Friday, June 25, 2010

Classic Homemade Pizza

(above) Homemade Pizza - featuring Easy Pizza Sauce and Basic Pizza Dough

I can't say this enough, but one thing that this blog has made me do is to try out new things all the time. So, today I made my very first entirely homemade pizza. This meant no 1. ordering out for delivery (which has become a rather bad habit for, well lets admit it... all of us), 2. using frozen pizza dough, and 3. using jarred tomato sauce. The pizza sauce seems too easy to be true. Practically all you have to do is mix some ingredients which you probably already have laying around the house together and let them sit for a while. The sauce was pretty tasty, and lets not forget, oh so simple. One thing I didn't like too much though was that the oil in the sauce separated a little on the pizza and bled into the crust, leaving orange oil-stains on the crust.
Lets talk about dough - pizza dough. I added in half a teaspoon of sugar to the dough just to give the yeast a little boost. It probably didn't make much of a difference but it sure didn't hurt either. The dough created a solid, standard pizza - definitely a keeper. I didn't have a pizza stone so I just slid my pizza onto a hot cookie sheet in the oven. This resulted in a crust that wasn't as crispy as I would have liked. However, this pizza is perfect when re-heated as leftovers, when the pizza can crisp up nicely as it warms in the toaster oven.
I topped the pizzas with some shredded cheese. I will definitely try this recipe again with toppings such as sliced bell peppers and onion, but under no circumstances pineapple. Many, I know, will disagree, but pineapple does not belong on pizza.

(above) So the above + a cup of water is really all you need to make pizza sauce. You don't even have to cook it over the stove. Amazing.

(above) The finished pizza sauce! You may want to beat the sauce with a spoon or fork (in the same motion as you would when beating an egg) if you are having trouble combining the oil into the sauce.

(above) I divided the dough I made into two balls in order to create two 9 inch pizzas. You will want to roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface.

(above) Pizza dough rolled out.

(above) You are going to want to grate up some mozzarella cheese.

(above) The pizza topped with pizza sauce and shredded cheese.
(above) The pizza, all baked up!

Basic Pizza Dough
Makes 2 large pizzas
Recipe from Annie's Eats
½ cup warm water (about 110°)
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
olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl

  1. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
  2. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
  3. To bake, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 500° for at least 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.
  4. Working with one piece of dough and keeping the other covered, shape the dough and transfer to a pizza peel or round of parchment dusted with semolina or cornmeal. Top as desired. Slide the dough onto the pizza stone. Bake until the crust edges brown and cheese is golden brown in spots, about 8 to 12 minutes. Repeat with remaining ball of dough or freeze for later use.

Notes: I halved the entire recipe. This created two 9 inch pizzas. I added in half a teaspoon of sugar to the yeast/ warm water mixture. I did not have a pizza stone so I slid my pizza onto a hot cookie sheet.

Easy Pizza Sauce

Adapted from Allrecipes

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

  1. Mix together the tomato paste, water, and olive oil. Mix well. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste, oregano, basil, and rosemary. Mix well.
  2. Let stand several hours to let flavors blend. No cooking necessary, just spread on dough.


  1. I am trying this esp the tomato sauce. Your pizza looks amazingly delicious. Bravo!

  2. YUM! I could eat pizza every day - your pizza looks amazing!

  3. Hey! Thanks for sharing this! it looks great!
    I want to learn to cook a good pizza, cause I'm planning a trip to South America. My idea is to stay in short term apartments, and I imagine that pizza will be the main meal almost everynight so... I don't want to get bored of it!! I have to preapare amazings pizzas...
    Hope I'll can do that!