Homemade Pizza

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Our family loves pizza. We’ve made homemade pizza a bunch of times, but usually the weakest link is the crust. We’ve found a keeper!!! This is a Giada de Laurentiis recipe published in Bon Appetit magazine. The great thing about making pizza at home is that you can completely customize and use your imagination! FYI: I don’t think it’s possible to ever get homemade pizza crust to taste like your favorite pizzeria…the reason being is the home oven cannot reach the temperature that a commercial pizza oven reaches. Nevertheless, this is an excellent recipe, and we’ll definitely make this one again.

Gadgets you’ll want to have on hand: pizza peel/paddle, pizza stone, pizza cutter

Pizza Dough:

  • 3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115F)
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 cups (or more) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 TBSP olive oil

Pour 3/4 cup warm water into small bowl; stir in yeast. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.

Brush large bowl lightly with olive oil. Mix 2 cups flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add yeast mixture and 3 TBSP oil; process until dough forms a sticky ball. Transfer to lightly floured surface. KNEAD dough until smooth, adding more flour by tablespoonfuls if dough is very sticky, about 1 minute. Transfer to prepared bowl; turn dough in bowl to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. PUNCH down dough. ROLL out dough by starting the center of dough, working outward toward edges but not rolling over them.

Toppings We Used:

  • Marinara Sauce, probably not more than 1/4 cup
  • Fresh mozzarella sliced or shredded
  • Vine ripened tomatoes, sliced and sprinkled with salt
  • Shredded basil

Assembly:

Once the dough is rolled out, flour your pizza peel/paddle and place dough on paddle. Put a few spoonfuls of your favorite store bought marinara sauce on the dough, but be careful not to add too much sauce (probably not more than 1/4 cup). I wouldn’t use homemade sauce for pizza because the water content is probably too high. Leave about 1/2 inch of dough sauce free around the edges.

Shred lots of fresh mozzarella cheese or thinly slice the cheese. Add cheese to the dough.

Slice a bunch of vine ripened tomatoes. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt. This helps draw the liquid out of the tomatoes as well as making them super tasty. Spread the tomatoes all over the cheese.

Gravity will shift the toppings toward the center during the cooking process, so resist putting too many toppings toward the center of the pizza.

Brush the exposed crust with olive oil

Cook:

Place your pizza stone on the center rack of your oven. Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it can go for about 30 minutes. With the pizza on the paddle, place it in the oven and shake the paddle to transfer the pizza to the stone.

Cook for 15 minutes or until done (it only took 7-8 minutes when we made…all depends on your oven temperature).

Remove pizza from oven and top with shredded basil.

Feel free to be creative with the toppings. Next time we make pizza, we’ll make a traditional one for the kiddos and then for us, we’ll make a Mexican inspired pizza. We’ll spread refried beans over the dough, tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, cheese, then cook and serve with guacamole. Sounds really tasty to us! :)

Pizza Dough

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