Homemade pizza and watching a movie on Friday night has been our family tradition since 1995. It began when I was working at night, delivering newspapers. We had a bit of “extra” money and began ordering pizza on Friday night. When we realized just how much money we were wasting on that indulgence each week, I began to make our own.
When I first began making homemade pizza, I hadn’t yet discovered grinding my own wheat. I made it with all-purpose flour. I’m a firm believer in good, better, best, a tip from a dear friend a long time ago.
If you order pizza now, a good choice is to use all-purpose flour and make your own. A better choice is to use a combination of all-purpose and store-bought wheat flour. The best choice is to use freshly ground whole wheat flour.
Don’t get caught up in the details. Start where you are and build from there.
I have seen lots of homemade pizza recipes. However, most of them don’t result in a crust we love. That’s usually because the pizza is baked in a pan.
Play with this dough. Make it your own. That’s what I do with most recipes. Like garlic? Add garlic or garlic powder to the dough. Prefer more toppings? Add them!
Your family likes more “punch” to their sauce? Add in more spices. Start with a base and make it suit your family. For example, 4 of my family members won’t touch a mushroom. But, one child and I love them. So, I make one pizza with mushrooms.
When my folks come to visit, I make a few loaded pizzas, because they love any and all toppings that I put on them!
Combine water, yeast, and 1 cup flour, allow to form a sponge
Add remaining ingredients, mix with dough hook.
Continue kneading until the dough is no longer sticky and forms a ball on the dough hook.
Stretch dough over itself to form a smooth ball.
Turn to grease top of dough.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Allow dough to rise (more risings and punch downs will result in a chewier crust). Recover with plastic wrap.
When ready to use, punch dough down one last time.
Separate into four dough balls.
Sprinkle whole wheat flour onto the pizza peel (you can use cornmeal as well, but I don’t care for the taste)
Turn the dough as you roll it to get an even, large circle.
(I use a Pampered Chef Baker’s Roller)
Roll the pizza dough to desired size and thickness.
Before you add sauce and toppings, pull the dough up once more and place a bit more flour onto the pizza peel to ensure the dough will slide off easily onto the baking stone.
Add the desired amount of pizza sauce.
Add desired toppings.
Bake until cheese is melted and crust is cooked. Slide the peel under pizza to remove from the oven, using the spatula to help guide it. Slice and enjoy!
- 2 cups warm water
- 1-1/2 TB yeast
- 5-1/2 cups flour
- 1-1/2 TB Kosher salt
- 3 TB olive oil, plus a bit more for oiling the bowl
- 1(105-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons garlic
- 4 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons dried oregano
- 3 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 TB red pepper flakes
TO MAKE THE PIZZA DOUGH-
- Pour warm water into bowl of mixer, sprinkle yeast over water. Add 1 cup flour. Mix to combine.
- Let sit until a sponge forms, about 5 minutes.
- Add 4-1/2 cups of flour, Kosher salt, olive oil.
- Mix until dough comes together, adding more flour if needed.
- Knead for 5 minutes or so.
- Place dough into oiled bowl, turning to grease the top.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
- Allow to rise, at least one hour.
NOTE- Allowing the dough to rise, punch down, and rise again a few times will result in a chewier crust.
ALSO NOTE- the choice of flour will also determine the final product. All white flour will yield a soft crust, all whole wheat flour will yield a somewhat harder crust. A combination of both will yield a tender, chewy, "normal" crust.
TO MAKE THE PIZZA SAUCE-
- Combine all ingredients.
- Simmer for an hour or so.
TO MAKE PIZZAS-
When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 475*. I bake on a pizza stone, which is left in the oven. Separate dough into 4 balls.
- Sprinkle whole wheat flour or cornmeal (your preference) onto a pizza peel, then roll out a dough ball as thin as desired. Be sure to move dough frequently to prevent sticking, adding more flour as needed.
- When ready to build pizza, lift up dough to ensure no sticking. Leave dough at edge of pizza peel, then add desired amount of sauce, cheese, and toppings.
- Using a spatula, carefully slide pizza off of peel onto hot baking stone.
- Bake for 5-7 minutes.
- Slide pizza peel under pizza to remove from oven.
- Place pizza on cutting board and slice. (Don't slice on pizza peel)
- *NOTE- Pizza can also be made by rolling dough out onto a pizza pan, built, and baked in pan, same temperature.
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