How to make pizza at home
A simple and delicious recipe for homemade pizzaFew meals are as universally appealing as pizza. Whether you’re in the mood to prepare it from scratch or throwing together a last minute meal, it’s fun to make pizza at home. The versatile combination of doughy, cheese-y, sauce-y goodness lends itself to a variety of flavors from fresh herbs, veggies to roasted fruit.
If you like pizza, odds are that you have an opinion about pizza crust: some like it thin and crispy and others like it thick and soft a la Chicago deep dish style. While it may take you a few tries to bake your pizza crust how you like it, you have a number of dough options. If you prefer to think of ‘prep’ in terms of opening a package, you can buy pizza crust pre-baked. Pre-baked dough is convenient and fast, but it doesn’t give you any control on the thickness of your pizza crust.
To make your own pizza dough, either set out frozen bread dough about 5 hours before you intend to make your pizza, or make the dough from scratch. Frozen bread dough rises best when it’s greased with a thin coating of butter of oil and left at room temperature beneath a sheet of wax paper. Here’s a simple recipe for pizza dough, and note that you can combine wheat and white flour for a healthier crust:
1 package active dry yeast (.25 ounce)
1 cup warm water
2 ½ cups flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch salt
Fresh rosemary, basil or oregano (optional)
Add the yeast to warm water and let sit for 5 minutes. Add flour, oil, salt and herbs. Mix ingredients with your hands until the dough feels dry. Shape dough into a firm ball, lightly drizzle olive oil on top and cover with wax paper for about an hour.
A good sauce balances the sweet and savory ingredients. You can buy a number of tasty pizza sauces or make your own. If you are wondering how to make pizza at home, and want to take a shot at making your own, here’s a list of popular pizza sauce ingredients. Note that you can add or subtract ingredients as your wish – you can even skip the tomatoes and create a white pizza with oil and herbs for the ‘sauce’.
2 medium sized tomatoes or 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pinch salt
1 garlic clove
Heat oil on medium heat for about 30 seconds. Add diced tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to break down. Add fennel, red pepper, salt, garlic and fresh herbs. Simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
While purists will tell you that fresh mozzarella cheese is essential, this is your pizza so you can use any type of cheese you wish. A medium-sized pizza takes about two balls or cups of cheese sliced or shredded.
Here’s a list of additional pizza toppings to choose from:
Fruits - pineapple, apples, sun dried tomatoes
Veggies - peppers, onions, mushrooms, olives, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, spinach
Meat - pepperoni, sausage, ham, meat balls, bacon, BBQ chicken,
Cheese - blue cheese, brie, cheddar, feta, gorgonzola, monterey jack, ricotta, vegan cheese
Imagine building your pizza in three steps. Grease the bottom of your pizza pan and spread your pizza dough with your fingers. Gently press dough into the pan and work your way from the center out. Pinch any tears in the dough. Try to spread the dough evenly so parts of your pizza don’t get soggy or burned, and avoid overworking the dough.
Ladle the sauce onto your dough. Spread your cheese over the sauce and sprinkle on any additional toppings. If you’re making a classic Pizza Margherita, spread your mozzarella on the dough then ladle your sauce over the cheese and top with a few basil leaves.
Baked your pizza at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the bottom of the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Adjust temperature and cook time to package instructions if you’re using prebaked dough. Allow pizza to sit for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Enjoy pizza night!
NPR: Homemade Pizza
Diet Facts: Pizza