Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Homemade Pizza

It is so easy to pick up a 5.00 pizza on the way home from work, but I think the people at those pizza places don't make the pizza with love. I think they make it with resentment, anger, and teenage horomones. Ahh! I'll pass. I crave pizza quite a bit, but with our recent jaunt at avoiding eating out, I get to make it. I don't mind! I think this pizza recipe especially, turned out wonderfully. The crust was soft, the sauce was flavorful, and everyone loved to make their own pizza. It as a lot of fun, actually! I even got a little crazy with this pizza and added string cheese in the crust to make stuffed crust pizza. I saved the leftover pizza sauce for dipping- good grief, that was tasty. My husband and I were in church on Sunday, and I leaned over and said, "I'm craving Pizza Hut's breadsticks and dipping sauce." He looked at me like I was taking crazy pills. This actually fixed the craving for me. And no, I am not pregnant. Phew. Next time you want to do a fun dinner with your family, let them all create their own pizza. You can have a whole bar of toppings for everyone to choose from. You can't go wrong!
Pizza Shop Pizza
source: Taste of Home April/May 2009 magazine

1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 T)
2 2/3 c warm water
4 T olive oil, divided
2 T sugar
2 t salt
1/2 t oregano
1/4 t garlic salt
6 1/2 to 7 c flour
1 T cornmeal
8 mozzarella sticks (optional)

14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 T olive oil
1 t sugar
1 t salt
1/2 t each basil, oregano, marjoram, and thyme
1/4 t garlic powder
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t red pepper flakes, optional

4 c mozzarella or pizza blend
1 pkg pepperoni
1 can sliced olives
Canadian bacon
fresh basil
Italian sausage
sun dried tomatoes

The first thing you need to do is start the dough a couple hours before you eat. Dissolve the yeast in 2/3 c warm water. Add the 3 T oil, sugar, salt, oregano, garlic salt, the rest of the water, and 5 c flour. Add the remaining flour by 1/2 c increments until you get a nice dough. I put all of this in the bread maker- of course. I love that darn thing. However- if you're using the bread maker, you'll want to half the recipe. It will still make one large pizza and two personal pizzas. After the dough started to look like dough, I took it out and put it in a greased bowl. I put that bowl in the microwave with a container of boiling water. I think it really helps with the rising. This was the before picture. The dough felt so wonderful and squishy.
While that is rising, get the sauce ready. Put the can of diced tomatoes into the food processor and chop them up. This was my after picture. It wasn't completely pulverized, but it was much smoother than before.
Put that in a saucepan along with the tomato paste. Add the oil.
Add the sugar, salt, herbs, garlic powder, and pepper. If you want a little, little bit of kick, add the red pepper flakes. Let that simmer over low heat until you're ready to use it. I also added about 1 t of lemon juice to mine. It adds a little bit of zip to it.
In about 45 minutes, your dough should be doubled in size. Plop it out onto a floured surface. (gently) Punch it down.

Preheat the oven to 425.

I did the two small crusts for my kids first. I took off a small hunk of the dough and rolled it out into about a 10 inch pizza crust. Put the crust onto a cookie sheet. Take the outside edges of the dough and fold it over once. Use your fingers to press the seam down to create a seal. Push it up to make a crust. If you're not stuffing the crust, that's all you've got to do! I have directions for the stuffed crust below. When you're ready to make the large pizza, have your dough on the floured surface.
Roll it out pretty thin. Mine turned out pretty huge and thin, but that's a good thing- unless, of course, you enjoy eating gooey pizza crust.
Sprinkle a pizza pan with cornmeal to prevent the crust from sticking.

Use your rolling pin and kind of roll up the dough on the pin so it is hanging off the rolling pin. Carefully, unroll it onto the pizza pan.
Unwrap your cheese sticks and place them along the outer edge of the pizza pan.
Bring the dough over the cheese sticks.
Press to seal it.
Here's a picture of all the dough over the cheese sticks. Don't you love how professional and flawless it looks? Ha! I wish. I should tell people that my 4 year old did it. :) It's kinda sloppy here, but it gets covered up by topping anyway.
Bake the crust for 5-7 minutes in the 425 degree oven. This is a step that I sometimes forget, and the crust is never cooked all the way if I forget these 5-7 minutes.

Take it out.

Spread the sauce onto the crust. You can tell by looking that this is a great sauce. It's rich in color. The texture isn't like tomato sauce. You can see little flecks of herbs. Mmm...
I put Havarti cheese as the bottom layer. I did this because 1. I bought a big pack of Havarti cheese from Sam's club, and I have to use it up. 2. Havarti cheese is just good!
Sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese. If you're doing your own toppings from this point, ignore the rest of the steps until the baking information come up. Add the pepperoni.
I added a little more cheese, sliced olives, and fresh basil.
Bake it for 15-20 minutes. Get prepared to eat some delicious homemade pizza. You can see the stuffed crust in this picture. It was so delicious dipped in that marinara sauce. I loved it.
Here is my son's pizza that he decorated. His cheese was all over the place. It was so cute. I didn't get a picture of my daughter's pizza, but she made her face out of pepperoni, and the olives went all around the perimeter for her hair. She was so proud of it. :)
This dough can also be used to make calzones or stromboli. Now, forget Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Little Caesars, or wherever else they sere cheap pizza. This is way better. :)


  1. everything you make looks good. what dough did u like more?? this or the deep dish?

  2. Hi AnickH! I'm glad you've stumbled upon my blog and enjoy it! I love to cook more than I should, and my thighs are eternally grateful since they have more padding than they should. I actually like the crust on this post the most: http://oncallcook.blogspot.com/2011/08/herbed-cheese-pizza.html
    It was very tender, soft, and delicious. I'm always trying new crust recipes, but I think the herbed cheese pizza crust was my favorite.