Homemade Pizza – Take One

So what do we do after a really loooong day that included traveling, snowshoeing, meal planning AND grocery shopping for the week? Well we slaved in the kitchen to make homemade pizza of course!

Crusty Pizza Dough

Calories: about 373

1 package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons olive oil

2.5-3.5 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon cornmeal

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl. Add salt, oil, and 2.5 cups flour. Attack bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix 2 minute.

2. Continue mixing, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time and mix until dough clings to hook. Knead on Speed 2 about 2 more minutes.

3. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft about 1 hour. Or until dough has doubled in bulk. Punch dough down.

4. Brush pizza pan with oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Press dough down forming a flat surface. Add toppings as desired.

5. Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes.

Ever since Michael bought the Kitchenaid Mixer he’s wanted to try making his own pizza. I was fully supportive of this idea. I love homemade pizza. My mom used to make it; and as a teenager I made it myself a few times. I liked the homemade pizza a lot but just never tried to make it as an adult. With a mixer there was no excuse not to try.

(Look at that gorgeous mixer. Shouldn’t the music from 2001 Odyssey be playing in the background or something?)

A few weeks ago I saw Tina’s post on homemade pizza and I requested that Michael and I made our first pizza with all fresh ingredients. I bought fresh mozzarella, prosciutto and fresh basil for our first attempt. If it had been a failure, it would have been about a $20 failure….

I bought a 99 cent bottle of pizza sauce at Fred Meyer. Michael suggested that next time we make pizza we add a little tomato paste to the sauce to thicken it up.

I loved using such fresh ingredients. I have to admit: they made a WORLD of difference.

I think our pizza making experience has created a monster: I don’t know if I can ever eat any other pizza now….

Michael took charge in the kitchen and did all of the pizza making chores. He was so excited to be testing out his new mixer–and I was A-okay with letting him take the reigns. I did laundry and played with my new light box while the dough was rising. (And munching on some fresh strawberries.)

Killing the yeast has always always always been my problem with bread making. Michael was smart–he used his digital meat thermometer to test the temperature of the water before adding it to the yeast. So smart.

Michael kneaded the pizza dough and then used the rolling pin to roll it out. I pinched up the edges to make a thicker crust and brushed olive oil and Italian herbs on the crust. Michael took care of the sauce and putting on the toppings.

I took care of the heavy lifting…like sampling wine. 🙂

A little Quenett Pinot Gris. The kitchen smelled like yeast and dough and fresh herbs. It was lovely.

Michael baked the pizza.  The entire house–no matter what room I was in–smelled like freshly baked pizza. But not like a Pizza Hut pizza, like amazing herbs, melting cheese and rising dough. There was no argument: our first pizza was going to be a WINNER.

It was sooo hard to be patient while the pizza was baking. I was like a kid on Christmas morning. Oh my god is it READY? Is it TIME?


Not burned. Not raw. The dough was perfect and cooked perfectly. The cheese was perfectly melted and tasted oh so heavenly. The fresh basil was the real winner on this pie, in my opinion. The prosciutto wasn’t half bad either. Who am I kidding? Even the freshly sliced tomatoes were awesome. Can I gush any more about how YUM this pizza was?

I ate 2 1/2 pieces of pizza. I was stuffed. To the brim but it was so tasty.

I fully expect that Homemade Pizza Night will become a regular in our house. My head is already brimming with all sorts of toppings I want to experiment with. What a perfect end to a fantastic day!

QUESTION: Do you make your own pizza? What’s your favorite topping combo?

21 Responses

  1. oh WOW this looks fabulous.

    Jason is the dough maker in our house, too… he makes some fabulous pizza crust! In the summer we grill the pizzas outside on the grill – oh MY so good! my favorite things in my garden are also my favorite pizza toppings – fresh roma tomatoes and fresh basil… lots of it. sometimes we’ll make a dough and that will be IT – some olive oil, maybe a clove of garlic, and tomato + basil… perfect.

