Extra Thick Homemade Pizza Sauce

No one likes a watery pizza. That’s why our favorite homemade pizza sauce is extra thick, like bordering on tomato paste-thick, not to mention packed with garlic, herbs, and an intense tomato flavor. While you might be tempted to use a pizza sauce straight from the jar, we find most commercial sauces far too thin […]

The post Extra Thick Homemade Pizza Sauce first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

No one likes a watery pizza. That’s why our favorite homemade pizza sauce is extra thick, like bordering on tomato paste-thick, not to mention packed with garlic, herbs, and an intense tomato flavor.

While you might be tempted to use a pizza sauce straight from the jar, we find most commercial sauces far too thin for our tastes, resulting in sad, soggy pizza centers. If chewy, crispy-bottomed pizza crust is your jam (it sure is ours), we find the extra time to make a batch of this extra-thick homemade sauce is well worth the effort.

White bowl with homemade pizza sauce and spoon, homemade pizza on a plate in the background

The texture of this extra-thick pizza sauce falls somewhere in between tomato sauce and tomato paste, probably leaning more towards the paste end of the spectrum when all is said and done.

The flavor is so intense you really only need a few spoonfuls on your pizza (2-3 tablespoons is just about right for a 9-inch two person pizza); that small quantity packs the same amount of flavor without the extra liquid.

Seasoning-wise it’s deceivingly simple, just a bit of garlic sautéed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried Italian herb seasoning to help enhance the tomato flavor even further.

Paired with our favorite pizza crust recipe and assorted toppings of your choice, you’re in for a truly epic pizza night.

(more…)

Our Favorite Overnight Pizza Dough

No matter the toppings, homemade pizza is sure to be a crowd pleaser. And the foundation of good homemade pizza is, of course, the crust. Once you find a reliable, go-to pizza crust recipe, you’ll be set for life. We’ve made dozens of different crust recipes over the years, and this one is our all-time […]

The post Our Favorite Overnight Pizza Dough first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

No matter the toppings, homemade pizza is sure to be a crowd pleaser. And the foundation of good homemade pizza is, of course, the crust. Once you find a reliable, go-to pizza crust recipe, you’ll be set for life.

We’ve made dozens of different crust recipes over the years, and this one is our all-time favorite: an overnight pizza dough recipe that uses what’s called a poolish, or pre-ferment, to develop a lovely depth of flavor without the need for a sourdough starter. It’s thick (but not too thick) and perfectly chewy, with an open, airy crumb and a delightfully crisp bottom.

Overhead wooden cutting board with two sliced pizzas (pepperoni and pizza bianca), with a bowl of sauce

As much as I love sourdough, I find most sourdough pizza crusts too tangy for my tastebuds. But often times recipes using instant yeast are downright flavorless. This pizza dough, however, strikes the perfect balance of flavor and fermentation, and it does so using what’s called a poolish, or pre-ferment, which gives the dough a lovely depth of flavor without the harsh undertones of sourdough.

This post and recipe is really focused the dough: what you put on top of it is up to your personal taste and limited only by your imagination.

Our favorite go-to pizza assembly includes a thin layer of extra thick pizza sauce (recipe coming in a separate post!) plus slices of creamy mozzarella and lots of pepperoni (I have to say, I never used to be a pepperoni person but lately it’s been growing on me). Sometimes we’ll add a sprinkle of parmesan or some fresh basil leaves to finish it off.

If I happen to have fresh chard on hand, this pizza bianca with goat cheese is quite possibly my favorite pizza of all time (just ignore the old crust recipe in that post, ok? This new one is better).

Side view, pepperoni pizza with one slice cut out to show the texture of the crust.

This recipe is scaled and adapted from one of my favorite bread books, Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast. The book actually has four different pizza dough recipes, including a sourdough pizza dough and a same-day pizza dough. But this one, an overnight dough made with a poolish or pre-ferment, has emerged as our favorite. I’ve scaled it down, as the original makes 6 balls of dough and frankly, I don’t have a container big enough for that much dough.

(more…)

Quick Pickled Red Onions

Tart, tangy, and fantastically fuchsia, these pickled red onions are quick and easy and stored in the fridge, no canning required! Pickled red onions are the perfect garnish for just about anything, from tacos to burgers to grilled chicken and more. They add bright flavor and a kick of acid to any dish they embellish. […]

The post Quick Pickled Red Onions first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Tart, tangy, and fantastically fuchsia, these pickled red onions are quick and easy and stored in the fridge, no canning required!

Pickled red onions are the perfect garnish for just about anything, from tacos to burgers to grilled chicken and more. They add bright flavor and a kick of acid to any dish they embellish.

Two jars of pickled red onions in glass jars on a marble background

Technically, I’ve posted quick pickled red onion recipes before, but always as a part of another recipe (like these pulled pork tacos or these loaded nachos).

But the thing is, this recipe is so easy and so versatile, it really deserves a post of its own.

Two lidded glass mason jars filled with Quick Pickled Red Onions

This is a very basic recipe, with little more than salt, sugar, peppercorns and vinegar.

