Swedish Pizza

In our house, following a tradition that dates back to my husband’s childhood, every Friday night is pizza night. The pizza itself isn’t intrinsically Swedish; it’s not a specific flavour or topping. More so, it derives its name from the fact that my husband and his family are so proud of their Scandinavian birthright that anything they touch turns Swedish. (My husband is like the Greek father in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” – according to Andreas, just about everything comes from Sweden. Seatbelts, Angry Birds, dynamite… you name it…)

Pizza is definitely a huge part of our lives. But it’s more than just food – it’s the memories that come alongside it.

The first time I ever really noticed Andreas was on his 20th birthday. Andreas and I had just begun moving in the same friend circles and so when his sister threw him a 20th birthday bash, I was included in the invitation. A small group of us sat in her little house, and ate hot slices of cheesy, Swedish Pizza, topped with yellow, banana peppers. Little did I know that a couple months later, I’d be completely enamored by this messy haired ginger.

mushroomsFast forward three years and Andreas was about to “pop the question.” He had meticulously planned the whole proposal, which included a fancy candlelight dinner by the ocean. Unaware of his special plans, I had a rare bought of frugality and was confused as to why he wanted to spend money when we could make pizza at home. Turns out, making pizza with your fiancé (all the while admiring the shiny, new rock on your finger) is much better than eating at a restaurant.

I’m not sure what it is that makes this pizza so delicious. Maybe it’s because anything laboured over and prepared by hand always seems to taste better. Perhaps, it’s simply that Pizza Night is synonymous for family night – time dedicated to friends and relations. Or maybe, it really is just because it’s made by Swedes. One thing I know for sure, Swedish Pizza is the best pizza I’ve ever tasted.

Swedish Pizza Ingredients:

pizzaWe like to experiment with different types of pizza toppings but this is a typical Friday night pizza for us. If we’re in a bit of a rush (or just feeling lazy) we buy a pre-made, tomato based sauce from the store, instead of making our own. We use garlic or summer sausage – rather than pepperoni – for a bit of a different taste. You can use either sliced deli ham, cut into strips, or roasted ham, which we dice. We love the deluxe style pizzas. 

Prep: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Pizza Dough:
– 3 cups White Flour (Can substitute whole wheat flour.)
– 2 1/4 tsp quick rise Yeast
– 1 cup Warm Water
– 1 tsp sugar
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tbsp oil

Pizza Sauce:
– 1 can crushed tomatoes
–  2 tablespoons tomato paste
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 2 tbsp oil
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
– 1 tsp oregano
– 1 tsp basil
– garlic to taste

Pizza Toppings:
– Tomato based sauce
– 2 cups of grated Mozzarella Cheese
– 1 Red Onion
– Mushrooms
– 1 Red Pepper
– Diced Ham
– Sliced Garlic Sausage

Instructions

PizzaDough1. Prepare the dough in advance. (We usually begin prepping the pizza an hour before cooking.) Mix yeast and warm water together. Let proof.

2. In a glass mixing bowl, slowly add flour, sugar and salt into the water and knead gently. Add flour until dough is no longer sticky. Coat outside of dough with oil and let rest in mixing bowl for 30 minutes. Cover dough with a towel until ready to use.

3. Place pizza sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Once heated through, allow to simmer on low until ready to use.

4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

5. Chop onion, mushrooms, ham, sausage and red pepper according to preferred size. Grate cheese.

pizzaingredients 6. Punch and roll out dough into a circle. Place dough on pizza pan and spread tomato sauce evenly over dough. Sprinkle grated cheese on top of sauce and add toppings.

7. Cook pizza for 20 minutes and serve!

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