How To Make Really Good Pizza At Home05:50
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Kathy Gunst making pizza in the WBUR kitchen. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Kathy Gunst making pizza in the WBUR kitchen. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
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Americans spend $30 billion a year on take-out pizza. But Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst says making pizza at home is cheaper, easier than you might think and tastes great! She joins hosts Jeremy Hobson and Robin Young with samples and these recipes:

See more recipes and cooking segments with Kathy Gunst

Pizza Dough #1

Kathy Gunst shares two pizza dough recipes: #1 is faster and easier. #2 is a bit more complicated and must be refrigerated overnight. (Kathy Gunst)
Kathy Gunst shares two pizza dough recipes: #1 is faster and easier. #2 is a bit more complicated and must be refrigerated overnight. (Kathy Gunst)

Kathy's Note: You will want to leave at least 45 minutes to let the dough rise. If you leave it overnight it will have even more flavor and chewy texture, but it’s not crucial.

Makes 4 small or 2 large pizzas.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup warm (but not boiling hot) water
1/3 cup milk
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus oil for the bowl
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 2 cups unbleached white flour, or a combination of white and whole wheat

Instructions:
In a large bowl mix the water and milk (the temperature should be lukewarm like a baby’s bottle). Add the yeast and stir to combine, making sure the yeast doesn’t clump up. Add the sugar, olive oil and salt and stir. Gradually add the flour, adding only enough to make a dough that is not wet or overly moist.

Place the dough on a well-floured surface and using your hands knead it for 4 to 5 minutes, adding more flour if needed. Shape the dough into a large ball. Add the kneaded dough to a large bowl and add some olive oil, about 1 tablespoon. Toss the ball in the oil so it’s coated on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot for 45 minutes. The dough should rise and almost double in bulk.

Or, if you have time, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Remove the dough in the morning, punch the dough down, and let rise by letting it sit in a warm, dry spot for another hour. Then the dough can be rolled out and shaped.

Bring dough to room temperature before using.

Divide the dough into four equal size pieces (for making individual pizzas or in half for larger pizzas). Using your well-floured hands, stretch the dough out keeping it thicker along the crust and edges. The crust should be fairly thin but don’t pull so much that the pizza rips or becomes too thin. I like to make the pizzas about 11 to 12 inches long by about 7 to 8 inches wide, in an oblong shape.

Transfer the pizza to a well-floured pizza paddle or wooden board.

Note: You can also freeze raw dough after rising. Wrap dough tightly in plastic. Freeze for up to 6 months.

Pizza Dough #2

Kathy's Note: This dough is a bit more complicated and needs to sit overnight, but results in a wonderful chewy crust. This is an adaptation of the Napoletana pizza dough in Peter Reinhart’s "American Pie." You will need an electric stand mixer with a dough hook for really silky smooth dough. You can add half whole wheat flour to this recipe if you like. This dough makes enough for 4 individual pizzas and two 8-inch pizzas.

A variety of pizza toppings in Kathy Gunst's kitchen. (Kathy Gunst)
A variety of pizza toppings in Kathy Gunst's kitchen. (Kathy Gunst)

Ingredients:
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or Kosher salt
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 3/4 cups cold water
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

In the bowl of a standing mixer, using the dough hook, mix the flour, salt and yeast. Add the water and mix on low speed for about 4 minutes, or until the mixture forms a ball. Let dough rest for 5 minutes. Turn on the machine and mix again for 2 minutes at medium speed, or until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides or bottom of the bowl. If it’s still very sticky you may need to add a touch more flour.

Remove the dough from the machine and place on a well-floured work surface. shape the dough into a smooth ball.

Place the olive oil in a large bowl. Add the dough ball and coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a dry warm spot in your kitchen for 30 minutes. Then place in the refrigerator overnight.

Bring the dough to room temperature before shaping for your pizza.

Spinach, Ricotta And Spicy Italian Sausage Pizza

Half and half pizza by Kathy Gunst: spicy sausage (left) and spinach and ricotta (right). (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Half and half pizza by Kathy Gunst: spicy sausage (left) and spinach and ricotta (right). (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Kathy's Note: This pizza combines great colors, textures and flavors. If you don’t eat meat omit the sausage and double the amount of spinach.

Serves 2 to 4.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus some to flavor the pizza
1 clove garlic finely chopped
5 ounces baby spinach, washed and thoroughly dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 hot Italian-style sausage out of casing
Half recipe of pizza dough, see above
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:
Cook the spinach: in a medium skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until wilted and soft, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In the same skillet heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil over moderate heat. Add the sausage and cook, using a fork to crumble it up into small pieces, until cooked through with no signs of pinkness, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. If you have a pizza stone heat it in the oven.

On a well floured working surface, work the dough into an 8-inch circle or rectangle or any shape you like. Place on a large sheet of parchment paper. Rub the bottom of the dough with a touch of olive oil. Spread the ricotta on the bottom of the crust, distributing it evenly. Add the cooked spinach on top and then the sausage pieces. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Place the pizza on the pizza stone or on the middle shelf of your oven with the parchment paper. Bake for about 8 to 15 minutes, until the crust is somewhat puffed and golden brown and the cheese and toppings are hot and bubbling.

Tomato, Grilled Artichoke And Olive Pizza

Pizza by Kathy Gunst: Tomato, Grilled Artichoke and Olive. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Pizza by Kathy Gunst: Tomato, Grilled Artichoke and Olive. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Kathy's Note: I love the combination of meaty artichokes, tangy tomato sauce, and briny olives on this pizza. You can look for grilled artichokes in gourmet food stores or use jarred or canned artichoke hearts.

Serves 2 to 4.

Ingredients:
1/2 recipe for pizza dough
1/3 cup tomato sauce
4 grilled artichoke quarters, cut in half lengthwise
1 cup thinly sliced fresh mozzarella
1/4 cup pitted green and or black olives
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Drizzle olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:
Place the dough on a well floured work area and work it into an 8 inch circle or rectangle and place on a large sheet of parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Heat a pizza stone in the oven on the middle shelf if you have one.

Spread the tomato sauce on top of the dough. Arrange the artichoke pieces around the pizza and top with the mozzarella slices, olives, and finally the Parmesan cheese.

Bake on the middle shelf for about 8 to 14 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown, slightly puffed and the cheese is bubbling.

Tomato, Salami, Basil And White Anchovy Pizza With Arugula Salad

Pizza by Kathy Gunst: Tomato, Salami, Basil and White Anchovy. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Pizza by Kathy Gunst: Tomato, Salami, Basil and White Anchovy. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Kathy's Note: This pizza combines sweet tomato sauce, thin slices of peppery salmi, fresh basil and salty anchovies.

Drizzling the olive oil is the final step. (Kathy Gunst)
Drizzling the olive oil is the final step. (Kathy Gunst)

Serves 2 to 4.

Ingredients:
1/2 recipe for pizza dough
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1 cup thinly sliced fresh mozzarella
4 thin slices salami or fennel salami
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
8 anchovies or white anchovies, drained from oil
1/2 cup arugula leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients:
On a well floured surface shape the dough into an 8-inch circle or rectangle. Place on a large sheet of parchment paper.

Place a pizza stone on the middle shelf of the oven if you have one. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Spread the tomato sauce on the pizza. Arrange the mozzarella on top and then add the salami. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and half the basil leaves. Arrange the anchovies on top. Bake for about 8 to 14 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and slightly puffed around the edges and the cheese is bubbling. Remove and top with the arugula and remaining basil leaves in the center of the pizza. Drizzle on the olive oil and pepper.

Guest

This segment aired on April 14, 2016.

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