Consider this a foundation for flavor, if you will. It’s perfect as is, but if you’re feeling frisky can mix it up with some fresh garlic cloves, maybe a sliced red chili or pepper flakes for a bit of spice, mustard seeds or some fresh herbs, even. Or maybe add a spoonful of gochujang for a kimchi-like twist.

You can also mix and match vinegars here. I like to use half white vinegar and half cider vinegar, but red wine vinegar would be lovely as would a little bit of champagne, rice vinegar or even a small splash of balsamic (though you would muddy the gorgeous garnet hue of the onions with that last one.)

(more…)

Homemade Everything Crackers

Ultra thin and crispy crackers topped with a homemade everything bagel seasoning blend that’ll have your tastebuds demanding more. Homemade crackers are the ultimate snack, and these ultra-crispy, everything bagel-inspired delights are no exception. Top them with a smear of cream cheese and a dollop of pepper jelly or a slice of smoked salmon for […]

The post Homemade Everything Crackers first appeared on Love and Olive Oil.

Ultra thin and crispy crackers topped with a homemade everything bagel seasoning blend that’ll have your tastebuds demanding more.

Homemade crackers are the ultimate snack, and these ultra-crispy, everything bagel-inspired delights are no exception. Top them with a smear of cream cheese and a dollop of pepper jelly or a slice of smoked salmon for a truly delectable combination!

Broken pieces of Homemade Everything Crackers with small bowl of everything spice.

With this year’s bread baking boom it’s no surprise that my most popular recipe of the year was these homemade sourdough crackers. I regularly get tagged in Instagram posts and stories when folks make the crackers, using all manner of creative seasoning combinations. (Also, can I just say that seeing folks making my recipes is by far the best part of this job, it makes me smile every time!!)

I’ve been wanting to do a non-sourdough version of these crackers for some time now. If you think about it, sourdough starter is just equal parts flour and water, so converting the recipe is just a matter of some simple math.

You’ll definitely notice a difference in flavor if you compared the sourdough vs non-sourdough crackers directly. The sourdough ones taste distinctly like wheat thins to me (weird, but true), regular crackers rely more on the seasoning and mix-ins for flavor. Still, they’re no less delicious.

Stack of unbroken Everything crackers on a wire rack

These homemade crackers are ridiculously simple, made with little more than flour, water, and olive oil (I also added a bit of honey to give them that subtle bagel-like sweetness, barley malt syrup would be lovely as well). After a brief respite, they are then rolled super thin (pasta roller FTW), topped with a generous layer of everything bagel seasoning, and baked to crispy perfection.

If you did want to use some leftover sourdough discard, simply replace and equal amount of flour and water with your 100% hydration starter (for example, if you have 100g of starter, replace 50g of flour and 50g of water). And yes, a digital scale makes all this math so much easier (in case you’re stymied by the weird flour measurements in the recipe, just use a scale please).

You can ultimately season the crackers with whatever spices you like (I used herbs de provence in the original recipe, za’atar is also a popular option a lot of folks rave about). Here I oped to go for everything, mixing up my own everything bagel blend.

(more…)

Weight vs Volume Measurements in Baking and the Best Way to Measure Flour

When it comes to baking, accuracy in your measurements is critical to a recipe’s success, and the single most accurate way to measure your ingredients is by weight. I’ve received a few questions lately on some of my more popular cake recipes that seem to imply some confusion about weight versus volume measurements, specifically when […]

When it comes to baking, accuracy in your measurements is critical to a recipe’s success, and the single most accurate way to measure your ingredients is by weight.

I’ve received a few questions lately on some of my more popular cake recipes that seem to imply some confusion about weight versus volume measurements, specifically when it comes to measuring dry ingredients like flour. I figured I’d do a bit more in-depth explanation in a post, to hopefully clear up any confusion.

Scooping flour out of a glass canister

American bakers grew up using cups, where a cup of water is equal to a cup of flour and so forth. We also had it drilled into our brains that a cup is 8 ounces and a pint is a pound the world round (a pint being two cups or 16 fluid ounces).

But I’m here to say that a pint is NOT always a pound and a cup is NOT always 8 ounces—it depends on what you’re measuring.

Now before you start arguing, let me explain!

Weight versus Volume

Volume is a measure of the amount of space something takes up. Things like cups of flour, gallons of milk, cubic feet of helium… these are all volume measurements.

Weight is a measurement of an object’s heaviness. Grams of salt, pounds of sugar, kilograms of apples… these are measurements of weight.

Ok. So, that makes sense, right? Volume and weight are measuring two entirely different things.

You’ve heard the old riddle: Which weighs more: a pound of feathers or a pound of lead?

Trick question: they both weigh a pound! BUT the lead is going to have a much smaller volume since it is more dense than the feathers, so it will look like a smaller amount of material.

When we’re talking about baking, the differences might not be quite as apparent as feathers and lead, but the same is true of flour and water: one is much less dense than the other (in this case the flour is the feathers and the water is the lead). So a pound of flour is going to take up more space, or volume, than an equivalent pound of water.

(more…)