I love this idea from contributors Leesh & Lu today! This Heart Shaped pizza is such a fun and easy way to “festivize” your Valentine’s Day dinner this year! Be sure to check out their entire pizza series on their blog for lots of great tips and ideas on pizza making too!
Hey Landee readers! It’s Leesh here. I’m thrilled to be here today sharing some fun food for one of my favorite holidays. I know there are a lot of Valentine’s day haters out there–and yes the whole thing can be a bit cheesy, but I have such fun memories of Valentine’s Day as a kid that I can’t help but love it. My mom always made us a special breakfast and helped us make elaborate boxes and valentines for our classmates. A cute lady in our neighborhood always hosted a tea party for all the little ladies, too. Valentine’s day was always more about fun than about romance and I think it’s kinda stuck that way for me. Landee’s Valentines for the Realist that she posted last year were pretty much my all time favorites.
How do you like to celebrate? Obviously, the way to my heart is through food. The hubby’s too. So you better believe there is always some kind of food involved in our festivities. My mom always made this giant heart-shaped cookie for my Dad on Valentine’s day, so I’ve kept that tradition alive and I think my hubby knows it’s what he will get from me every year. Early on in our marriage, we went out to dinner one night for heart day, but vowed to never do it again. Now that we have kiddos, we usually like to include them and have a fun and fancy dinner in. Last year we had this heart-shaped pizza over candlelight and my 3-year-old thought it was pretty darn awesome. Maybe fancy and pizza don’t belong in the same sentence, but since there are candles involved, can we let it slide? If you’re like us, like to stay in, and are looking for something fun to do with the family, this pizza would be perfect. Plus, who doesn’t like pizza? Especially with those little heart-shaped pepperoni.
We recently finished a pizza series over on our blog, so if you’re new to pizza-making, intimidated by yeast dough, or just need some tips, tricks, or topping ideas, then start here. Otherwise, use your favorite dough, sauce, and toppings and make it your own! I’ve included our favorite dough and sauce recipes in this post. The following recipe makes enough dough for 2 medium-sized pizzas. Getting the heart shape was a little bit tricky, but it doesn’t have to be perfect–so just go for it!
Grab your favorite pizza dough.
And start rolling…
…until you have a heart shape!
Lift it onto a lightly-greased pizza pan or use parchment paper and slide it onto a pizza stone. Lu and I both like the crisper pans that have holes in the bottom or a pizza stone. They help prevent you from getting a soggy crust.
Brush the outer edge with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Top with your favorite sauce…
Sprinkle the whole thing with parmesan or asiago cheese and admire the beauty of your creation. Pop it into a super hot (500 degree) oven for 7-10 minutes.
I’ve included recipes below for our favorite pizza dough and sauce – or you can see some our favorite toppings here:
Perfect Pizza Dough
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 – 3 1/2 cups flour (bread flour or all purpose both work great here)
In mixing bowl add warm water, sugar and instant yeast. Let sit for 3 minutes or so until sugar and yeast are softened. Since it’s instant yeast there is really no need to let it proof like regular yeast (if all you have is regular yeast – let it sit for 5 minutes or so until it’s slightly bubbly).
Add salt, oil, and flour and knead in mixer for 3 minutes or by hand for 5-8 minutes. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl or counter (just don’t over flour the dough or it will turn out a little dry and chewy). You’ll know the dough is floured well when it pulls from the sides and still has a slight tacky touch to it.
Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough in two. Makes two 12-14 inch (medium-sized) pizza crusts. Roll into a circle and bake on pizza pan or stone at 500 degrees F for 6-12 minutes with desired sauce, cheese, and toppings. It’s done when lightly browned and cheese is bubbly. (The cooking time varies greatly with the thickness of the rolled dough and your oven, so keep a close eye on it the first time and adjust from there if necessary.)
This dough freezes great. I freeze it in quart freezer bags with enough dough for one crust. Move from fridge to freezer the morning of or night before you plan to use it. Remove from fridge 30 minutes to an hour before rolling out to allow dough to come to room temperature.
Our Favorite Pizza Sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons water (you can add more if you want it thinner)
¼ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon black pepper, fresh ground.
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
sea salt to taste
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
Mix tomato sauce and paste in a small mixing bowl until smooth, add seasonings and mix. Add cheese and mix until smooth. Spread over your favorite pizza crust and top with desired toppings.
I like to mix a double or triple batch of this and freeze about ⅓ to ½ cup in ziploc sandwich bags (I put all the sandwich bags in a quart or gallon freezer bag) for quick use when we make pizza. It thaws in just a few minutes if you put it in a sink full of hot/warm water.
Isn’t that great! I can think of few things better than heart-shaped pepperoni! 🙂 Be sure to visit Leesh & Lu on their blog and social media sites (links below) so you don’t miss any of their awesome family-friendly recipes! Their pizza making series is fantastic!
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