[su_dropcap style=”simple” size=”5″]W[/su_dropcap]hat to do when your 8-year old nephew comes to visit? Make pizza, of course! Well, not of course, actually. I didn’t think of it until we exhausted Sorry, Monopoly, and gin rummy. But it did turn out to be a brilliant idea as dad had just received a baking stone for Christmas, and my nephew Austin loves pizza. And we both enjoyed a great dinner together.
[su_quote cite=”I told him if he helped me make it and didn’t make too many faces I would put him on my website and he would be famous. That seemed to get his attention. He thought the dough was “slimy and gross” but he loved picking his own toppings, and the finished product was awesome.”][/su_quote]
The following method I patched together from recipes in both Joy of Cooking and Cook’s Illustrated’s The Best Recipe. I made two batches of dough, four pizzas in all, with varied toppings. Next time I’ll be a bit more patient with stretching out the dough so I can get it even thinner. Look to the end of this post for some excellent links about pizza from other food bloggers. You can use all purpose flour instead of the bread flour that is called for in the recipe, but bread flour is higher in gluten than all-purpose flour and will make a crispier crust.
Recipe for Pizza
Classic homemade pizza recipe, including pizza dough and toppings, step-by-step instructions with photos. Make perfect pizza at home.
- 100 grams Tomato sauce (smooth, or puréed)
- 200 grams Mozzarella cheese, grated
- 50 grams Parmesan cheese, grated
- 75 grams Feta cheese, crumbled
- 50 grams Mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 50 grams Bell peppers
- 1 piece Italian sausage
- 10 grams Chopped fresh basil
- 1 piece Pepperoni, thinly sliced
- 50 grams Ham, thinly sliced
- 100 grams Onions, thinly sliced
Proof the yeast: Place the warm water in the large bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved.
Make and knead the pizza dough: Using the mixing paddle attachment, mix in the flour, salt, sugar, and olive oil on low speed for a minute. Then replace the mixing paddle with the dough hook attachment.
Put dough in warm place to rise: Spread a thin layer of olive oil over the inside of a large bowl. Place the pizza dough in the bowl and turn it around so that it gets coated with the oil.
Preheat pizza stone: Place a pizza stone on a rack in the lower third of your oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F for at least 30 minutes, preferably an hour.
Punch down dough, divide into two balls: Remove the plastic cover from the dough and punch the dough down so it deflates a bit. Divide the dough in half. Form two round balls of dough. Place each in its own bowl, cover with plastic and let sit for 10 minutes.
Prep toppings: Prepare your desired toppings. Note that you are not going to want to load up each pizza with a lot of toppings as the crust will end up not crisp that way.
About a third a cup each of tomato sauce and cheese would be sufficient for one pizza. One to two mushrooms thinly sliced will cover a pizza.
Flatten dough ball, and stretch out into a round: Working one ball of dough at a time, take one ball of dough and flatten it with your hands on a slightly floured work surface.
Starting at the center and working outwards, use your fingertips to press the dough to 1/2-inch thick. Turn and stretch the dough until it will not stretch further.
Brush dough top with olive oil: Brush the top of the dough with olive oil (to prevent it from getting soggy from the toppings). Use your finger tips to press down and make dents along the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Let rest another 5 minutes.
Sprinkle pizza peel with corn meal, put flattened dough on top: Lightly sprinkle your pizza peel (or flat baking sheet) with corn meal. (The corn meal will act as little ball bearings to help move the pizza from the pizza peel into the oven.)
Spread with tomato sauce and sprinkle with toppings: Spoon on the tomato sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and place your desired toppings on the pizza.
Sprinkle cornmeal on pizza stone, slide pizza onto pizza stone in oven: Sprinkle some cornmeal on the baking stone in the oven (watch your hands, the oven is hot!). Gently shake the peel to see if the dough will easily slide, if not, gently lift up the edges of the pizza and add a bit more cornmeal.
Bake pizza: Bake pizza one at a time until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10-15 minutes. If you want, toward the end of the cooking time you can sprinkle on a little more cheese.
Calorie Breakdown. A slice of fast-food cheese pizza weighing approximately 103 g contains 272 calories, 33.56 g of carbohydrate, 12.27 g of protein, 9.8 g of fat, 4.35 g of saturated fat, 1.8 g of fiber, 551 mg of sodium and 22 mg of cholesterol, notes the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database.