I don’t remember when we started making home made pizza. I think it was after I paid $12.99 for a take-and-bake that would have cost me $3. Or maybe it was when I realized we needed FOUR different toppings to make my family happy. OR! maybe it was when the children ate ALL my pineapple and olives AGAIN before I could even get one bite. Whenever it was, I figured… I make bread, and I make tomato sauce, I can work my stove – why am I spending time and money on food I can more easily and affordably make at home? Plus, it is always pretty fun for each of us to “decorate” our own section – we experiment all the time and everyone gets their own delicious pieces – and try each other’s as well!
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/4 cup tomato sauce, for pizza or pasta
3 cups whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
Garlic salt (optional)
Whatever you like to eat on your pizza:
– sliced zucchini
– fresh tomato
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir gently to dissolve. Let the mixture stand until the yeast comes alive and starts to foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Turn the mixer on low and add the salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until all the flour has been incorporated. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium; stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Get a feel for the dough by squeezing a small amount together: if it’s crumbly, add more water; if it’s sticky, add more flour – 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix until the dough gathers into a ball, this should take about 5 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold it over itself a few times; kneading until it’s smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it over to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour (OR, place in the fridge overnight). This is a good time to preheat your over to 450 degrees F.
Once the dough is domed and spongy, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Roll and stretch the dough into a cylinder and divide into 2, 3, or 4 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes so it will be easier to roll out.
Dust your work surface with a little flour. Roll or pat out a piece of dough into a 10 inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Sprinkle cornmeal on a large rimmed baking sheet (or counter top) this will keep your pizza from sticking while baking. Transfer the pizza dough to the baking sheet BEFORE you put toppings on it. Brush the crust with a thin layer of olive oil, and top with your favorite flavors. My favorite order is: olive oil, tomato sauce (not too much), cheese (lots), veggies/pepperoni, a little more cheese. Sprinkle a little garlic salt on the crusts for some extra flavor. Bake the pizza for 12 to 15 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp. Repeat with the remaining dough. Let the pizza rest for a few minutes before eating…