Making your own pizza is not as hard as it sounds. I love doing our own pizza, because we can tailor them to all our individual tastes without having to order a ton from the pizza place – and they taste so much better and less greasy too!
So, here’s what you do.
Pizza Crust Ingredients:
1 envelope fast active yeast
1 cup very warm water
1/2 tsp of sugar (or honey, if you’re making wheat)
1 tsp. salt
@ 3 cups flour, to make stiff dough (I usually do half white, half wheat)
Sprinkle yeast into very warm water in a cup. Stir in sugar or honey and allow to stand 10 minutes. Mixture will begin to bubble. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Pour in yeast mixture and beat until a stiff dough is formed. If you have a KitchenAid mixer, you can use your dough hook at this point, and knead the dough for about 5 minutes. If not, turn dough onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic using only as much flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Place dough in a large greased bowl. Turn and coat dough all over with shortening. Cover with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place away from a draft for about 30 minutes, or until double in bulk.
While you are waiting on the dough to rise, you can prepare all your pizza toppings. The sky’s the limit! The recipe will make two full-sized pizzas, but what I usually do is make three small personal-sized ones for the girls and one large one for Kevin and I. Making the individual pizzas for the girls works out well because each one can have exactly what they want on their pizza. (Here we have whole wheat pizzas: One cheese only, one cheese and pepperoni, and one with basil, garlic, olives and cheese):
So, once our dough is ready, punch it down and divide in half. You can make two large pizzas, or one large and three small, as I mentioned above. Here is half the dough. The day I took these, I didn’t use any wheat flour, so it’s just plain-jane:
Take your dough and roll it out to a pizza shape. I like to use cornmeal on my board instead of flour when I roll it out:
Next you move it to your pizza pan or stone, fold the sides slightly in to make the edge of your crust, and begin to top it. Typically, I use tomato sauce with some Italian seasonings sprinkled on as my base, but this day, I was making chicken pesto pizza, so my first layer was some homemade pesto:
Next, you add all the toppings. I typically do ground beef or pepperoni here, with fresh garlic and basil, and onions for Kevin’s side and olives for mine. But, as I mentioned, this day it was chicken pesto, so I added shredded chicken:
Top with a generous portion of shredded mozzarella cheese:
Then cook for 20-30 minutes in a 375-degree oven.
Oh so yummy.
Here’s another version, a Mexican pizza… I used a tomato sauce base, ground beef with taco seasonings (cumin, chili powder, onion powder), and cheddar cheese instead of mozzarella. When it was done, I topped it with some chopped lettuce, onions, olives and avocado, and would have chopped up a fresh tomato and put it on top too, but we were out that day:
Anyway, as you can tell, there are so many great combinations for these – be creative and enjoy!!