Bread for Beginners: Homemade Pizza

Friday, March 27, 2020

Homemade pizza is something that eluded me for years. My crust was always too tough, or too soggy, or awkwardly shaped... It just felt better to order pizza or grab something frozen from the store! But I've been using this recipe for years and it's perfect. Give it a try!




You have to plan this far enough in advance to give the dough time to rise! But then it just sits there, so from rolling it out until we actually sit at the table to eat, it takes me a little less than an hour to get three pizzas made + baked (and veggies cut up). That's really not bad! 


One of my favorite ingredient combinations is butter+garlic+spinach+cream (simmered until slightly thickened)- then I replace the sauce with that & top it with cheese. Delicious!


I'm picky, so I insist on making our pizza sauce. It's just olive oil, onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano. Cook, puree, enjoy!


I always have to make at least one cheese pizza - this one has grated mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, and fresh mozzarella.



Pizza Crust:

(makes three 14-inch round pizzas, which is just right for feeding our family of 9 —measurements in parentheses make enough crust for two pizzas):

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups warm water (1.5)

3 1/2 tsp yeast (2 1/4)

2 1/4 tsp salt (1 1/2)

3 tbsp olive oil (2)

6 1/4 cups flour (4 1/4)


Optional (for a garlic+herb crust):
2 Tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or in a large bowl if kneading by hand)

Knead for 5 minutes, then cover and let rise in an oiled bowl for 1-1.5 hours.

Preheat oven to 450° with pizza stone on center rack

Divide dough into three equal pieces and shape into rounds in individual sheets of lightly floured parchment paper (shape into flat round discs, then gently stretch until it is large enough for your pizza, flattening with the side of your hand from the center towards the outer edge to ensure even thickness)

Top with sauce, cheese, and other toppings

Bake at 450° for 10-12 minutes, then cool on rack before slicing

Helpful materials (affiliate links!): 

Parchment paper (this is the best price I see right now, and will last you quite a while! SO helpful for easy cleanup & transfer to pizza stone.)
Pizza stone (this one fits perfectly in my oven and I use it for baking bread, too) or sheet pan (this is my favorite) flipped upside down



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