Pizza with Sausage and Roasted Red Peppers

January 11, 2010

It had been quite a while since I’d made my own pizzas but now I don’t know why I’ve waited so long!  Yes, it is a bit of work but oh so worth it.

We did a trial run a couple of weeks ago, one that wasn’t nearly worthy of posting here.  The pie stuck to the stone in a horrible way.  The crust was too thick so it was still doughy when I cut into it.  Back into the oven it went, where it got burnt while I was distracted.

Back to the drawing board I went.  I know about using corn meal and/or flour and how it’s supposed to let the pie slide right off the peel and onto the stone and all that happy jazz.  It doesn’t work for me.  As in never, ever comes close.  So when I read about using parchment it was like a light  bulb went off in my head.  It worked great!

So yes, I do use a baking stone and I have a pizza peel.  If you don’t have those I’m guessing you could simply place the parchment on the oven rack or just use a baking sheet.

I’ll do this in two parts.  Of course everyone has her own preferences about pizza toppings so add whatever you like.  Use whatever sauce you like, but I prefer this freshly made, slightly chunky with a bit of spicy kick version.

  • Flour – about 5 cups
  • Semolina Flour – 1 cup
  • Salt – 2 teaspoons
  • Yeast – 1 1/2 packets. I used Rapid Rise because I’m just impatient. Regular will work fine.
  • Sugar – 3 tablespoons
  • Olive Oil – 1/4 cup plus more for oiling the bowls
  • Water – 2 cups

  • Diced Tomatoes – 2 large cans
  • Tomato Paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Olive Oil – 1 to 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic – 5 or 6 cloves, minced
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Rosemary – a tablespoon or two, minced
  • Oregano – a tablespoon or two, minced
  • Red Wine – 1/3 cup
  • Mozzarella – 6 cups
  • Parmesan
  • Red Peppers – roast them yourself or buy them in a jar.  It really doesn’t make much difference for pizza.
  • Sausage – 1 to 2 pounds

In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup of warm water. Stir it together.  Set it aside and let it bubble.I used the mixer but you can do this by hand too.  In a large bowl, combine the semolina, salt and 1 1/2 cups white flour.Mix in the remaining 1 1/2 cups water.Mix in the olive oil then the yeast mixture.Gradually mix in the remaining flour, probably another 3 cups. The dough will still be a little bit sticky but it’ll  pull away from the sides of the bowl and hold together.Dust a work surface with flour and knead the dough for about ten minutes, adding more flour as needed, to keep it from sticking.Divide the dough into two portions.  Pour just a little olive oil into the bottoms of two bowls.  Place the dough in the bowl then turn it over so it’s oiled on both sides.  Cover the bowls with a damp kitchen towel and set aside in a warm spot.  Let the dough rise until it’s doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Note: I like a pretty thick crust so I divided the dough in half.  If you want a thinner pie, divide it into thirds or even fourths.  It’ll keep in the fridge for a while if you don’t want to make that much pizza at one time.Now that the dough is rising, it’s time to start the sauce.  Mince the garlic and snip the herbs.Drain the tomatoes.Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the garlic and herbs and crushed red pepper flakes.  Cook for a minute or two then add the tomatoes and paste.Simmer for another few minutes then add red wine.  Continue simmering, uncovered.  It’ll thicken up a bit and be just right by the time the crust is ready for sauce.Remove the sausage from the casing and chop it up.  Brown it, just as you would ground beef.  You can also grill it whole then slice it up. I actually prefer it grilled and sliced but it was way too cold to go outside and fire up the grill.Roast the red peppers under the broiler, remove the charred skins and dice them up.  This is the time to heat the oven and the baking stone too.  Place the stone in the lower third of the oven and heat at 475 for a good 45 minutes to an hour before putting the pie in.Once the dough is ready, punch it down and stretch it gently into a circle.  I’m not any good at tossing but I want to learn how!Place the dough on a piece of parchment paper and press it into the desired size, building up the edges just a bit.Add toppings – sauce, mozzarella and a little freshly-grated Parmesan.  A couple of fresh basil leaves would’ve been a good addition.Add the remaining toppings.Carefully slide the whole thing, still on the parchment, onto the baking stone.  Bake at 475 to 500 for 15 to 18 minutes.

Slide the peel under the parchment to remove it from the oven then slide the whole pie off the paper and onto a cutting board or work surface.Let it sit for a minute or two before slicing.Slice into wedges and enjoy with the rest of that red wine you opened.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Steph January 11, 2010 at 9:53 am

The pizza looks great! Pizza is my all time favorite food! I’ll have to try your dough recipe. I have a stone, but I just rarely take the time to make the dough from scratch.

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2 Karen Bove January 11, 2010 at 10:01 am

I adore a good pizza too but it’s usually reserved for “I don’t feel like cooking” nights and we order out. Making it again the other night might change my mind about that permanently!

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3 Scorpio Woman January 11, 2010 at 11:50 am

Your pizza looks so yummy. Next time I’ll do pizza, I’ll have to try your sauce and toppings. Thanks for the recipe :)

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4 Amy from She Wears Many Hats January 11, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Can’t wait to try this. I put off ever chance I get to mess with dough of any kind but it looks fairly simple – any yum!

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5 Memoria January 11, 2010 at 10:55 pm

What a lovely, delectable pizza. YUM!

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6 Alisa January 12, 2010 at 4:14 am

If only I could reach out and grab a slice of this beauty! It looks amazing. I really love your photos!

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7 Maryse January 14, 2010 at 10:20 am

I haven’t had homemade pizza in years. Time to get back to it. I’ll cheat and make the dough in the breadmachine! Great stuff!
Maryse

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8 Rossano February 16, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Using the corn flour works………..not sure if you tried but stretch out the dough on a thin layer of flour on your counter and then lightly dust the peel with corn flour and put the stretched out dough onto the peel and then put your toppings on….give the peel a few shakes to make sure the pizza is not sticking and then bring it to the oven and slide onto the stone….it works!

Trick is to not take long putting toppings on………it will stick if left on too long,

Good Luck………..

ps…. great photography!

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9 George Barr McCutcheon February 19, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Hey very nice blog!!

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10 Krista April 4, 2012 at 7:09 pm

I have magnificent Pizza dough recipe that is fast and easy with no need to kneed. E refuses to eat take out pizza anymore.

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11 karenbove April 4, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Share?

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12 Krista April 4, 2012 at 7:34 pm

of course! I have used it for pizza, calzones, pizza rolls..

Ingredients:
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
3 cups bread flour {give or take 1/2 cup…depending on the heat & humidity}
(I sometimes do 1/2 bread 1/2 whole wheat flour to make a whole wheat crust.)

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, preferably that of a stand mixer, stir yeast and honey into warm water. Sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture starts to foam. This tells you that the yeast is alive and kicking. Pour in salt, oil and half the flour and mix.

Once that flour is incorporated, start adding flour in bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it it doesn’t stick to your hands.

Once you reach this stage, turn the mixer on high to knead for 6 minutes. Turn a timer on and walk away! Resist the temptation to stop earlier than 6 minutes! That seems to be the magical number.

Let rise, for 1-2 hours, the longer it rises, the better it is.

makes 2 pizzas.

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13 Krista April 4, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Bake 500, 9-12 minutes.

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14 Juan April 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Thanks for the recipe and the vid. Making your own bread or pizza dough is very iafistysng and I always enjoy kneading, letting it rise and preparing the pizza pie with the resulting soft elastic dough. The whole process is so cool. There are so many possible adjustments to the recipe and because of your comments, now I look forward to trying with and without the sugar or the oil, just for the fun of it.

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