31-Recipe Challenge: Day 1 — Kicking it off!
Well, folks, the day has finally arrived–I have officially started my one-month, 31-recipe challenge! Since I’ve been sick for the past week (battling an ear and throat infection punctuated with cold-like symptoms, yay winter), I started off slow, but delicious. My first recipe I tackled for this challenge–sausage and pepper pizza!
Now, I’m from New Jersey, where sausage and peppers can be found in every corner pizza joint (and you can bet they’ll be good, too!) They’re not usually my first choice, but let me tell you, this pizza rocks. I’m rethinking sausage and peppers now.
One great thing I learned from this recipe: making pizza dough from scratch is super-easy. Like, crazy, crazy easy. Literally takes five, maybe 10 minutes, not counting the time for it to rise. I don’t think I’ll be buying pre-made pizza dough anymore, it’s just not worth it.
Let’s take a minute here and let this sink in: I. made. homemade. dough. And it didn’t suck. The non-baker inside me is freaking out and doing a happy dance! (And possibly a literal happy dance occurred at the time, as well. Not ashamed.)
The pizza got the stamp of approval from my toughest critic, the sausage pizza aficionado, if you will. (AKA…Kevin loved it!)
I *very, very* slightly modified this recipe from Joy the Baker for the pizza. The main modification I made was using all-purpose flour in place of bread flour in the dough recipe, because, well, I’m not likely to use much bread flour again, so having five pounds of it seemed excessive. Frankly, though, the AP flour worked fine. I also used mild Italian sausage (patties, not links, since there was no casing) instead of spicy, because I have a low heat tolerance and actually wanted to be able to eat my pizza. As it was, I was reaching for the water anytime I took a bit with a little too much red pepper flake on it. (And there wasn’t much.)
I totally plan on making this one again, and keeping homemade pizza dough on hand in my freezer. It was so quick to make, even on a rushed post-work Friday evening, yet WAY beats any fast-food and even beats great pizza shop sausage pizza. Possibly because even the best Jersey pizza joints don’t usually put fresh bell peppers and arugula on their pizza.
Consensus: Day 1 a success. The fun continues today with sweet potato tacos with avocado and apple, pomegranate and kale salad. And I’m getting really crazy tomorrow, combining the recipe challenge with a Super Bowl party! Yes, I may have the best-fed Super Bowl guests this side of Baltimore (see what I did there?).
See you soon for Day 2!