As I mentioned in the post outlining this week's menu plan, Stephen and I ate our first non-homemade pizza in months for dinner on Sunday. Since we had such a jam-packed weekend, we decided to go easy on ourselves and ordered a pie from one of our favorite local pizza joints. Of course, we each wanted different toppings, so Stephen put ham and pineapple on his half and I put sausage and mushrooms on my half.
Pizza-making has become a regular tradition in our house, and we're always looking for ways to improve the end result. I thought I'd share some [more] tips that we've learned along the way:
- If using store-bought/pre-made pizza dough, then allow it to sit for a few hours on the counter. Room-temperature dough will be much easier to handle than dough straight from the refrigerator.
- For a crispier crust, keep the oven at 500°F for the duration of the cooking period. We used to knock the heat down to 400°F halfway through baking, but we've found that keeping the oven at the higher temperature yields the type of crust that we prefer.
- Although similar lines, if you want a crispier crust, then bake your pizza on the lowest rack in the oven. If you'd rather have a crust with some chew to it, then use the middle rack.
Experimenting in the kitchen can have its benefits. If Stephen and I stuck to making pizza the same way every time, then we would have never achieved our crispy crust!
Here's how we make Pizza with Italian Sausage and Mushrooms at home.
Pizza with Italian Sausage and MushroomsPrep time: 20-25 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 40-45 minutes | Yield: 4-6 servings | Printable Recipe
- 1 pound Italian sausage links, casings removed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
- 1 pound pizza dough
- Tomato or pizza sauce
- Shredded mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 500°F.
- In a large skillet, cook the sausage oven medium-high heat until browned. Use a wooden spoon to break apart the meat as it cooks.
- Drain the sausage on a paper-towel-lined plate. Wipe the sausage grease (if any) out of the pan with a paper towel and return the skillet to the heat.
- Add the extra-virgin olive oil and unsalted butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted, add the sliced mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until they have begun to release some of their moisture. Remove the pan from the heat to allow the mushrooms to cool.
- On a floured surface, roll out the pizza dough to your desired thickness. Lightly oil a baking sheet and place the rolled dough onto the sheet.
- Top with tomato or pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, sausage, and sauteed mushrooms. You don't have to use the full pound of sausage or all of the mushrooms if you don't want to! Base the amount you use on your personal preference.
- Slide the baking sheet onto the bottom rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes before slicing into 8 pieces.
Recipe by Michelle Rittler, Taste As You Go
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