No need for delivery when you can do it at home

Published 7:10 pm Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pizza night is usually when you call in that order and pick it up.

But, there is nothing better than a homemade pizza. Here is a great basic dough and my Italian sausage pizza recipe to help you get started on your Italian pizza masterpiece!

Basic Pizza Dough

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1 tbs sugar

1 one-fourth ounce packet (2 and one-fourth tsp) active dry yeast

3 tbs good extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

3 and three-fourths cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 and one-half tsp salt

This makes 2 one pound dough balls.

Whisk 1 and one-third cups warm water and the sugar in a bowl.

Sprinkle the yeast on top and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the olive oil. In a large bowl whisk the flour and salt together.

Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the yeast mixture in.

Gradually stir with a wooden spoon to make a rough dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes) dusting with more flour if necessary.

Split in half and form into two balls.

Brush two large bowls with olive oil, add a ball of dough to each and turn and coat with the oil.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature until doubled in size – about one and a half hours.

Roll out and top as desired, or use the suggestions below.

If you don’t use both balls of dough, wrap tightly in plastic freeze for up to one month.

Italian Sausage Pizzaone

1 pound pizza dough

prepared cornmeal for dusting

1 pound Italian sausage (mild or hot) taken out of their casings, scrambled and browned in frying pan. Drained and set aside.

half cup tomato puree

2 tsp minced garlic

1 can Italian diced tomatoes, drained (optional)

1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend (mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan)

one-fourth cup sliced baby bella mushrooms (optional)

one-fourth cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

grated Parmesan for topping.

Put a pizza stone or upside-down baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees. Stretch the dough into a 12 inch round on a floured surface.

Place 12 inch round on a cornmeal dusted upside-down baking sheet and slide onto the hot baking stone or baking sheet.

Cook 5 minutes. Slide the crust back onto your cool baking sheet and top. Spread the tomato puree on first, then your garlic, tomatoes, sausage, cheese, mushrooms, and fresh basil.

Return to the oven and bake until the cheese melts or 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the top with Parmesan and serve.

Ultimately the decision of toppings is yours so have fun with your pizza night!

Put on it what you love and make it personal!

Laura Clements is a food writer for the Demopolis Times