  2. We make homemade pizza every week!

    A tip about rising dough: put a measuring cup of water in the microwave for about a minute or two until it’s boiling and steaming. Then cover your dough with a damp cloth and stick it in the microwave to rise. The steam from the water and the heat will make it rise perfectly!

    We have a bread machine and make a double batch of dough every time. It freezes really well and is a big time saver!

  3. Hi there – I just found your blog. You had me at ‘pizza’, LOL. Looks like you’ve been doing great things around here. I have a lot to learn! I look forward to following you.

  4. Fresh Mozz is da bomb! I love it on pizza. We do cheese and sundried tomatoes. I like to sprinkle feta on there as well.

    Another awesome pizza is a pesto pizza. Just use pesto for the sauce and use fresh mozzarella. Delicious!

  5. We have had a tradition of homemade pizza on Thursday nights. The crust recipe I use is the same as yours, but I don’t bother with the cornmeal on the pan. We also bake pizza in 3 stages – crust only for about 10 minutes, crust and toppings for about 7 minutes and then put on the cheese until it is melted to our liking.

    We’ve made the normal supreme pizza and sausage and pepperoni for the kids, but we also make BBQ chicken pizza (chicken, BBQ sauce and slivers of sweet onions, topped with extra sharp cheddar) and Buffalo Chicken pizza (ranch or bleu cheese dressing, chicken with wing sauce, celery, and mozzarella).

    I’d also recommend making your own sauce since it’s so easy, tastes so much better and could save some calories. I use tomato sauce, garlic powder and Italian seasoning plus extra basil (because I like it). Sorry, but I go by taste and don’t measure the amounts of seasonings. Heat it to simmering then turn it down to keep it warm and it should be thick. You can make a large quantity and freeze it.

    1. I think once this jar of pizza sauce is gone we’ll be making everything from scratch. And once we have our veggie and herb garden this summer the pizza will be amazing!

      Interesting idea on cooking the pizza in stages. We might have to try that!

  6. OK, I am totally obsessed with making my own pizza. Fiance got me a pizza stone for Christmas, but we can seem to get it right — I was rolling it out on a round pizza tin before, and it was perfect, but with the stone, you have to preheat the stone and transfer the pizza on to it. I’ve had two botched attempts and can’t even bear to ruin another pizza!

    Do you guys use a stone? TIPS, PLEASE?!

    1. Ashley,

      You need to get a pizza peel — http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&rh=n:383851011&page=1

      Before you put your dough on the peel, you need to coat the peel with some corn meal which will prevent it from sticking and help it slide from the peel onto the stone that’s in the oven.

      If doing the transfer to the oven has you freaked out, you could just take the stone out of the oven long enough to transfer the pizza to the stone. It shouldn’t be a problem to do it that way.

      1. Hey Michael!

        Thanks for replying! We did invest in a pizza peel and got some corn meal, and it still seemed to stick. Do you actually roll it out? Or do you toss it until it’s thin and round? I don’t think I am talented enough for that.

        1. Yes, I rolled my dough out on the counter with a rolling pin. I found it to be much much easier than I have in the past when I have previously when I’ve purchased a pre-made raw dough from a store. Those had far more elasticity than the dough I made did. I cannot comfortably attempt to even toss the dough as our ceilings are only 8′ high.

          In the interest of full disclosure, I actually built the pizza on the stone this week as I was unable to locate my pizza peel. This might be a good option for you going forward.

  7. I LOVE making homemade pizza. I have been trying to perfect a 100% whole wheat pizza crust that tastes as good as the white stuff. Your pizza looks SO good. The basil and fresh tomatoes have my mouth watering! I have a really good and super easy homemade pizza sauce recipe that is AMAZING!! E-mail me if you’re interested.

  8. My partner got a home pizza oven for xmas. It sits on the counter and has a pizza stone in it. Make kick ass pizzas. As for toppings, I like bacon, and prawns marinated in a little olive oil and garlic. We usually use pitas as bases so that we can have our own personal pizza, they are the perfect size!

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