I’ve been making homemade pizza for quite a while.
It’s always tasted good, but somehow not really lived up to what I thought was a totally awesome pizza.
We used to purchase our dough from our local pizzeria. (So cheap, like a buck, which is so awesome.)
This worked for a while, but then we came across a recipe in our Cook’s Illustrated. Now this recipe was for calzones, sure, but it worked so well for pizza, that I adopted it as my standard pizza dough recipe.
4 cups (22 ounces – it’s best to weigh) bread flour
2 1/4 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 cup hot water (from the tap is totally fine)
All dry goes into the mixer with a dough hook, then slowly add the water and olive oil.
Allow to mix for about 10 minutes (on low).
Dough should be a cohesive ball.
Remove from mixer, place in bowl that is lightly lined with olive oil (my preference) or cooking spray (ew).
Cover with saran wrap and put it aside in a cool, relatively dark place for at least 1.5 hours.
When you go back to it, it will have tripled in size. Cool!
I split this huge dough ball up into 4 smaller balls.
Each one makes a medium sized personal pizza. Thin crust.
Now to bake, make sure you have heated up your stone for at least an hour. (At 500)
Place rolled out pizza dough onto parchment and place in oven, on pizza stone, for 6 minutes.
Take out and do it for all 4 crusts.
Now, since we’re only 2, I take 2 of the prebaked crusts, wrap them well, and place them in the freezer for another night.
The other 2 will be dinner now.
Take the prebaked crust and add to it whatever you like, cheese, sauce*, mushrooms, meat, whatever. The thing to keep in mind though, since this is thin crust, don’t make it too heavy. Keep your ingredients to a minimum, you want the crusts good flavor to come through and to not be broken or soggy.
If you’re adding fresh tomatoes, which we do often, seed them first, so their water content has been decreased.
After you’ve added your ingredients, put the pizza back in the over for another 7-8 minutes, depending how crispy you want your cheese and crust.
And there you have it.
Sprinkle with fresh or dried basil if desired and you’re good to munch!
It will be the best pizza ever, seriously.
(I am circular-pizza challenged for sure!)
*Here is my homemade sauce recipe. It’s based on Giada DeLaurentiis’ Everyday Italian simple tomato sauce.
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced (or pressed)
2 cans (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
Heat olive oil, add vegetables.
Add tsp each of salt and pepper.
Cook veggies for about 5 minutes.
Add crushed tomatoes.
Lower heat to simmer, cover.
Let simmer for 1 hour.
After one hour, remove from heat, and using stick blender (preferred method), blend sauce to marinara consistency. (You can do this in a blender too, in batches.)
There you have it.
Simple, delicious, healthy tomato sauce. And it goes great on the pizza.
This recipe will yield quite a bit. It freezes perfectly and it’s wonderful on any pasta.
For extra flavor and creamiess, take 4 cups of the sauce, add 1/4 cup of heavy cream, 1/3 cup of freshly grated pecorino romano cheese, and stir over very low heat.
Add pasta and fresh basil and serve. Delish!