Delivering Innovation

I must start with a good dose of honesty before I continue. I am not a great cook. In fact, I don’t really spend much time in the kitchen. But there are several dishes that I really enjoy making, and at the top of the list is pizza. Pizza is a food that I have enjoyed eating and making ever since I learned some basic techniques from my mother a long time ago. Cooking and preparing pizza at home is fun and you can eat the product of your work. That’s as good as it gets.

Start with making the pizza dough. You can buy ready-made pizza dough or use various ready-made pizza dough recipes and that’s fine if you want to. I personally like to mix my own pizza dough from scratch. It’s really not a lot of work and I think the end results are better. Any general cookbook should have a basic pizza dough recipe. If you don’t have access to a cookbook, there are plenty of pizza dough recipes on the internet.

My basic dough recipe is three and a half cups of flour sifted and added to this packet of active dry yeast and mixed with about a cup and a half of warm water. Then you will combine the dissolved yeast and flour. Mix and knead the dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside until the dough rises. Knock it down and spread out your pizza with a rolling pin and board. This is enough dough for three medium pizzas. I should mention here that I have never evolved into a pizza launcher. If you’re so inclined, feel free to give the pizza a spin.

The rolled pizza is ready to decorate. But first, the pizza sauce. Pizza sauce can be as easy or as complicated as you choose. There are several ways to go when it comes to salsa. I have made my own sauce using stewed and whole tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, garlic and the like. This will make a pizza sauce to die for. However, I have found a shortcut that satisfies my audience and makes it a good second option. Grab a bottle of your favorite pasta sauce, there are several that work well, but choose one that tastes good to you. Spread it generously on the pizza, add your favorite cheese(s) along with whatever else you like on your pizza. And now, you are ready to put the pizza in the oven.

Cooking the pizza is the final and very important step in making a really good pizza. Times and temperatures will vary slightly depending on the oven and the size and amount of topping on the pizza. Some experimentation will be necessary. But this is where I would start. For a simple twelve to fourteen inch pizza with cheese and pepperoni: First preheat the oven to 425F. Place the pizza on the middle rack and bake for twelve to fifteen minutes. If the pizza is larger, two-layered, or has more toppings, the time and temperatures will need to be adjusted. For a dish that can be as variable as pizza, experience will be your best teacher.

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