Category Archives: Pizzas, Pizza Dough, Calzones

Vegetarian Pesto Pizza Pie


  • Pizza Pie Dough (see my recipe)
  • Pesto Sauce (see my recipe)
  • 3/4 cup fresh spinach, shredded
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 can of a 6.5 oz can of California Style Marinated Artichoke Hearts, sliced thinly
  • 2 tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 of a large red onion, diced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced

Preheat oven at 450, if you’re using a pizza baking stone then put it in the oven at this time to preheat with your oven.

Place your rolled out pizza dough on a large piece of parchment paper. Generously spread the pesto sauce over the pizza skin. Sprinkle the shredded spinach atop of the pesto sauce. Add all three cheeses, always working from the outside inward. Place the sliced artichoke hearts over the cheese, about 1/2 an inch apart. Then sprinkle the diced red onion followed by the diced tomatoes and lastly the sliced green onions.

When using a baking sheet, transfer the parchment paper with the pizza on top of it onto the baking sheet at this time. If you’re using a pizza baking stone, then take the stone from the oven (watch out it’s really hot). Lift the parchment paper by the sides and transfer the pizza along with the parchment paper onto the baking stone.

Bake for 10 minutes at 450, then lower heat to 400 and bake an additional 10 minutes. Crust should be browned and crisp, cheese should be melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.


Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Pizzas, Pizza Dough, Calzones


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Pizza Pie Dough

This milk based pizza dough works wonderfully with the moisture from vegetables and fruits. No yeast, No kneading, No rising, No refrigeration, just mix, roll and bake. This recipe creates a thin and crunchy pastry type dough.


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 3/4 cup milk, (I find whole milk works best)
  • 5 Tb butter, unsalted softened at room temperature
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, milk, butter, baking powder and salt. Stir with a fork until a soft dough starts to form. Using your hands shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough on a lightly floured counter or work surface. Using a rolling-pin, roll out the dough into a round disc about 1/8 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter. While rolling flip the dough over occasionally, using additionally flour on the surface if necessary to prevent the dough from sticking. Transfer the pizza dough skin to large piece of parchment paper and top.

Once topped I generally bake this pizza dough for 10 minutes on 450, then lower the baking temperature to 400 and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Suggestions: Use this Pizza Pie Dough with vegetarian type pizzas and dessert pizzas. The crust holds up very well to all of their juices.


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Garlic Knots

Ingredients:    yields about 1 dozen knots

  • Pizza Dough (see my recipe for Everyday Pizza Dough)
  • 6 Tb butter, salted
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tb fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/8 tsp garlic salt
  • Kosher Salt
  • grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Flour for dusting a work surface

Lightly flour your counter or work surface. Take golf ball size pieces of dough and roll them between your fingers and your work surface or counter working from the inside to the outside form a rope that is about 1/2″ in diameter. Tie the ropes in a knot and place on a pizza stone or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Once they are all tied let them rest for 20 minutes before baking. In a small sauce pan over medium low heat melt the butter than add the garlic, parsley and garlic salt.  While stirring, cook for a couple of minutes so that the flavors blend. Remove from heat for use.

Preheat oven to 400. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned. While the knots are still hot brush them generously with the butter mixture, then sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and generously sprinkle the grated Parmesan Cheese over them.

Suggestions:  Serve these with warmed pizza sauce or cool ranch dressing for dipping. Try these with a nice tossed salad. There are great with any type of soup…or just serve them as a snack.


