Summer is a great time to experiment with some inventive variations on a few classic favorites. Homemade pizza is one of my go-to recipes because there is so much wiggle room when it comes to how you prepare it; at Locals, we will always be advocates for preparing our own homemade sauces, crusts, and topping (complete with plenty of locally-sourced veggies!), but the beauty of a homemade pizza is that you can make or purchase the different ingredients in whatever combinations you want. And while this recipe goes step-by-step through the entire pizza-making process, the real star of the show here is actually the sauce. This particular sauce, which is a perfect option for nearly any kind of Italian dish, is based on a recipe for classic Italian sugo. Sugo sauces were (I believe...) originally meant to be served with pastas, but they also make an incredible pizza topping! This sauce is both aggressively simple and massively delicious, and includes--you guessed it!--our favorite microgreen mix tossed in to sneak in tons of extra nutrients.
Begin by frying the shallots with the olive oil in a medium or large saucepan. After a few minutes, add in the garlic and tomatoes, stirring well to break up the tomatoes. You may need to use a fork to mash up the tomatoes a little more if you prefer smaller chunks in your sauce. Add in the rest of the ingredients and allow the sauce to simmer on medium for about 10 minutes before removing it from the heat. The sauce can be applied to the pizza shortly after or refrigerated before using (depending on which step you're on in the pizza-making process).
The crust:What you'll need:
1 packet active dry yeast (about equivalent to 2 tsp.)
1 cup warm water
3½ cups Sorghum flour (plus a little extra for dusting)
1 tbsp. agave syrup
2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. olive oil
This particular crust is a gluten-free recipe I adapted to suit the flour I had on hand. While some people prefer to use whole grain, spelt, or Semolina flour, I ended up using Sorghum flour because we recently bought a bag in bulk! However, I find that this recipe is pretty adaptable between different kinds of flour. Using gluten-free flour really didn't change the taste or consistency by that much, and by experimenting with a few different kinds of flour, I've come to find that there hasn't been too much of a noticeable difference between variations. The one thing you do have to look out for with a gluten-free flour and no egg or egg substitute is holding power. You may need to spend an extra minute or two kneading the dough and holding it together. When the pizza is finished baking, handle it delicately. Once cut, it should stay together just fine though. We plan on adding a few new recipes with some new crust ideas in the future, so stay tuned!
The dough will need to sit for quite a while before it is ready to roll out into crusts, so you will not need to preheat the oven right away, but whenever you're ready, the temperature will need to be set to 450F. Mix the yeast, water, and agave together in a small bowl, then allow it to sit for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, sieve the Sorghum flour and salt into a large bowl before mixing in the yeast/water mixture (you can either mix by hand or with a mixer). Add in the olive oil slowly while mixing until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Sprinkle a little flour on your baking surface, then place the dough in an oiled bowl after kneading it by hand for a few minutes. It will need to be covered with a towel and left to rest for 1½ hours.
Once the dough has been left to sit, the next step is to separate it out into individual balls of dough. Depending on how large you want the pizzas to be, you can separate the dough into however many pieces you want. I made four pizzas, so I rolled the dough into four separate balls before flattening them out with a rolling pin. Each crust will first need to be baked for 1-2 minutes before adding the toppings. My pizzas were fairly small and I was able to fit two crusts on each pan, but again it is going to depend on the size you end up making. After the quick baking interlude, remove the crusts from the oven and get started on your toppings!
The toppings:The toppings I picked were largely based on my own personal preference, so when it comes to the "decorating" phase, it's your chance to get creative with whatever toppings you generally like! I started out by spreading sauce; because my sauce was a little on the chunkier side, I added a pretty heavy layer just to take advantage of some of the veggies that made an appearance. After the sauce, I ended up making two different pizzas. For the first I used mozzarella cheese and some freshly cut yellow peppers; the second one had crumbles Chevre cheese and artichoke hearts. I kept it pretty simple, but the great thing about homemade pizzas is that you can you however many toppings you want. With this particular sauce, sticking some arugula leaves in with the Chevre and artichoke pizza and topping with some extra microgreens is an awesome extra boost of nutrients!