I have enjoyed creating food and perfecting recipes in the kitchen since I was 10 years old. I prefer homemade over store-bought.
The Art of Making Homemade Pizza
Up until a few years ago, I would just buy frozen pizzas from the grocery store, or I would pick up fresh ones from the local pizzeria. But one day I saw a magazine article on making pizza, and I was inspired to try it out. The first couple of times I messed up, and the dough ended up being too thick and undercooked. However, once I got the hang of it, it was a hit. I kept notes on what worked for me and came up with the version I use now.
Making the crust is so simple, and it is fun to make different kinds of pizzas. I like to experiment and use whatever ingredients I have on hand as toppings.
- 10 minutes to mix
- 45 minutes to let dough rise
Cooking Time: 8-12 minutes
Oven Temperature: 425°
From Start to Finish: Expect it to take between 1 hour and 1 hour and 15 minutes, including the time it takes to let the dough rise.
Yield: 6 slices
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon honey or sugar (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/8 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil, to coat bowl with
Step 1: Make the Dough
- Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the yeast. Pour the warm water over the dry ingredients, and mix well. The dough shouldn't be too sticky, so add just a little bit more flour if it is.
- Form the dough into a ball.
- Pour the vegetable oil into a clean medium bowl, and roll the ball of dough around to coat it well.
- Leave the ball of dough in the bowl, cover it with a towel or plastic wrap, and place it in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in size, about 45 minutes.
Step 2: Roll Out the Dough
- Flour your work surface. I like to use a sheet of parchment paper because it makes clean-up easy.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out until it's pretty flat. If you like a really thick crust, don't flatten it quite as much.
- Now would be a great time to preheat the oven (425°F), if you haven't already.
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Step 3: Assemble the Pizza
Place your flattened dough onto a pizza pan, and add whatever toppings you desire. Here are some ideas:
- Pizza sauce (or any tomato-based sauce), or Alfredo or cheese sauce as the base
- Sprinkle any desired herbs, spices or other seasonings over it
- Vegetables, either uncooked or sautéed
- Pre-cooked meat, if desired
- Shredded/grated cheese
Step 4: Cook the Pizza
Cook the pizza for about 8-12 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese has melted.
- I have used wheat flour before in place of half or all of the regular flour, and it came out pretty well.
- Other types of flours may be used, though it may affect the texture or taste a little bit.
- If desired, omit the sugar/honey. It gives the crust a slightly sweet taste, but it isn't absolutely necessary.
- Any type of cooking oil can be used to coat the bowl.
Notes About Yeast
- 1 1/8 teaspoons yeast = same as 1/8 oz. yeast
- I like to buy a jar of yeast because it lasts much longer than a few packets. It's easy to measure out exactly how much I need.
- If you have a 1/4 oz. packet, use half for this recipe.
- If you have a 0.6 oz. cake of fresh yeast, use half for this recipe.
- Once a jar or package of yeast is open, any unused should be refrigerated.
- If it's a little old, use a little extra and it should work fine.
What's the Best Oven Temperature?
When I first started making pizza, I read that the oven was supposed to be preheated for 45 minutes and that the temperature would be above 500°. I don't ever turn my personal oven up that high, so I always set it to around 425°. I have found that the pizza comes out perfectly fine at that temperature, and just being preheated for 5-10 minutes before cooking the pizza. That means that instead of turning the oven on while the dough is rising, you can easily wait until you are putting the toppings on the rolled out crust.
What Kind of Pan Should You Use?
A pizza pan or stone is ideal to use, but a cookie sheet works just as well. I always place a pan in the oven before it's preheated, and then put the sheet with the pizza on top of that one once it is up to 425 degrees.
Nutrition Information for Pizza Dough
The table below shows the approximate nutritional information for 1 serving (or half of this dough). It doesn't include any toppings used. This estimate is based on using:
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- Iodized table salt
- vegetable oil
If other types of ingredients are used, it might change the nutrition somewhat.
© 2014 Kathryn