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Pork Lover’s Pizza


  • Pizza Dough for a 14″ pizza (see my Everyday Pizza Dough recipe), rolled out for the pizza skin
  • 2/3 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Dip
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups pizza cheese (I use a blend of 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup cheddar, 1/2 cup provolone)
  • 25 or so slices of pepperoni
  • 8 slices of bacon, cut into small strips
  • 1/4 of a red onion, diced
  • 1/3 pound ground sausage
  • 3 green onions, sliced

Place your pizza stone into the oven and preheat both the oven and the stone to 450.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat, add the sausage and fry gently to just starting to brown, but not fully cooked. Remove from skillet and set aside. Cut the bacon slices in half lengthwise then into small strips across the width and add to the skillet. Gently fry the bacon until just starting to brown, but not fully cooked. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Place your pizza skin on a large piece of parchment paper (do not use wax paper, it’s not the same thing). Brush with the Hidden Valley Ranch Dip, over the entire pizza skin surface. Sprinkle the minced garlic atop of that. Starting from the outside of the skin and working your way to the center sprinkle the pizza cheese over the skin. Distribute as evenly as possible, you should be able to see the ranch dip through the cheese. Place the pepperoni slices on the pizza starting also from the outside and working your way to the middle. Leaving about 1/2 inch space between all of them. Next sprinkle the bacon slices over the entire pizza, then the same for the sausage and lastly the green onions.

Lifting the pizza by the parchment paper place on the very hot pizza stone. The parchment paper will brown but will not go up in flames. Bake 10 minutes at 450 then lower the heat to 400 and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the pizza still on the stone and let it rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting.

Suggestions: Try to keep your toppings evenly distributed. Avoid overloading your toppings on your pizza it will affect the flavor of the pie and you’ll end up with just a heap of heated toppings.  This pizza is one of my all time favorites, I hope you will enjoy my recipe.


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Everyday Pizza Dough

This is a very basic and everyday pizza dough. Although I have been in the pizza industry for over 25 years I have yet to find a recipe that turns out a dough that I like when I use my home mixer. Most pizzerias make their dough in 50 pound batches with a huge Hobart type mixer, but at home I use the old fashion way and tools that work best, my hands.

Ingredients:  makes a 14″ pizza skin

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoon warm water, 90 to 105 degrees in temperature
  • a very small sprinkle of sugar
  • 2 3/4 cup flour, all-purpose flour, plus some for dusting in the kneading and rolling process
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tb Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

In a glass measuring glass dissolve the yeast in the water and let stand until slightly foamy on top, about 10 minutes. You need to warm the measuring cup with hot water, dry it, then add your warm water. Use a food thermometer to make sure the temperature of the water is within the usage range. To hot will kill the yeast, to cold and it won’t wake the yeast up. Add the yeast to the water, sprinkle with just a very small sprinkle of sugar. The sugar gives the yeast something to eat.

In a warmed bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the dissolved yeast and water into the well. Using a fork, stir in a circular motion, gradually pulling the flour into the yeast. Continue with this process until a dough forms.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Using the heel of your hand, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If needed sprinkle additional flour on the work surface to prevent sticking. When the dough has completed the kneading process shape into a ball.

Coat the inside of a large bowl with the Olive Oil, place the dough in the bowl and turn it all over to lightly coat the entire dough ball. Cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled. This may happen within 1 hour but may also take up to 2 hours. When the dough has doubled in size you can continue with the recipe or gently punch your fist into the center of the dough, cover again with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate up to 10 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surfaced. Punch the dough down very gently and using your hands press the dough into a disc shape. Using a rolling-pin, roll in every direction, sprinkle more flour on the work surface to prevent sticking. Roll the dough into a 14″ dough skin. Let the rolled skin rest for 20-30 minutes before topping.

Suggestions: I generally cook my pizza dough on a pizza stone from Pampered Chef. Place the stone in a cold oven, turn the temperature to 450 and preheat the oven and stone. Before saucing and topping place the pizza skin on parchment paper, add the sauce and toppings then using the parchment to lift the pizza quickly place both the paper and the pizza on the very hot pizza stone. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 then lower the heat to 400 and cooked for another 10 minutes. Let the pizza rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting to allow the cheese and toppings to settle and so that no one will get burned by the very hot pizza…..Now I can’t believe I’m going to mention this, but, if you just don’t want to make the pizza dough skin at home, swing by a local “Papa Murphy’s” and ask to by the pizza skin only. There the only place I know that actually has a license permit to sell that product since it’s not baked.


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