This homemade pizza recipe is very, very dangerous. It’s so easy, and so delicious, that I’m temped to make it WAY too often. And it’s *so* easy. Even my two year old thinks it’s great fun to make pizza!
We have this at least once a week, on our Friday Family Night. Fridays are the day we clean house, put away all the school stuff, and veg out in front of a movie.
Which reminds me: I am grounded from picking out movies from Redbox. It’s a self-inflicted grounding, for the good of all involved.
They stock some really, really, really lame kids movies.
The pizza will make up for it, right?
I’ve tested a lot of different homemade pizza recipes. I’ve hauled out the food processor, preheated for 20 minutes. I’ve invested in a pizza peel and baking stone…I’ve tossed crusts into the air. All with fairly satisfactory results.
But there is TRULY no need for all the fuss and pretense here. This is just flat out the best pizza crust I’ve ever made, and it couldn’t be simpler.
Start with this easy bread recipe. It’s life changing.
You can mix up a fresh batch now, if you don’t already have one going in the fridge. Four ingredients, stirred up, and let it rise for 2 hours. Then you can leave it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
But you won’t because it’s SO good you’ll use it up way faster. This stuff is totally addictive. A whole recipe yields two large pizza crusts. Here is the batch that I keep going in my fridge at all times:
Now, as soon as your two hour rise is up, you can go ahead and use the dough.
If you’re serious about making good pizza at home, then I strongly recommend getting a pizza peel and a baking stone. Not because they add a lot to the taste, but they sure do make it easier to get your crust into and out of the oven.
I’ve flagged a couple of good ones in my new Amazon Store if you are interested. I think Target carries them too.
As I was saying, you don’t *have* to have them, but a pizza stone makes a great crispy ‘brick oven’ style crust.
Also, you’ll need a sheet of parchment paper approximately the size of your pizza peel. Foil won’t work. It will stick to the crust like you’ve applied walpaper paste, and peel off in tiny shards that mock your fillings. Foil covered pizza crust is not good.
Hang with me…we’re gonna have hot pizza in our hands in less than 25 minutes!
Put your baking stone into the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
If you’re new to baking stones, there is something you need to know. They’re supposed to be ugly and stained up looking. For real…I’m not just saying that because mine is. The other thing you need to know is to never ever put frozen food onto a heated baking stone.
Put your parchment paper onto your pizza peel.
Grab half of the pizza dough recipe from the container, and plop it onto the paper. This is an unusual dough…it’s pretty wet and sticky, but just go with it.
You can get your hands a little damp to keep the dough from sticking. Smear/spread/press it out on your parchment paper. My helper is especially gifted at the smash & schmear technique.
I think I usually get a 14 or 15 inch round out it. I like to leave the edges a little thicker than the middle because I like the crust to be sort of like a fluffy breadstick.
One of the great things about this dough is that it’s no big deal if you get it too thin or make a hole in the dough.
Just schmear more over the spot, and you’re good to go. I love that. Most pizza dough recipes that I’ve tried in the past are not self-healing like this.
Now, this step is important! Sprinkle your crust with a few pinches of kosher or coarse ground salt, and add some seasonings of your choice. I highly recommend the Greek Salad Dressing spice mix. You can go just around the edges with this, or go over the whole crust to boost the flavor.
Slide the whole piece of paper with the crust on it into the oven and onto the pizza stone. (If you don’t have a stone, then just spread the pizza onto a cookie sheet or pizza pan, and slide it in.)
Set the time for 10 minutes, and gather your toppings.
You’ll want about 2 cups of cheese, and your favorite toppings.
and cheese. And whatever else you want on your pizza.
My favorite cheese spreading tip is to dump the whole amount into a mountain in the center,
and then swirl it out to the edges.
It adds another dimension of flavor: nutty brown and toasty.
Yes, *now* you can lick your fingers. She just works for the Parmesan cheese.
<whisking helper out of the kitchen>
Bake for about 10 more minutes until it’s brown and bubbly.
Sometimes, I turn on the broiler to toast the cheese a bit.
The crust is crisp on the outside, flavorful, and tender and fluffy on the inside.
The words “authentic” and “home country” have been wafted across the table in moments of pizza induced bliss. (Although Italy is not really my home country.)
Having pizza once a week makes meal planning that much simpler for me, and I am not hearing any complaints from the troops.
Except for the comments on my movie selections.
Seriously…what’s wrong with Earnest Goes to Camp?
In a large, 5 quart container, combine:
- 3 c. warm water
- 1 ½ T. kosher or coarse salt
- 6½ c. of flour
- 1½ T. instant/fast rise yeast (2 packets)
- ½ t. coarse kosher salt for the crust
- Greek seasoning blend sprinkled for the crust
- 2 T. parmesan cheese
- ½ cup of tomato or pizza sauce of your choice
- 2 cups of cheese
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic
- or any other toppings of your choice!
- Stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is evenly wet with no dry spots.
- Cover your container and allow to rise on the counter for 2 hours.
- The dough should almost triple in size and begin to collapse on itself and flatten on top. You can allow it to rise longer, and it won’t hurt anything.
- Chill dough for at least three hours. You can bake it before chilling, but it’s easier to work with cold, and the flavor improves with age.
- Dough keeps for up to 2 weeks, and yields 2 large pizza crusts.
- Preheat the oven to 450º, with a pizza stone on the middle rack.
- While oven is heating, lay out a square of parchment paper, and smush out half of the batch of bread dough into a large circle, leaving a thicker rim for the crust. Sometimes, the dough is very wet, and other times it’s very elastic and tough, but it always turns out tasting great…just manhandle it however you need to.
- Sprinkle on the crust area with Greek seasoning (or your favorite blend), coarse salt, and parmesan cheese shreds.
- Slide the paper and the dough onto the pizza stone, and bake for 10 minutes. You can make a salad, or gather and prep toppings at this time.
- Remove crust, and spread sauce.
- Add any “under cheese” toppings, like fresh garlic or mushrooms.
- Add cheese in one big mound in the center, and then just spread it to the edges.
- Top as desired.
- Return the whole deal to the oven for another 10 minutes until it’s browned and bubbly.