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The hunt for the perfect pizza

I’ve been trying for a few years now to figure out a way to make the perfect, pizzeria style pizza at home. I’m slowly getting closer. My first few dough’s were almost more focaccia like (not what I was looking for), and while this one is the closest yet to what I’m aiming for, it was a little sweeter than I wanted.

What I have perfected though: the sauce. Man oh man did I find the sauce (and it tastes almost exactly like Pizza Huts sauce). And that part is sooo easy.

I’ve also figured out how to get my bacon more like a pizzeria, by freezing it and grinding it in the food processor. Who would have thought.

The dough is worth a try though. It was easy to make and to work with, and it did taste really great. I’ve just got this other taste in my head that I’m trying to replicate, and it’s not there yet.

It’s gonna be a little picture heavy, you’ve been warned. Keep your eyes open for Oliver’s appearance, he was quite happy to be helping out with this one!

I keep reading that with bread you’ll get a lot more consistent results if you measure the ingredients by weight, so I figure I’ll try it. Measure out some bread flour.

1

Some sugar.

2

And some salt.

3

Put the flour, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixture and add the yeast (no quick rise yeast here though).

4

Add the olive oil.

5

Measure out your water. It’s really important that the water is the right temperature. 105ºF is perfect, but you’re good as long as you’re between 105ºF and 110ºF. A lower temperature can stop the yeast from reacting to its full capabilities, and hotter can kill it entirely.

6

Water’s measured.

7

Now that everything is in the bowl, mix it together just until it combines with the paddle.

8

Perfect.

9

Swap out to the dough hook and knead it on low for 10 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic looking.

10

Lightly oil a large bowl with olive oil and add the dough (quickly shaped into a ball). Turn the dough around in the bowl so that it gets lightly coated in oil too. Cover the bowl and let it rise until doubled in size, a couple of hours.

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While the dough is rising, make the sauce. Put everything into a small pot: tomato sauce, water, brown sugar, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic powder, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and lemon juice.

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Give it a good stir, get it up to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes until it’s full of flavor and nice and thick. Take the bay leaf out and you’re done! You can make this a day ahead of time if you want too!

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Here’s how I did the bacon. Freeze how ever much you want to use. I had a pound in the freezer already so that’s how much I was chopping up. Slice it into chunks like this.

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Throw the chunks into the bowl of a food processor.

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Pulse it until it’s all ground up, but not mushy, about 15 good pulses.

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This is what you’re left with. Perfect.

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Alright, once the dough has doubled, punch it down.

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Flour a counter well.

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Flip the dough out and tear it into two sections.

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Quickly shape them into nice, taut rounds.

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Cover with a towel and let rest for 10 minutes before shaping.

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Here’s the pre-cooked bacon. You want to get it about 75% cooked before topping the pizza with it.

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The rest of the toppings. We’re pretty plain around here.

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Take one of your dough rounds and move it onto a piece of parchment paper. Mine’s a lot dryer then it should have been because Bo ended up being late from work and it sat on the counter too long. Yours will be a lot softer and easier to work with.

25

Shape it into a rough circle, doesn’t have to be perfect. Having a helper helps.

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Spread on some of that oh so good sauce.

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Get your toppings on. First up for Oliver, pineapple.

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Oliver, you’re not supposed to eat all the pineapple.

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Anna wanted to get in on the action. Oliver kept putting cheese and pineapple on the chair for her to eat, lol.

30

A sprinkle of cheese. Some for the pizza…

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Some for Oliver.

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Judging by the size of the cheek, I would bet there’s more in him then there is on the pizza, lol.

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He wanted a picture taken with his pizza

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Now, here’s the trick for baking it. Slide the parchment onto an upside down cookie sheet.

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Then slide it off the cookie sheet and onto a pizza stone. That pizza stone is your best bet at getting close to a pizzeria style pizza. You’ve got to preheat your oven for about a half hour at it’s highest temperature (usually 550F), with the stone in the oven. That will get your crust nice and crisp and cooked through.

36

The finished product!

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It was really good. Bo loved it, Oliver loved it, Anna enjoyed it, and I liked it… but that’s just because I still think the dough could use a little bit of tweaking. We’ll get there though. Prepping the bacon like this was out of this world though, and that sauce, you just can’t buy anything that comes close!

39

Here’s your printables:

Pizza Dough (sweet)

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: Two 16\\\" pizzas

Pizza Dough (sweet)

Ingredients

  • 1lb 6½ oz bread flour
  • 2 oz sugar
  • ¼ oz salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast (not rapid rise)
  • 12 oz warm watter (105ºF)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until just combined with the paddle. Switch to the dough hook and knead for 10 minutes on low speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  2. Lightly oil a large bowl with olive oil. Shape the dough into a ball and roll around in the bowl to lightly coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. (I do this in the oven with just the light on)
  3. Preheat your oven, along with a pizza stone, to its hight setting, usually 550ºF, for at least 30 minutes prior to baking.
  4. Tear the dough into two sections, shape each into a taught disk, and cover with a dishtowel for 10 minutes. Use your hands to shape into a round, on top of a piece of parchment paper then top with your sauce and toppings. Slide the parchment onto an upside down cookie sheet, then from the cookie sheet onto the pizza stone.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, spinning halfway through, until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is a nice, golden brown.
  6. Let cool 5 minutes before cutting.
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Pizza Hut Copy-Cat Pizza Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 1 cup sauce, enough for 2 pizzas

Pizza Hut Copy-Cat Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients into a small sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce heat and let simmer for 45 minutes until reduced and thickened.
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One comment

  1. This is making my mouth water! I love love lovee pizza! :)

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