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Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

The Student News Site of Thomas S. Wootton High School

Common Sense

Culinary Quest: Mini heart pizzas, surprisingly easy

Freshly+baked+heart-shaped+pizzas%2C+topped+with+parmesan+and+basil+are+a+fun+and+easy+recipe+to+try.
Photo by Heerah Jayakumar
Freshly baked heart-shaped pizzas, topped with parmesan and basil are a fun and easy recipe to try.

As a picky eater myself, pizza has always been a haven for me. Whether it’s made by family or delivery, there is nothing that calms my nerves more than when someone suggests pizza during a battle over what we’re eating for dinner. It’s a safe option, and it feels like no matter what toppings you choose, the flavor never falters. It’s been an especially popular option in recent years to buy heart-shaped pizzas, but making it can be a fun group activity that happens to involve a treat at the end. Whether you’re feeding friends, loved ones or yourself, these mini pizzas are a fun way to spread the love.

Dough:

The perfect pizza dough is soft, and stretchy and maintains the perfect balance between crunchy and chewy. To achieve this, I added a packet of yeast to one and a half cups of lukewarm water, letting that sit for five minutes. After that one tablespoon of salt, one tablespoon of sugar and two tablespoons of olive oil were mixed in gently. Then, three and a half cups of all-purpose flour were added slowly, so as to not create a dry dough. After kneading for about 5 minutes, the dough was set to rest for about two hours, although it can be left overnight as well. The dough should be soft and pillowy, with a fair amount of elasticity. This bakes in the oven at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Sauce:
This is one of my favorite sauce recipes as it can be used for basically anything. It’s great in pastas and pizzas and can even be a good soup with just a few extra ingredients. I start by slicing a few cloves of garlic and shallot. Adding olive oil into a pan, I let it simmer until the garlic is golden brown, at which point I added about 20 cherry tomatoes. This simmers in the pan as well until the tomatoes are squishy to the point where a soft push would burst them. The tomatoes are mixed and blended smoothly if preferred. Salt and pepper, as well as any other spices you might want, are added to taste. The best thing about this sauce is that you can eyeball all the ingredients and alter it to fit whatever you are cooking up.

Just like that, the pizzas are almost ready to eat. They can be easily shaped into hearts by a pizza cutter and if any dough is leftover, it can make for good breadsticks. Toppings, of course, vary based on what you prefer, although I would recommend some parmesan or mozzarella with some basil for a fresh taste. While making pizza using pre-made ingredients can still be fun, I find that fresher ingredients deliver better quality without compromising too much time. In total the dough takes about 10 minutes to prepare before it rests, and the sauce takes around 20 minutes. This pizza recipe can conjure up a lot of fun and it might even introduce makers into the baking world.

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