Homemade pizza is one of the easiest things to make, and if you make your own, you can make it just the way you like it.
The crust is pretty important to me. There’s nothing wrong with buying pizza crust, but it’s easy to make your own and you can make it as thick or thin as you like. I like a lot of cheese and toppings on my pizza, so I need a sturdy crust to hold everything up.
I make my own sauce too, because we like it kind of sweet, but you can buy a can of pizza sauce if you’re not into creating your own. But, if you’ve never tried your own, you may be surprised that you do have a preference as to how it tastes and until now you’ve never even thought about what that preference is. If you use my recipe and don’t like a sweet sauce, reduce the amount of sugar you add by half until you give it a taste.
Meatless pizza is a great Friday night meal. Sauteed mushrooms — Portobello are particularly good — diced peppers, onions, hot peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, or even just plain cheese, or multiple cheeses, make great Friday night pizza toppings. Try a Margherita pizza with olive oil instead of sauce, topped with fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and sprinkled with torn basil leaves when it comes out of the oven.
(2 large regular crust pizzas or 2 pan pizzas)
2 recipes for dough (below)
1 large can tomato puree (28 oz.)
2 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
3 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. dried basil
1/2 t. oregano
1/8 t. pepper
6 cups shredded mozzarella or pizza cheese
4 T. Parmesan
Make dough (recipe below) at least two hours before you want your pizza ready.
While the dough is rising, start sauce.
In a medium hot pan, pour olive oil; turn down to low.
Add garlic and stir until it is fragrant and hot, but not cooked.
Add tomato puree, sugar, salt, and spices.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Taste sauce and adjust seasoning to taste, adding more sugar if desired, or salt and pepper.
When dough and sauce are ready, preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Grease the pizza pans.
Punch down dough and divide in half.
Press each half onto the prepared pan.
I find that to spread the dough on a large pizza pan, it is easiest to put the dough in the middle and slowly push it out with my fingers, turning it while I’m pushing.
If dough doesn’t give easily when you first begin, let it rest for five minutes and try again.
If you try to force it, you’ll just end up ripping it.
After dough is spread, ladle on the sauce — thick or thin, however you like it.
Sprinkle each pizza with 2 T. Parmesan.
Top each with 3 cups shredded cheese.
Place other desired toppings on top of cheese.
Bake for about 15 minutes, alternating pizzas from bottom to top racks so that the crust gets crisp and the toppings get browned.
Check to be sure crust is browned on the bottom before removing from oven.
Pizza Dough (one recipe)
1 cup warm water
1 T. olive oil
1 T. sugar
1 1/4-ounce packet yeast (or 2 t.)
2 ½ cups flour
1 t. salt
Place water in a bowl and add sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the surface and allow to sit for 10 minutes (until it foams). Add the oil, 2 cups of flour and salt, and mix until smooth. Knead with dough hook for 3-5 minutes (or 7 minutes by hand) adding flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking. Place in greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 30 minutes to an hour, until doubled.
Copyright 2017 Barbara Stein