Doug’s Favorite Scratch Pizza and Sauce

We've gotten over a foot of snow in Parkersburg, WV today so we are doing a little baking with the plant closed.  My Dad taught me the fine science of making pizzas. He actually had a collection of twenty five pizza dough recipes. I would go over to my parent’s house on a Sunday mornings and work with him to prepare pizza for a nice afternoon repass. We would always try to outdo each other on toppings. This of course made for interesting conversation.

Pizza Doug-h (it contains my name, so it must be good)
I always make a double batch, but each batch I make separately

  • 1 packet or 1 tablespoon (5 ml) dry yeast.
  • 2 tsp (30 ml) sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) luke warm water
  • 3 cups (700 ml)) all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 2 tbsp.(45 ml) olive oil
Sometimes I will add spices to the dough, i.e. Italian Spices to give the dough an interesting flavor and appearance.
  1. Heat ¼ cup (60 ml) of water for 12 seconds in the microwave
  2. Add sugar and yeast and gently stir. Let sit for 3 to 5 minutes to rise.
  3. I have used a food processor and a mixer and prefer the mixer.
  4. Add flour, water, salt, olive oil and yeast in the mixing bowl
  5. Using the dough blade in the mixer, mix until a ball is formed. You may need to add a little more water to help it in forming.
  6. Take the ball of dough and place in a covered bowl. I usually wipe the side of the bowl or container holding the dough ball with olive oil so that it will not stick.  
At this point, make a second batch for a second pizza.

Marinara Pizza Sauce

While the dough is rising, you can prepare the pizza sauce. Here is my favorite Marinara sauce which is easy and fast to make.
  • 2 tbsp. (45 ml) olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves either mashed or finally chopped
  • 1 medium purple or yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 (28 ounce) (840 ml) can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) ground fennel
  • 1 ½ tbsp. (22.5 ml) sugar
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) Italian spices (marjoram, basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, savory and sage)
  1. Sauté onions and garlic in a sauce pan until the onions are transparent.
  2. Add remaining ingredients simmer for 1 hour.  
This recipe makes enough sauce for two pizzas.

After the pizza dough doubles in size, kneed it, continually folding it onto itself. I usually let it rise twice.  When ready, shape the dough into a cookie tray or an 18” (.45 m) round pizza pan. For thinner crust, roll out with a rolling pin. I often let the shaped dough rise a little more in the pan before baking.

First Baking
Pre-heat oven to 450F (230C)
Bake the dough for 10 minutes.
After the Pizza dough is pre-baked, add your favorite toppings.

The Toppings
Spread the marinara sauce on to the pre-baked crust, then add: different types of cheeses, sautéed Italiansausage, pepperoni, deboned chicken, New Orleans Central Market Muffuletta Olive Salad mix, raw egg to be fried on the pizza, sautéed broccoli, Swiss chard, and or spinach, mushrooms, sautéed onions, sliced avocado, fried potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, artichoke hearts, anchovies, tuna or whatever sounds good.

Final Baking
Place back into the oven. Bake at 450F (232C), until the crust is brown and the cheeses are melted (about another 10 minutes). Using a spatula, lift an edge of the baking pizza up to see if the underside is done (a bit brown). The dough should lift easily from the pan and not stick. This will signal that you are ready.

Remove from the oven.  Cut and serve and wow your friends.

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