Need a Cheat Day? 4 Regionally Inspired Pizza Recipes For a Fun Break!

Everyone needs a break from a diet here and there! Why not treat yourself to a homemade pizza? It’s a great activity to do as a family with your kids, and would be the perfect addition to a game or movie night! Whatever your style, I have you covered from coast to coast!

NEW YORK-STYLE PIZZA

New York Style Pizza

CRUST, SAUCE, CHEESE…THIS IS YOUR ESSENTIAL NEW-YORK-STYLE PIZZA RECIPE. EMBELLISH IF YOU MUST, OR JUST ENJOY THIS CLASSIC RECIPE.

INGREDIENTS

  • 19.5 oz. (550 g) bread flour
  • 1⅔ cups (340 g) cold water
  • ⅛ oz. (3 g) active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp (10 g) fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 28 oz. (750 g) can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) oregano
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) garlic salt
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) water
  • 1 lb. (450 g) whole milk mozzarella
  • 1 lb. (450 g) brick of skim mozzarella

DIRECTIONS

  1. Using a scale, measure out the flour.
  2. In a bowl, combine the yeast and flour; stir to incorporate the dry mix. Form into a “castle and moat” so that the water will pour around the outside of the flour/yeast pile.
  3. Slowly pour water into the bowl so it goes into the “moat” then use a spatula to slowly incorporate the flour and yeast mixture with the water.
  4. Once all the ingredients are incorporated, use your hand to scoop the mixture up from the bottom and fold over within the bowl. You will repeat this until you have a ball of dough without flour all over the bowl.
  5. Cover the bowl with a damp towel for 20 minutes.
  6. Measure out salt and oil in separate bowls.
  7. Uncover the dough and pour salt over. Pat the salt onto the dough, the begin to fold into the dough until you cannot feel the salt any longer. Fold enough times to form a ball.
  8. Pour the oil onto the dough and repeat stretching and kneading until the oil is mostly incorporated. You can add a pinch of flour to help the oil absorb after 5 minutes of kneading.
  9. Remove the dough from the bowl and rest on the counter for 2 minutes. Fold, stretch, and knead on the counter until the dough begins to feel smooth (about 2 minutes). Let the dough rest for 2 minutes.
  10. Repeat kneading and stretching so that dough is smooth. Let rest for 2 minutes.
  11. Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces each. Gently fold the dough with your palms to create a ball. Lightly oil plastic containers and then place each ball in a container. Cover and store in the fridge a minimum of 24 hours to 4 days.
  12. To make the pizza sauce, place tomatoes in a 1 qt. (1 L) container.
  13. Using an immersion blender or blender, gently pulsate, moving up and down, until the tomatoes are milled down.
  14. Add the oregano, garlic salt, and water to container. Put a lid on and shake to mix all the ingredients.
  15. Shred both blocks of cheese into a large bowl.
  16. Gently mix by hand.
  17. Preheat a pizza stone in a 450°F (230°C) for up to 30 minutes.
  18. Remove dough from the container, sprinkle flour onto the dough and hold upside down, while allowing the dough ball to gently fall into your hand. Place onto the counter with bread flour. Gently coat the dough so it won’t stick to your hands. I like to gently push the dough out on top and bottom of the ball. The bottom is the part that was face down in container. We want to bake with the pretty side face-up.
  19. Placing the dough on a Pizza Peel. I use a semolina flour, but you can also use some of your bread flour. Sprinkle onto the peel so that it doesn’t stick. Be careful to not use too much because the flour will taste bitter if you use too much. Do a little shake to make sure the dough slides around. If so, top gently with ingredients but NEVER press down hard (this is how it gets stuck to the peel).
  20. Add the sauce and toppings.
  21. Place in the oven about 6” (15 cm) from the broiler and carefully spin the pizza every 2 minutes while baking until done.

Cook’s Tips:

The individual components of this recipe can easily be prepared ahead of time so this recipe is definitely weeknight-friendly.

DETROIT STYLE PIZZA

DETROIT-STYLE PIZZA IS ONE OF A KIND, WITH ITS THICK FOCACCIA-LIKE CRUST, CARAMELIZED CHEESE, AND DOLLOPS OF TOMATO SAUCE.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 oz. (175 g) Muenster cheese (2 cups/500 mL grated)
  • 4 oz. (125 g) low-moisture mozzarella cheese (1 cup/250 mL grated)
  • ½ tbsp (7 mL) vegetable oil
  • Flour for sprinkling
  • 1 lb. (454 g) frozen pizza dough, thawed
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) Italian Seasoning
  • 24 pepperoni slices
  • ⅓ cup (75 mL) pizza sauce

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C). Grate both cheeses.
  2. Brush a 12 inch cast iron skillet with oil. On a lightly floured surface, stretch the dough to a 10″ (25-cm) square using a roller.
  3. Transfer the dough to the skillet and press to fill the pan. Thoroughly pierce the dough with a fork. Top the dough with ⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) of the seasoning and place the pan on the stovetop. Cook over high heat for 2–3 minutes, or until the dough slightly puffs.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and top with 12 pepperoni slices, then both cheeses, making sure to cover the entire pizza, including the edges, with the cheese. Top with the remaining seasoning. Use a spoon to dollop the pizza sauce onto the dough. Add the remaining pepperoni slices and bake for 15 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven.

Yield:

  • 4  servings

Nutrients per serving:

U.S. nutrients per serving: Calories 620, Total Fat 31 g, Saturated Fat 15 g, Cholesterol 75 mg, Sodium 1,040 mg, Carbohydrate 54 g, Fiber 0 g, Total Sugars 4 g (includes 0 g added sugars), Protein 30 g

Cook’s Tips:

Serve warmed pizza sauce on the side if desired.

