Homemade Pizza

by Fat Daddy, Esq. on January 25, 2011

Homemade pizza is quick, easy and cheap to make, it tastes really good and it can be healthier for you. I’m all for calling the local pizza joint from time to time but lately we have been making more at home. With a little practice, you can make all of the pizza shown here in the time it would take to go pick some up or have the pizzas delivered and you will know all of the ingredients that went into your pie.

One dough recipe is enough for one large pizza  or two individual pizzas. I made two recipes of dough for the pizzas shown below.

Preheat your oven to its highest setting, usually 500 degrees. If you are using a pizza stone, make sure it is in the oven and it has some time to get very hot. Full disclosure: the pizza stone is the way to go, if you use a pan the pizza will be good but if you cook it on a stone and allow it to develop an extra crispy crust it will be great.

  • 2 cups flour (all purpose or bread flour)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • .25 oz active dry yeast
  • Olive oil
  • Toppings: Sauce, Cheese, Fruits/Vegetables, Meat. The choices are endless but if you are making a pizza directly on the pizza stone you should not overload the dough to the point where it is too heavy to get off the pizza peel.

Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Combine sugar, yeast and warm water in another bowl or glass and allow it to sit for five to ten minutes to bloom the yeast.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl in an electric mixer equipped with a dough hook. Mix on medium speed until a smooth dough ball is produced. Add more water if the mix is too dry, more flour if too wet.

Roll the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rest until you are ready to use. A longer rest will allow more time for the yeast to work its magic.

After resting the dough ball should increase in size.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured butt-ugly Formica counter. If you don’t have such a counter, granite or marble will be a sufficient substitute surface.

Roll the dough to your desired thickness.

If you are using a pan, place the dough in the pan and use a fork to dock (poke small holes in) the dough to prevent the dough from forming large air pockets while it cooks.

Top the pizza with sauce, cheese and other desired toppings. My girls love boring cheese pizza but are starting to branch out with other toppings.

Place in a 450-500 degree oven. Remove when the crust is browned and the cheese is bubbling.

For the grownups we prefer to make smaller individual pizzas. Divide the dough ball in half and roll it to the desired thickness and then place it on a pizza peel which has been lightly dusted with flour or corn meal. Brush olive oil around the edge of the dough to promote browning.

This pizza is topped with Hot Mama’s new favorite ingredients: Alfredo sauce, mozzarella cheese, baby portobello mushrooms, spinach and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Slide the pizza off the peel onto a hot pizza stone. As you can see, this stone gets a lot of use. Try to keep from sliding the pizza too hard so that the toppings don’t fall off. Make sure the dough will slide on the peel before you try to put it in the oven. If you loaded the dough with too many ingredients or let it sit too long on the peel you may need to use a spatula to free the dough.

Pull the pizza from the oven when the crust is well browned and the toppings have melted.

Another version with tomato pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, red onion slivers and red pepper flakes.

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