I love pizza. It’s up at the top of my favorite foods list, right next to spaghetti and ice cream(although not together — that’s gross). For years I’ve been saying “when I get a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer I’ll make homemade pizza.” Well years have gone by and I still don’t have one. It was time to bite the bullet and give it a go by hand. While my hands are aching, it was very satisfying kneading the heck out of that dough. Most of the recipes I looked at were similiar, but I decided to try this pizza crust from Annie’s Eats with this sauce from Brown Eyed Baker.
Giving the dough time to rise gave me plenty of time to grate fresh Mozzarella, dice veggies, and cook some bacon. I was completely prepped and ready to assemble. J made some delicious strawberry basil margaritas(recipe coming soon) and we dined all’interno due to the heat. Not too many tips and tricks for this one. Make sure you completely knead the dough until smooth. I ended up with a few air bubbles and breaks in the dough. It didn’t affect the taste, but my perfectionist side wasn’t pleased. Sliding the pizza onto the stone was tricky. We used a spatula and slid it off of the parchment paper and onto the stone. Luckily we didn’t lose any toppings, they just rearranged themselves a tad. Overall a resounding success on my first homemade pizza. Enjoy!
Basic Pizza Dough (adapted from Annie’s Eats)
Yields two dough balls
½ cup warm water (about 110°)
pinch of sugar
1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast
1 ¼ cups water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 ½ tsp. salt
non-stick cooking spray
cornmeal for dusting
Heat 1/2 cup of water to about 110 degrees (microwave or stovetop). Add pinch of sugar and packet of yeast.Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Allow mixture to rest 5-10 minutes until yeast activates. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
Whisk flour and salt in a large bowl. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until dough begins to form. Remove dough from bowl and place on lightly floured surface. Knead by hand until the dough is smooth. Form the dough into a ball, put it in bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 -2 hours.
Press the dough to deflate it. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal pieces. Form both pieces into smooth round balls and cover with a damp cloth or paper towel. Allow the dough to relax for at least 1o minutes, but no more than 30.
Meanwhile, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 500 degrees. Once oven is preheated allow pizza stone to heat up for 30 minutes.
Turn one ball of dough onto lightly floured surface and roll out into desired shape and size. Transfer to parchment paper dusted with cornmeal. Top pizza with sauce(recipe below), leaving 1/2″ border on the outside. Top with desired cheese(8 oz block shredded) and toppings. Slide the dough onto the pizza stone(still trying to figure out how to do this easily) and bake until the crust edges brown and cheese is golden brown in spots, about 8 to 10 minutes. Allow pizza to rest on stone for 5-10 more minutes before removing and slicing. Remaining ball of dough can be rolled out using the same technique or frozen for later use. Enjoy!
Pizza Sauce (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
Yields two cups of sauce (one cup her pizza dough)
15-oz can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (grated, or finely chop shredded)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon diced fresh basil
Pour tomato sauce into large bowl. Mix in Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and sugar. Stir in parmesan cheese. Roll up basil leaves and thinly slice, working your way from one end to the other. Chop slices into smaller pieces. Add diced basil to mixture and stir until combined. Put in an airtight container. Store in refrigerator until 30 minutes before use. Remove from refrigerator and allow sauce to warm to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Enjoy!