Thursday, January 11, 2018

Football Weekend Pizza!

I'm not sure if we've done double pizzas before, but it's football playoff time and this is a great crowd pleaser for little money... and it's the crust that makes it so perfect.  I have two of these monster-sized pizza pans.... The holes allow the crust to cook evenly and "dry" the way you expect pizza crust to be.

I lightly rub the pans with olive oil then sprinkle corn meal over the corn meal... gives the crust a nice, store-bought old-fashioned texture!

So the crust... well we've tried everything under the sun over the years and in a "DUH" moment, I used my favorite chewy bread recipe and it's the best... Just absolutely the best....

It's from Betty Crocker and I use the recipe exactly as the cookbook presented it, which is a rarity for me... but this recipe is perfect.

Mix together in large bowl:
3/4 Cup warm water
2 Tablespoons Yeast (or two packets)

Mix together... Let sit for a minute or two...


2 2/3 Cups warm water (about 110 to 115 degrees)
1 Tablespoon salt
1/4 Cup sugar
3 Tablespoons Crisco
5 Cups Flour (I use bread flour, higher gluten content, I love bread flour!!!!)

Mix all of this on medium speed on big mixer or with hand mixer for a couple of minutes until well-blended and smooth.

Add three more cups of flour.

Blend with dough hook until smooth and elastic and dough cleans sides of bowl.

If dough is sticky, add a little more flour and blend with dough hook.

Take dough out of bowl. Grease bowl. Put dough back in bowl. Flip dough so that all the dough is "greased" to prevent drying out. Cover loosely with towel and set aside to rise....

When dough has doubled in size, punch it down (stress reliever!!!) divide dough in half and press each half out onto pizza round.

We press it out gently, teasing it to about one inch in from the edge....

Use fork to prick surface of dough thoroughly to prevent over-rising. Rub surface of dough with olive oil (or use a brush, that's okay, too!!!)

Sprinkle surface with salt, Parmesan cheese and granulated garlic or garlic powder. (Our kids won't eat roasted garlic chunks...)

Bake for about ten minutes. Remove from oven.

See how the crust has risen some, but not too crazy... and the oil and seasoning and Parmesan protect the surface from drying out for the pre-bake. Boboli does this... other producers do, too. It gives you a solid crust base for folks who love thick-crusted pizza and I love thick crusts! 


Drizzle sauce over crust of one pizza. We use a bottled marinara sauce from Pellicano's, their Roasted Garlic Marinara....

Then cover with shredded mozzarella. Add any toppings you'd like. Italian sausage, pepperoni, peppers, onions, etc... 

Bake at 400 degrees until crust is firm but not browning... Let cool slightly before cutting.


Follow the same directions up to baking crust with Parmesan, garlic and salt.... Remove crust after ten minutes of baking, add more Parmesan and cover with Shredded mozzarella. Finish baking until crust edge is dry to touch and cheese is melted.

The pre-baking (with that olive oil coating) is what gives this pizza its distinctive texture and taste, that 'chewability' that comes from great pizza shops.... unless they're silly New York Pizza with that cardboard thin burnt crust.


But we all differ!!!!

And here's some fun with a pup.... a very big pup: Morgan has decided that Jeter is her "spirit animal".... :)

They've become great buddies and how fun is that???? A girl and her dog. And then, check out this sunrise... This is Eastern Woodlands up here. Simply put, if you don't mow it or plant it... you get a forest. Isn't that cool???

The snow just kept coming!!!!!

I love this shot of Christina, helping with the donkeys.... Isn't it beautiful? Just like her!

This week things moderated and we got some melt-off, a real "January thaw"... but this weekend we're going to get hit again, with 1 to 2 feet of snow on Saturday... so I'll be shopping by Friday morning so no one has to venture out on Saturday!

Home. Snug. Football. Kids. Pizza.

Now that's a great family recipe! And crazy affordable!

Multi-published, bestselling author Ruthy Logan Herne is living her dream of writing beautiful stories of faith, hope and love as she burrows into her old farmhouse in Western New York... where the cookie jars are always full and the wood stove burns bright....

But when it's -20 Wind chill, the wood stove isn't quite enough! Then we're mighty glad to layer up, just like those pioneers who settled the American West.

You can find Ruthy on facebook and twitter (Ruth Logan Herne) or stop by her website

She'd love to see you!


  1. Oh, I love this. Both the pizza and the football. You know the worst 8 weeks of the year will soon be here. That’s the time between the end of football season and opening day of baseball. Such long, lonely weeks.

    I do have a pizza dough recipe I love. It has some garlic in it and olive oil. I need to make that again. Soon. Sunday is supposed be cold. Perhaps I should copy you. No snow, though. Gosh, if a foot of the white stuff fell here, the entire area would be paralyzed.

    1. Mindy, I love a great crust. To me, that's like a clean floor. A clean floor sets the stage for a room, even if it's cluttered... like a crust makes the stage for the great pizza!!!!

      It's been pouring rain all night here, and 59 degrees.... and the change comes in about 9 hours...

      We'll bunker down! Getting ready for winter again!

  2. I used to make pizza quite often - back when children were still living at home and the teenage boys had voracious appetites!

    Now that it's just two or three of us, I haven't made pizza. But oh, it sounds so good! I'll have to try it this weekend!

    1. Jan, I don't make it when it's me and Dave, either... now that we've got Seth and Lacey and three hungry kids here, it's a great go-to meal.

      For me to make it for us, then we either eat too much ... or waste too much! And either choice isn't good!!!

      Then we're better ordering a medium pizza from a local business and supporting them.

      Must love local business!!!

  3. Oh, wow, Ruthy!! I have been looking for a good pizza crust recipe to make our own pizzas and this sound so perfect!!! A keeper for sure. I'm with you on the burnt cardboard thin crust...what's up with that anyway, lol!! I

    Keep warm out there in NY....minus 20 isn't something to play with! Football, family, homemade pizza, yea, doesn't get better than that 😊

    1. I've been looking for a pizza crust recipe too. I use Naan bread now but I'm going to try this next time I make pizza.

      And I love the girl and her dog pics -- sharing secrets and warmth on a cold day. Doesn't get any better than that...unless you have a Ruthy book on your TBR pile!

    2. Trixi, this has been my go-to bread recipe for decades... I found it in a Betty Crocker book years ago and it's like the perfect bread recipe... We love it. Friends love it... and it's great for pizza dough because it rises just enough and the pre-baking is a great secret!!! That allows the crust to cook perfectly every time.... So good!

  4. Ruthy, this crust sounds so good. A local pizza spot here uses cornmeal on the bottom of their crust. Yum.
    Be safe with all the snow this weekend. Our temperature was 60 today but down to 20 degrees tonight with wintery mix and snow by morning.

    1. Marilyn, we're doing that same change of weather here so we're getting ready today... I went to Sam's Club to stock up on things yesterday, but ours was closed for the day because they announced the closing of 63 stores... and both of ours are on the list. Sam's has been my go-to place for probably 25 years... a perfect store for big families, daycare, farm business...

      But I'll run up there today and stock up... and you will love this crust! And don't be shy with the garlic and Parmesan!!! :) Unless you don't like Parmesan, then just be heavy with the garlic.

  5. That looks yummy Ruthy!
    We have a woodstove we use for the den and kitchen, but it took our gas heat too, to keep us warm with those low temps of teens and single digits this past week in a foot of snow. I've never seen our rivers frozen like they were, what a week. I can not image -20 wind chill!
    God bless you for bearing up under those temps,
    shall I send you some cuddle duds?!

    1. Tracey, I love my Cuddle Duds!!!! Yes, I layer up, it's the only sensible thing to do. And gosh, that was a cold stretch... I'd be okay if that was our only DEEEEEEP FREEEEEEEEZE this winter... but we'll see. Lots of winter to come yet!!!

  6. Speaking up in favor of the burnt thin crust here!!!!

    I do love a thick crusted pizza - and this looks FAB! - but I also love those thin-crusted "burnt" ones made in authentic wood-burning oven pizza places. And it smells so heavenly when those are cooking.

    1. Cate, that's the difference. I don't like dark toast, I don't like the smell... so that's part of why the thin-crust style isn't a Herne/Blodgett thing.

      And I'm always surprised in Manhattan when folks rave about it.

      But if you like the crispy, dark taste and smell, then yeah, that would be the ideal pizza!!!!

  7. I never knew the trick of pre-baking! I made pizza crust not long ago and saved half in the freezer. I'll have to pre-baking the next batch!

    Love the beautiful sky in that photo!

    1. Missy, I got the idea when we bought Boboli crusts in the grocery store, and then I realized that frozen rolls are often pre-baked somewhat... and what a wonderful difference this makes. This makes the crust bake perfectly with the toppings, no soggy stuff in the middle. The olive oil on top (and cheese and garlic) keep the crust sealed from getting dry... but keep that perfect texture.