Favorite Homemade Pizza
The best homemade pizza.
Made with an incredibly chewy and soft pizza dough. And a tomato sauce flavored with all the right spices. And with any and all of your favorite cheeses and toppings.
The recipe for my favorite homemade pizza is just a few scrolls away. GET EXCITED.
So, I was planning on posting this pizza recipe using the recipe for my favorite focaccia bread as the dough. Because it's such a good dough and is the one I always use for my pizzas.
But then, a few days before I was scheduled to photograph the pizza for the blog, I decided to try just one more pizza dough recipe. Because I had seen one that caught my eye a couple weeks back and was itching to try it. Just to reassure myself that my original focaccia dough was the best one to post.
Mistake. Big mistake. Because the new pizza dough recipe was amazing too. The texture was clearly better than my original dough. It was the chewiest pizza dough I'd ever gotten my teeth on. And my family was obsessed with the new recipe too.
But I still preferred the taste of my original pizza dough.
I found the new dough to be slightly too sweet. And I definitely missed the richer flavor that olive oil lends to a dough, which the new pizza dough was missing. And also, I was probably just sad and disillusioned with the members of my family because they were willing to turn their backs on the old pizza dough so quickly and heartlessly. Traitors.
So I went to work on a new pizza dough recipe.
I combined my favorite components of both recipes by cutting back on the sugar from the new dough, swapping out the vegetable oil for olive oil, and adding a bit more salt.
And my new favorite pizza dough recipe was born.
The dough is soft and fluffy and flavorful, and of course, CHEWY. So chewy. The pizza dough is meant to be quite sticky, and uses less flour than usual. And the stickiness produces the chewy factor that is the signature of this pizza dough recipe.
As for the sauce, I kept it simple. And by simple I mean perfect. It's just tomato sauce mixed with the best mixture of spices. Basic spices. Salt, pepper, garlic, basil, oregano - you know, the pizza ones. The good ones.
I'm definitely a sauce over cheese girl, so I go very generous on my tomato sauce. Obviously, put as much sauce as you want on your pizza, but just know that if you don't like your pizza extra saucy, we can never understand each other.
But again, do what you want. You're just doing it wrong if you don't put extra sauce. But really, whatever floats your boat. I'm just saying that it's blatantly obvious that the more sauce on pizza, the better. This is an undeniable fact. No discussions to be had.
For cheese, I stuck with the classic mozzarella. I was generous on the cheese too, because that's how my family likes it. Which makes me so selfless because I like my cheese closer to the non-existent side.
I just peeled the cheese off my personal slice when it came time to dig in. Easy solution to a potentially explosive problem.
As for toppings, I went with sliced tomatoes. Which I placed on the pizza before baking. And then I sprinkled some arugula on the pizza after it was finished baking. As soon as I took it out of the oven. Because you want your leafy greens to wilt ever so slightly. But not to shrivel up into a crispy, ugly entity. Which is what will happen if you put the greens on the pizza before you bake it.
One step you cannot skip is the drizzle of olive oil on top of the pizza after all the sauce and cheese and vegetables are already on the pizza. Don't forget this step. It makes the pizza look even more lovely. And taste even more amazing. And will make you feel like an authentic Italian pizza chef.
Oh, and I just thought I'd stick in one photo of the other pizza I made, which was kept classic with just sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. Cuz I'm classy like that.
favorite homemade pizza
Yield: 2 Medium/Large Pies (or 3+ thinner/smaller pies)
2 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 packets (1 tablespoon) instant dry yeast
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
6 cups flour
2 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
-Shredded or sliced mozzarella, or any other cheese of your choice (I used 8 oz. shredded mozzarella per pizza)
-Toppings of choice
-Olive oil for drizzling
-Cornmeal for dusting, optional
Dough: Place the warm water and sugar into your machine mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit and foam for 5-10 minutes.
Add in the olive oil and mix. Add in the salt and 1 cup of flour at a time, mixing well between each addition. Knead on medium-high speed for a couple minutes.
Dough should be sticky, not dry, but you should still be able to pull it away from sides of the bowl with your spatula. If dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour.
Oil a large bowl, drop dough into it, and form dough into a ball. Turn dough over so both sides are coated in oil. Cover bowl and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare your sauce and toppings.
Preheat your oven to 450 F for thicker pizza and 500 F (or higher if your oven allows) for thinner pizza. You want the oven preheating for at least 30 minutes before you put the pizzas in.
Sauce and Toppings: In a small bowl, mix the tomato sauce with all the spices. Then, slice up your desired vegetable toppings. If you are using fresh herbs like basil or leafy greens like arugula, these will be placed atop the pizza after it's done baking.
Assembly: Line 2 (or more if making smaller or thinner pizzas) round or square baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust parchment with cornmeal if desired.
Divide dough into as many pizzas as you plan on making. Roll out dough (I simply spread it with my hands) directly on the parchment lined sheets as thinly or as thickly as desired. Don't make the pizza too thick or the dough will be raw in the center. Take into account the fact that the dough puffs up in the oven, so the dough will come out thicker than you rolled it.
Spread the tomato sauce over the dough, leaving the edges bare for the crust. Top with desired cheese/s and toppings. Drizzle olive oil over the pizza.
Bake for 8-15 minutes (less for smaller/thinner pizzas, more for larger/thicker pizzas), or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown and crispy on bottom.
Top with fresh herbs or leafy greens as soon as you remove pizza from oven so they wilt just slightly. Serve hot or reheat later.
On a completely unrelated note, science: