Homemade Pizza with Fresh Basil

By now, many of you know that I am slightly obsessed with my AeroGarden. Now that the basil is ready to be harvested, I’ve been using it as often as possible. Last night, I used some of the Genovese basil on a homemade pizza. Wow! There is nothing like fresh, homegrown basil on a pizza. Its flavor is bright and distinct, but not overpowering. Had my AeroGarden tomatoes been ready, I would have used them on the pizza as well. Instead, I settled for Roma tomatoes from the grocery store. Blah. (By the way, my AeroGarden tomato has tiny blooms. Very cute.) I topped the pie off with a blend of mozzarella, parmesan and Romano cheese.

Ahhhhh, and the crust…
I believe I have found the best crust solution yet. I’ve been experimenting with pizza dough for several years and almost achieved the perfect crust a couple of times. The crust I used last night wasn’t 100% homemade, which seems a little bit like cheating, BUT it works. I used a loaf of frozen bread dough and let it thaw and rise just as if I was making a loaf of bread. Then, I removed it from the bread pan and shaped it into a rough circle. Looks very rugged and artisan, doesn’t it? Actually, this wasn’t my intention. I planned on making a heart shaped pizza. Yeah, I know, I’m corny. When the heart shape failed, I tried to make it round again. You see how that worked out. I recently learned how to toss pizza dough. It’s quite fun and is not as difficult as it looks. However, at this stage in the dough shaping process, tossing was completely out of the question. Next, I sprinkled a little cornmeal on a sheet of parchment paper, set the dough on it, brushed it with olive oil, and perforated it with a fork about twenty times. Since this is bread dough, it tends to get puffy. The fork holes help calm it down. After ten minutes, I removed the crust from the oven and added the sauce and toppings. Then, I slid pizza off of the parchment paper and onto the hot pizza stone in the oven. Ten minutes later, the pizza was ready and I was in heaven.

My Genovese basil in its infancy.

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3 thoughts on “Homemade Pizza with Fresh Basil

  1. Yay! I’ve been looking for an easy way to make pizza at home so thanks for the tips. Although I’ve tried different frozen varieties, I usually regret serving them. Do you have a favorite pizza sauce?

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