We’ve been making pizza every week for years now, and here we share some of the tricks that evolved. We make our dough from scratch and buy sliced, fresh mozzarella from the local deli counter. Toppings are whatever you like. We usually make one veggie and one pepperoni.
- 3 cups flour
- 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 2 ½ tsp dry yeast
- Flour for kneading
- Cornmeal to slide onto peel
- 2 baking stones
- 1 6-oz can tomato paste
- 6 oz water
- ½ cup homemade tomato sauce
- 2 tsp basil
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 large sprig rosemary
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 sweet red pepper
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 stick pepperoni, sliced
- 1 lb fresh mozzarella, sliced
- Place the baking stones in the oven and preheat to 465 ° F. If you don’t’ have baking stones, use any good pizza pan. The stones will help make a somewhat better crust but they aren’t absolutely required.
- To make the dough, add the yeast and sugar to a pitcher large enough to hold 1-½ cups water. Add the lukewarm water and stir until uniform. Let the yeast mixture rise for about 5 minutes until it bubbles. This is called “proving” the yeast, and if it doesn’t foam up, try another packet of yeast. We have started using yeast from a jar, and keeping the rest refrigerated so it doesn’t deteriorate. Yeast packets can be a crap shoot: their health depends on how they are stored at the grocer.
- Add the 3 cups of flour to a food processor, fitted with a dough blade, and pour in the yeast mixture. Pulse until smooth. If the dough looks too sticky, add more flour a half-scoop at a time and mix in. Allow the dough to rise for 60-90 minutes until it is more than doubled in bulk.
- To make the sauce, mix the tomato paste, water and some bottled tomato sauce in a blender or bowl. We use our homemade garden tomato sauce, but if you don’t have that, leave it our or add a little bottled sauce. Add the sugar, basil and oregano. Strip the leaves off the rosemary between your thumb and forefinger and add them to the sauce. Add the sugar, or the sauce will be a bit sour. Crush the 2 garlic cloves in the garlic press and add them to the sauce. Mix thoroughly in the blender.
- When the dough has risen, scrape it out onto a floured board, and if it is too sticky roll the dough in the flour to mix a little in. Divide the dough in half and roll out each into s pizza-sized circle on the floured board.
- Before adding the toppings, sprinkle some cornmeal under the dough so you can slide it around and lift it with a pizza peel.
- Pour half the sauce on each pizza, and cover with mozzarella slices.
- Add whatever toppings your like. We usually make veggie, pepperoni and if needed, sausage and onion.
- Slip the peel under the finished pizza, open the oven, and slide the pizza onto the baking stone. Repeat for the second pizza. Bake each pizza for 16 minutes: the second one may take an extra minute.
- Remove them from the oven with the peel, and cut them into slices to serve.
This whole process takes under 2 hours, including the rising and baking time, and is more than worth it. Start the dough and heat the oven as soon as you get home, and everything else will fall into place.