CHICAGO STYLE PIZZA

IN THE MOOD FOR AUTHENTIC CHICAGO-STYLE PIZZA BUT DON’T WANT TO LEAVE HOME? FIRE UP YOUR OVEN AND TRY THIS AMAZING PIZZA!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
  • 1 cup (250 mL) yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 4–6   garlic cloves, minced
  • ⅓ cup (75 mL) tomato paste
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried basil leaves
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano leaves
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar
  • 1 can (28 oz./796 mL) can whole & peeled San Marzano whole tomatoes, crushed with your hands
  •  Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup (75 mL) yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) salt
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar
  • 1 packet or 2¼tsp (10 mL) instant dry yeast
  • ½ cup (125 g) softened butter
  • 1 cup (250 mL) warm water (90°F/32°C)
  • ½ cup (125 mL) softened butter
  • 4 oz. (125 g) shredded Parmesan cheese (1 cup/250 mL)
  • 12 slices provolone cheese
  • 10 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz. (225 g) bulk spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 oz. (30 g) grated parmesan cheese (¼ cup/60 mL)
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. To make the Tomato Sauce: In a deep saucepan over medium heat, add your olive oil.
  2. Add in onions & cook until soft & translucent. Add garlic & sauté until fragrant.
  3. Add in dried basil, oregano, & chili flakes.
  4. Add the tomato paste & cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Add whole tomatoes & slowly press on the tomatoes to break it up. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.
  6. In low-medium heat, let the sauce reduce for 30-45 minutes or until very thick. Make sure to stir it once in awhile to prevent scorching at the bottom. Set aside to cool.
  7. To make the Pizza Crust: Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine together all-purpose flour, cornmeal, salt, and sugar. Mix at low speed until combine.
  8. Add the instant yeast & mix again.
  9. Add your softened butter & mix until crumbly.
  10. Lastly, add your warm water & mix until it forms a dough.
  11. Form into a ball & put in an oiled bowl. Cover & let it rise for 1- 2 hours or until double in size. Gently punch down the dough to remove any air bubbles & form into a round ball. Cover w/ plastic wrap.
  12. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling.
  13. Roll into a 14-inch (35-cm) round circle. Set aside.
  14. To assemble: Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).
  15. Generously grease a 12 inch cast iron skillet with softened butter.
  16. Gently press the shredded parmesan cheese at the bottom & sides.
  17. Lay your rolled dough on top and using your fingers, press the dough into the cast iron pan. Make sure it’s nice and tight fitting inside the pan.
  18. Cover the bottom of the crust with provolone cheese slices. Next, add the mozzarella cheese slices. Then, put tiny dollops of the raw sausage meat & evenly disperse it throughout the top.
  19. Cover it completely with the thick tomato sauce. Top with grated parmesan cheese.
  20. Drizzle the crust around the edges and top with olive oil. Place inside the hot oven and lower the temperature to 450°F (230°C).
  21. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until crust is slightly puffed and golden brown on the sides.
  22. Let it cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into it.

Cook’s Tips:

Make sure to allow enough time for the dough to rise and then chill before you start assembling your pizza.

CALIFORNIA STYLE PIZZA

WHEN MAKING A CALIFORNIAN PIZZA AT HOME, THE KEY IS TO JUST HAVE FUN AND GET CREATIVE WITH SOME FRESH PRODUCE AND LOCAL INGREDIENTS THAT YOU CAN FIND AT A FARMER’S MARKET OR YOUR LOCAL GROCERY STORES.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
  • 4 oz. (125 g) wild mushrooms (like maitake, shiitake, shimeji, and golden thread)
  • 1   garlic clove, finely chopped
  •  Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pkg. (13.8 oz./283 g) refrigerated classic pizza crust or homemade dough
  •  Olive oil
  •  Kosher salt
  • 4 oz. (125 g) low-moisture mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated (1 cup/250 mL)
  • 2 oz. (60 g) goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1   red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3–4   Calabrian chiles, chopped
  •  Chives, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the pizza stone on a rack set to the top ⅓ of the oven, then preheat stone in a 500°F (260°C) oven for 45 minutes. While the stone is preheating, warm the butter in a large skillet, then toss in the wild mushrooms. Let cook for a few mins to develop some golden color, then toss and let brown on the other side. Stir in the garlic, a pinch of salt, and several turns of black pepper, and cook for 1 minute more. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.
  2. Once preheated, stretch out a ball of dough on a well-floured pizza peel. Drizzle the dough with a little olive oil, then use your hands to spread it about. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt, then top with the low-moisture mozz and goat cheese. Top with red onion, cooked mushrooms and garlic, and a final sprinkling of salt.  
  3. Carefully slide the pizza on the preheated stone and cook for 3 minutes. Switch the oven to broil on high and broil for 3 more minutes. You can rotate the pizza as needed to ensure even browning. The crust should be golden and blackened in spots. Using the pizza peel, transfer the pizza to a cutting board, then top with 3 to 4 chopped Calabrian chiles and sprinkling of finely chopped chives. Enjoy immediately.

Cook’s Tips:

I like to shimmy the dough on the peel as I’m quickly adding the toppings to make sure it isn’t sticking. If it is sticking, add more flour as needed. If it’s easily moving on the peel, you won’t have any issues getting it on the stone.

I hope you have fun trying these! Cheers!

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