We love a good pizza night in The Bliss House. Bread, cheese, veggies – what could be better?! Some nights we opt for take out, some nights we go all out making the sauce and dough from scratch and some nights it’s somewhere in between. Whenever possible, we get Charlie involved in the process.
The older Charlie gets the more jobs he can do for pizza night. Some of the tasks he likes to help with include:
picking out the toppings
cutting veggies for toppings
rolling out dough
When we make pizza I love making a couple different varieties both because I usually want more options plus having leftovers is a total win. The only pizza I’m likely to turn down involves ham & pineapple. Otherwise there’s likely a topping I’m good with. The Bliss Special 😉 has a loaded veggie marinara, a combination of Italian cheeses and then topped with sausage crumbles, broccoli florets and sliced mushrooms.
I don’t always add extra veggies to pizza, but I do like to make double batches of this sauce and pizza dough so that I’ve got extras on hand for future me. Both pizza dough and sauce freeze very well so it’s worth the time to do it once – then you don’t have to worry about forgetting to grab sauce or dough at the grocery store!
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce envelope)
2 cups warm water (105 degrees to 115 degrees)
5 to 5 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil, for bowl
For the sauce:
2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes with basil
1 medium eggplant, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 bell pepper, cored and diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 cup vegetable broth, low sodium
4 Italian chicken sausage links, casing removed and cooked into crumbles
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2-3 cups shredded Italian blend cheese (or a combination of mozzarella and parmesan)
Make the pizza dough
Dissolve yeast in warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer.
Add in 3 cups flour and salt, stirring until well combined. Gradually add in 2 additional cups of flour continuing to stir well. Add in an additional tablespoon of flour at a time (max 1/2 cup) until the dough comes away from the bowl but is still sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand until smooth and soft but slightly sticky.
Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a medium bowl lined with olive oil. Cover with a towel and let rest in a warm place for approximately 3 hours.
Scrape the dough out of the bowl back onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and shape each into a ball. Dust the balls with flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes – they should double in size.
Make the sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray 2 cookie sheets with nonstick spray. Arrange diced pepper, zucchini, eggplant, carrot and onion on sheets. Top with 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil until coated. Season with salt and pepper, roast for 25-35 minutes until soft and slightly browned.
In a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat cook garlic in 1-2 teaspoons of oil. Add crushed tomatoes and roasted vegetables. Cook together for 5-6 minutes, then blend using immersion blender until smooth texture is reached and all vegetables have been pureed.
Turn down heat to low and let sauce simmer for 30-40 minutes, season with salt pepper and Italian seasoning to taste. If sauce gets too thick, turn down heat further and add in 1/4 cup vegetable broth at a time, stirring well after each addition.
Assemble the pizza
When the dough has finished it’s second rise and you are ready to cook, gently stretch out the dough in a circular motion until it is approximately 12-inches in diameter.
Place the pizza dough onto a pizza peel or a cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Turn oven on broil setting and let warm up while adding toppings to pizza.
Add your toppings! I like to spread approximately 1/2 cup sauce then 1-2 cups cheese then mushrooms, broccoli and sausage crumbles on top.
When pizza is fully topped and ready to bake, broil for 3-4 minutes then turn oven down to 500 degrees and bake pizza an additional 6-8 minutes.