Since Thursday is Valentine’s Day, I know most are thinking about recipes for all things chocolate, right? If you want a yummy treat to bake up for your sweetheart, you can go here to find some yummy treats, a couple that do indeed include chocolate!
But there’s more to any special day than just the sweet things! I’m talking about recipes for savory dishes you could indeed serve for Valentine’s Day, or any supper meal when you want to spread a little love!
Homemade pizza is a gift of love, time and deliciousness! Recently I made this pizza again and I’m here to say that it’s worth the effort to bake up your own crust and add what you like on top! This is from Cooking Light, which means it’s reduced in fat. It’s cheesy and wonderful!!
I think one thing I love about this pizza (aside from the fact that it’s absolutely delicious), is that it takes very few ingredients and is far cheaper than ordering one to go from your favorite place. The sauce is easy to make and you can use whatever kind of cheese and toppings you like. I kept this one simple, but you could add meat to it, too, if you prefer. The herbs on the crust are a nice touch, though I go a lot lighter on them than the recipe calls for. A brush of olive oil before adding them gives the crust a deep, rich flavor!
Here’s the recipe
Herbed Cheese Pizza
- 9.5 ounces bread flour, divided (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups warm water (100° to 110°), divided
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 packages dry yeast (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
- 14.6 ounces all-purpose flour, divided (about 3 1/4 cups)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Cooking spray
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon hot paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 10 ounce sliced kasseri cheese – You can use Mozzerella or Provolne – whatever you like!
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
To prepare dough, weigh or lightly spoon bread flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 75 ounces (about 1 cup) bread flour, 1 cup warm water, sugar, and yeast in a bowl; let stand for 15 minutes.
Weigh or lightly spoon all-purpose flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 5 ounces (about 3 cups) all-purpose flour, remaining 75 ounces (about 1 cup) bread flour, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; make a well in center. Add yeast mixture, remaining 1 cup warm water, and 2 teaspoons oil to flour mixture; stir well. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands.
Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, for 45 minutes or until doubled in size. (Press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; divide dough into 8 equal portions. Cover and let rest 20 minutes.
To prepare topping, combine oregano, cumin, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, garlic, bay leaf, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Working with 1 dough portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), roll each portion into a 6-inch circle on a lightly floured surface; place circle on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining dough portions. Top each crust with 1/4 cup tomato mixture, 1 1/4 ounces cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon oregano mixture. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until crusts are lightly browned. Sprinkle evenly with parsley.
Dinner out on Valentine’s might be nice, but you can’t beat an evening at home! This pizza for supper would make a great entree. Add a salad and a simple chocolate dessert and you’re set!
When our girls were home, I would make Valentines dinner for the four of us and set the table beautifully, light the candles and enjoy a family supper. Then after they went to bed, my husband and I would enjoy our dessert together. The cost is far less than hiring a babysitter and going out for dinner. Plus you get to make a family memory and create the atmosphere that’s perfect for your family (can we say less stress?!).
Do you ever make homemade pizza from scratch? Do you ever celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family? I’d love to hear what you do!
With love from my country kitchen,