Monday, July 12, 2010

Homemade Pizza

One of my favorite things to make is homemade pizza from scratch. When we were first married, we had the bbq chicken on the boboli crust mastered. But it was pretty simple - store bought crust (Boboli), Sweet Baby Ray's bbq sauce, cheese, shredded chicken, red onions, and cilantro. Pretty tasty, but after a couple times making that we were ready to take it to the next level.

The next level included buying some uncooked pizza dough at Whole Foods, attempting to make our own sauce, using fresh mozzarella, and unique toppings like pancetta. From these early trials, we learned a few things. First of all, while fresh mozzarella is great, it has a ton of moisture. Either you need to press some of the moisture out, or use the shredded low moisture stuff. Also, we learned that when you make a homemade sauce, it too has a lot of moisture, especially if you use any sort of canned tomato. So lots of moisture from the sauce + lots of moisture from the mozzarella = runny, unevenly cooked, soggy pizza.

But now we've learned better. I now make the sauce ahead of time and let it sit in a mesh strainer for about an hour before use. This allows all the tomato water to seep out, leaving only the wonderful saucy flavor. We also use a ton of basil. And finally, we make our own dough. The beauty of making your own dough is that you can cater it to your tastes - some people like saltier doughs, some like sweeter doughs, some like thin crust, some like thick. Pizza dough is pretty basic, so there's lots of room to get creative!

Here's what we like to do:

Pizza Dough
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)

Put yeast, warm water, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Let sit until frothy, about 10 minutes. Then add the oil, salt, and slowly mix in the flour until dough is elastic and smooth, not sticky. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and let sit for 1-2 hours in a warm dry place. Then punch the dough, knead for another 5 minutes, and roll out to desired shape/thickness. Let sit for 15 minutes, top with desired toppings, and bake until dough begins to brown.

edited Homemade Pizza (18)

The great thing about making your own dough is how much fun you can have! Not only can you play with the toppings (pepperoni, onions, and basil shown above), but you can also play with the dough itself! We like to sometimes mix herbs directly into the dough before baking to give the nice italian seasoning flavor all throughout. You can also spread just a little bit of the sauce on top, and make pizza bread with dipping sauce. And if you have a family, make-your-own-pizza night is always a hit! Split the dough into little balls and let everyone have a shot at making their own!

edited Homemade Pizza (12)


  1. I was always intimidated by the thought of making pizza from scratch until one day I took the plunge. It was so much easier than I thought and now that's all my family will eat and I've spoiled them further by getting pepperoni from a specialty shop that cuts it super thin which is how we like it. I have to beg to go out to my favorite NY style pizzeria which I suppose is a compliment, but sometimes I ask "whose idea was this pizza thing?"

    Yours looks delish!

  2. Your pizza looks fantastic. I love homemade pizza and make it quite often. I usually make enough dough for 3 pizzas. The dough balls freeze really well. You just place in the refrigerator the night before you need it and about an hour before you bake, you let it warm up on your kitchen counter. I find that the longer the dough has "hung out" in the refrigerator the more complex and delicious the dough tastes. I'll make the dough and then not bake it until the next day or even a few days later. I also prefer fresh mozzarella on my pizza. I dry it really well before using.

  3. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing

  4. This looks really easy. I usually make pizza dough in my breadmaker machine as it does all the kneading for me. But I think I could handle this recipe.

  5. Hi - great blog. That pizza looks yummy. My brother-in-law also makes his pizza from scratch on the grill & it is delish. Visiting from SITS. I have always wanted to try Mod Podge & I think you have finally inspired me. The wine label canvas is a beautiful piece of original art.

  6. Mmmmmm! That looks so tasty! I used to take the time to make pizza dough from scratch, but nowadays I'm all about those $1.27 (or something like that) pouches of pre-made, seasoned pizza dough from Trader Joes :)

  7. Oh that looks so good!! I love making pizza at home but I've never made the dough from scratch. Time to give it a try! Your pizza looks amazing and now I'm hungry :)

  8. I've been looking around for a home made pizza recipe. Thanks for this. I wanted to make my dough from scratch so this is ideal. It looks so delicious too! :D

  9. That looks so good! I will definitely have to try your dough, I am not in love with my current recipe.

  10. I'm glad there are other home pizza makers! My husband is the pizza master, and we almost never order pizza, because we are spoiled by making our own. For my birthday, dh made a shrimp and garlic pizza with homemade roasted cherry tomato sauce. Mmmm.....