After a long debate (that occurred pretty much inside my own head… Garlic butter?! Garlic chips!? What are we going to doooooo??!?!?), Ryan had the brilliant idea of slicing them up and putting them on our pizza.  That way their freshness could be admired and enjoyed and not lost in a mess of other ingredients.  We put a little less than half the garlic on a Spinach and Mushroom pizza, and the rest on an onion and garlic pizza.

Which brings me to the pizza experiment I mentioned a while back.  We’ve been trying to eliminate pre-processed foods from our grocery list, and our most recent goal is frozen pizza.  This came to mind several months ago when we were having my bro-in-law over for dinner.

It was a homemade pizza night.  We were going to buy a Boboli pizza crust like we had done in the past, but I was so annoyed with them!  Not only are they hard to cut through and more “bready” than “crusty”, they are so expensive! I mean, a pizza crust is pretty much flour and water, right?  Which is like pennies.  But I am paying this company to put it together for me, bake it for me, add in a bunch of preservatives, put in plastic wrap and ship it to the store.
I turned to the famous Betty Crocker Cookbook to look for a pizza crust recipe, and instantly found one that took like 2 minutes to make.  (Now let me be clear, I was looking in the 1961 edition, because I kid you not the modern edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook actually instructs you to purchase a pre-made pizza crust in their recipe for homemade pizza.  America is awesome.)  The pizza crust was super delicious, and I was hooked.  I told Ryan that we should never buy any frozen pizzas ever again, and just make this crust and homemade pizzas forever and ever.

But then, life happened.  And gosh darn it sometimes you come home from work on a Friday and don’t want to do anything but grab a beer and put the frozen pizza in the oven and just sit on your porch and watch all the crazy apartment kids throw mud at each other. Wait.  I don’t really want to watch that, but then again I don’t really have a choice. But you get the idea.

Needless to say, my Betty Crocker pizza plan fell through because sometimes we are just that lazy.  But a month ago I came across this book “Artisan Pizza Crust in 5 minutes a Day” at our library, and Ryan and I started to re-evaluate the plan.  So the title of this book is slightly misleading: you make the pizza dough which takes 2 hrs, and then you store it (because this dough is “wetter” than most, which apparently gives it magical storing properties).  Then you can grab some dough and make a pizza in 5 minutes.

But, Ryan had the brilliant idea of making the dough, assembling full pizzas, finding some way to store them in the freezer, and having our very own frozen pizzas!  It was pure genius.  The hardest part was figuring out how to store the pizzas in the freezer.  After a few weeks of researching, we found a Pyrex from Target that is meant for storing lasagnas or big caseroles.  The pizzas have to be oval-shaped to fit in the rectangular container, but they still taste the same.

Homemade “Artisan” Pizza

Ingredients for Dough (8 pizzas)

  • 7.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 3.5 cups warm water
  • 1 tblsp dry active yeast

Stir the yeast in to the warm water until it dissolves.  Mix the flour in, a few cups at a time.  The last cup you will probably have to mix with your hands to incorporate the all the flour.  You don’t have to knead this dough.  Once the flour is mixed set the dough in your bowl in a warm place and put a towel over the bowl. Let it rise for ~2hrs, or until its doubled in size.  No punch-down required.  Just grab some dough and start rolling it out / throwing it.  If you decide to put it in the fridge cover it, but don’t seal it all the way (that way gas can be released as it continues to ferment).  Also the dough will fall if you put it in the fridge but that is normal.

Load up your pizza crust with toppings (tomato sauce or marinara, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, onions, GARLIC!  Anything, really).  Don’t pile too much on…. this is “artisan” dough, not really deep dish American dough.  An excess of toppings will make the crust watery and falling apart even after its baked.

Bake at 450F for 18 minutes.  You can put them on parchment paper on a baking sheet or sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet so it won’t stick.