Making homemade pizza from scratch is a great family fun meal. My 4 year old daughter always wants to help me when I’m making pizza and will even make her own mini pizza. Making your own dough and sauce is really not that daunting as well. With a little bit of effort, you’ll be making pizza that is better than take out.
Let’s make the pizza dough!
If you’re making pizza at home then you NEED to make homemade dough. It’s really not hard and is so worth the little effort. All you’ll need is:
Just mix your dry ingredients together, add your wet ingredients to the dry mixture, and mix everything together and knead for about 10 minutes. If you have a Stand Mixer, feel free to knead using the dough hook (I always use mine for this). Once you’re done kneading, form a ball and coat it with some more olive oil. Put it in a bowl and that’s it – the dough is ready to rise!
Let’s have the dough proof/rise!
There really are a few different ways to do this. If you planned ahead and have some time, I highly recommend covering the bowl with clingwrap and letting the pizza dough proof in the refrigerator for 3 days or at least a minimum of overnight. Just take the dough out of the refrigerator on the day you plan on cooking around 5-6 hours ahead of time so that it can come to room temperature and continue to rise. If you’re making the dough the same day you will eat it, cover the bowl with foil or a wet towel and let it rise in a warm place (I use my shutoff oven) for about 2 hours. The dough will double in that time.
Let’s make the sauce!
A good pizza sauce requires just four ingredients:
- San Marzano Tomatoes
- Olive Oil
I will combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend them all together. You can make it as smooth or as chunky as you’d like. This is one of my favorite things about cooking – you can cater everything to your own taste!
Let’s talk about toppings.
If you’re reading this, then I am willing to bet you already have a good idea of what you like for pizza toppings. I am not here to change your mind about it, I am here to share what I like and tell you about a few tips I’ve learned that will take your pizza up a notch (I am looking at YOU cheese). First, here is what I like on my pizza:
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Fresh Basil
- Pecorino Romano
Sure, sometimes I like to add mushrooms or garlic as well but the toppings listed above are a good base for me. There are two things that I want you to focus on. First is fresh mozzarella. Please always get fresh vs the shredded one. I like to slice it into pieces and then break those slices and top all over the pizza. Second is pecorino romano. After I put all of the toppings on the pizza, I like to finish it with some grated pecorino romano (I grate it myself – not the pre-grated kind) as it gives the pizza amazing flavor.
The first thing that you will want to do is get a large oven pan. Pour a little bit of olive oil in the pan and spread it around – this will give the bottom of the pizza flavor and keep it from sticking to the pan. Next roll out your dough using your hands or a rolling pin. I prefer to use the gravity method of holding the dough by it’s crust in the air and constantly moving it (think of turning a steering wheel) while gravity stretches it out. Of course, using a rolling pin works just fine too. Then put the dough in the pan, add a light to medium layer of sauce, the fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, and finish with some grated pecorino romano. I then like to brush the crust with a mixture of olive oil and Spiceology’s Pizza Blend. Also, I did not forget the fresh basil – I will add that with 5 minutes remaining in the cook.
Once the pizza is assembled, it’s ready to go into the oven. I cook my oven pizzas at 420ºF for 15 minutes before removing the pizza and adding fresh basil on top. Then it’s back in the oven for another 5 minutes. After a total cook time of 20 minutes, I’ll look at the pizza to see if I am happy with how the cheese melted and I’ll feel the crust to see if it’s crispy enough to my liking. If not, I’ll leave it in another 2 minutes or so but also keeping an eye on it so that it does not burn. Once it’s done, give it another 5 minutes to cool down and it’s ready to slice.
After reading this, I hope you can see how much fun making pizza is. It’s perfect to do with kids that have an interest in helping in the kitchen. Making your own dough and sauce is not only fun, but it goes a long way in having a much better tasting pizza. Fresh ingredients are key as well. Stop buying pre-shredded mozzarella and pre-grated pecorino romano. The extra effort of cutting or grating it yourself makes for a much tastier pizza. Give it a shot and let me know what you think. Do these things and you’ll have a pizza my heart .
Oven Style Pizza
- 500 grams '00' Flour
- 10 grams Salt about 1 tablespoon
- 5 grams Instant Yeast about 2 1/4 teaspoons
- 300 grams Water
- 20 grams Olive Oil
- 28 oz San Marzano Tomatoes
- 3 Garlic Cloves or more if you prefer
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Salt
- Fresh Mozzarella
- Pecorino Romano
- Fresh Basil
- Olive Oil optional
- Spiceology's Pizza Blend or any seasonings you would like on your crust; optional
To make the pizza dough
- Combine the '00' flour, salt, and yeast into a bowl or stand mixer bowl. Combine the water and olive oil and add to the bowl with your dry ingredients. Mix until the ingredients start to come together and then knead for 10 minutes by hand or on the lowest setting with a stand mixer dough hook.
- When the dough is done kneading, form it into a ball, coat it with olive oil, and put it in a bowl or back in the stand mixer bowl.
- For best results: cover the bowl with clingwrap and refrigerate for 3 days. Take out of the refrigerator 5-6 hours before you are going to cook so that the dough can come to room temperature and rise some more.If short on time: cover the bowl with foil or a wet towel and let rise for 2 hours at room temperature or in a shut off oven.
To make the pizza sauce
- Combine the San Marzano tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and salt in a food processor. Blend until you like the consistency. It can be as smooth or as chunky as you like.
To assemble and cook the pizza
- Preheat oven to 420ºF. Slice all of the toppings of your choice. For this recipe, slice the fresh mozzarella and pepperoni. Roll out and stretch your pizza dough and place it on an oven pan that has been coated with olive oil.
- Add the sauce, the mozzarella, and pepperoni. Grate some pecorino romano all over. Combine olive oil and Spiceology's pizza blend (or any seasonings you would like to use). Brush this mixture over the crust.
- Cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the pizza and add some fresh basil on top. Add back into the oven for another 5 minutes. Look how the cheese has melted and if the crust is crispy enough to your liking. If you would like it to cook longer, cook another 2-3 minutes but keep an eye on the pizza so that it does not burn.
- Remove the pizza and let it cool down for about 5 minutes. Slice and serve immediately.