for now...


  1. Did you eat that pizza already? I would like a slice of mushroom & cheese pizza ohhhh it looks so good. hmmmmm

  2. Your pizza looks delicious. I made homemade pizza on New Year's Eve :o) My toppings: jarred pasta sauce, cooked (marinated) chicken cubes, peppers, mushrooms, red onion, capers, olives, moz cheese and pepper jack cheese for a little kick. As for the blandness, I think that pizza dough recipe needs more salt. Here's the recipe I've used for years: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/wolfgang-puck/pizza-dough-recipe2/index.html.

    Three changes: I use 2 tsp instant yeast, more water (about 1 1/4 cup to 1 1/3 cup), I use bread flour and often sub 1/3 of it with WW flour without any problems.

  3. Hi Anita - come on over! It's long gone now but happy to whip up some more :) That's the problem with posting all these pictures that have been sitting in my camera...now I want to make everything all over again...

    Hanaa, excellent - thanks for the link and all the tips! I will definitely try your dough recipe next time. My husband would LOVE your pie (chicken and peppers - his favs)!

  4. To eliminate any ambiguity, I increase water from 1 cup in the original recipe to 1 1/4 - 1 1/3 cup. It makes for a stickier dough that way and a less dense crust :o)