I don’t really know anyone who doesn’t love pizza. Pizza is at its best when it’s homemade with fresh ingredients by you and your friends. I’m a strong believer that a tomato sauce should not be used on pizza because it will take away from the flavors of your other ingredients and overpower the entire thing. I enjoy using an olive oil base on all my pizza’s and I find that if you use a little extra olive oil in the bowl that the dough will rise and you won’t have to brush on any extra.
Once you have your dough, the next step is getting it in the oven. The best way is to use a pizza stone. This is a “stone” or slab that goes into your oven and it heats up — you bake your pizza directly on it. You can find a pizza stone at most all kitchen supply stores and they range anywhere from 25-100 dollars. Mine was $49.95 at Williams Sonoma, but you can look around and find good ones at a better bargain.
This is just a basic overview on how to make homemade pizza. It’s not difficult and it’s fun to do with friends all in the kitchen together. Make it a party: everyone helps out in the kitchen making different toppings (maybe add some wine) and then everyone gets to enjoy eating the pizzas as they come fresh out of the oven. Next time you think about ordering delivered pizza, you can pull out some dough from the freezer and make it yourself to order. It will cost less, you’ll be eating ingredients you like and are sourced by you and it will taste better. Homemade pizza (and wine).
- 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/3 cups warm water
- 1 pkg. active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- The easiest way to prepare is to mix and knead it in a mixer. Start by dissolving the yeast in the water in the bowl of your mixer (this will take 3-4 minutes). Then, add 2 1/2 cups of flour and the sugar and salt to the bowl, mix with a dough hook on low (setting 2 on a Kitchen Aid) for 3 minutes, then slowly add the remaining flour to incorporate. Mix until dough clings to hook and cleans side of bowl. Continue to knead for 2-3 minutes more. Remove dough from bowl and hook and place in a bowl that has been coated in a thin coat of olive oil, cover with plastic wrap.
- Place the bowl in a warm spot and wait until it doubles in size (at least one hour). I like to place mine on the hearth by the fireplace, but any nice warm place in your home will do just fine. Each batch of dough will make 2 pizzas.
- Place pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 475-500 degrees for upwards of an hour to get it really hot. Really hot is very important.
- Take half your dough and on a piece of parchment paper about the same size of your pizza stone, stretch and pull the dough to make a rectangular form (a homemade pizza does not have to be round). Once you get the dough to about a 1/4-1/2 inch thickness, you can then top with your favorite toppings.
- After you have your toppings on with a pizza peel or cutting board slide the pizza and parchment paper onto the preheated pizza stone and bake for 12-15 minutes depending on thickness and toppings.
I have been making homemade pizzas for years. These are some of my go-to pizzas. You can get creative and add any flavors you like. That’s one of the great things about pizza.
The Hawaiian: Thin crust, fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella, applewood smoked ham, and pineapple!
Margherita: Thin crust, mozzarella, tomato and basil.
The Elite: Thin crust, Sautéed Mushrooms, Shallots, Goat Cheese, light sprinkling of mozzarella and Prosciutto.
Just Call it Joe: Thin crust, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, oregano, feta and a sprinkling of mozzarella.
Here is another idea of how you can personalize pizza. I copied a lot of this pizza from one of my Seattle pizza places and added some of my own ingredients. I call it the Spicy Mykonos: Feta Fetish- Thin crust, olive oil, sautéed green bell peppers, pepperoncini, dried oregano, feta and pepper jack cheeses.