I’ve never made pizza from scratch before and I figured baking one wouldn’t be a big deal, right? It’s just a pizza, how hard can it get? Boy, was I WRONG! I was too chicken to make the dough from scratch when my previous attempt at making naan bread bombed, so I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up a packet of their dough. It looked like all of the bay area wanted to make pizza that Saturday and only whole wheat dough was available. A first time pizza m(b)aker armed with whole wheat dough. Scary.
It took me about half an hour to be able to roll out the sticky crust. Every time I would almost finish rolling it out, it would tear right down the middle. Eventually, I got the hang of it. I’d given up on a thin round crust and was happy to get it into a shape that at least resembled a Pizza. It did turn out thin-ish. Next time, I know what to do and what not to do (more important!). What made me really happy was the sauce base that I made. A slightly spicy, thick, garlicky, tomato-basil sauce.
- - For the Tomato Sauce
- Tomato - 6, chopped OR 2 cans of chopped/ whole tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
- Olive oil - 1 tbsp
- garlic - 4 pods, sliced thin
- basil - 8 leaves, crushed
- cilantro - 1/4 cup
- Italian seasoning blend - 2 tsp
- red pepper flakes - 1 tsp, optional
- salt - to taste
- Heat olive oil in a pan, saute the garlic till it becomes soft but not brown.
- Add the tomatoes. Cook it well till it becomes soft and tender (15 min). Add the rest of the ingredients. Close the lid and simmer for about 10 minutes until it becomes thick. Keep stirring occasionally.
- Pre-heat the oven to it's highest setting which is usually 500 F.
- Roll out the dough on a generously floured surface and make sure it's even throughout.
- Spread the sauce evenly on the base, add toppings of your choice, generously sprinkle cheese and bake at 500 F for 12-14 minutes until the cheese starts bubbling on top.
- Keep checking the pizza often after about 10 minutes since oven times vary. The crust should be golden brown.