Homemade Pizza

I would tend to believe that most of us have had some kind of pizza making experience in our lifetime. Be it a roll of Pillsbury dough from the grocer’s fridge, or maybe a box of Chef Boyardee or Jiffy mix. In my opinion, most store bought pizza dough leaves much to be desired.

I for one love pizza and its many different styles, as well as the endless toppings combinations. So if there were a Top 10 list of cooking accomplishments for any home cook. Making a good pizza at home from scratch would be toward the top of that list. For myself on this pizza making journey, there was a lot of pain and suffering before getting to my current pizza mastery. But it all finally came together with a good recipe for dough. I’ve probably gone through about a dozen different dough recipes until finally concocting the current version that I use. So lets dive in and get rolling:

Pizza Dough Recipe – Makes 1 Pan style crust or 2 thin crust pizza’s

9 oz. Warm water
3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
1 TB Olive oil
420 Grams High Gluten Flour (Bread Flour)
1 tsp Active Dry Yeast

Hand Mixing Instructions:

1) Preheat a large mixing bowl with hot tap water for a couple of minutes, while gathering all the ingredients.

2) Empty the pre-heating water from the mixing bowl.

3) Add the ingredients in the order listed. Using two finger on your hand begin mixing all the ingredients in the bowl until loosely combined.

4) Dump the rough mixture onto a flowered surface and knead for 2-3 minutes until it starts to smooth.

5) Lightly oil the previously used bowl with olive or vegetable oil. Place the kneaded dough in the bowl and coat the dough with the oil in the bowl.

6) Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm location. Allow dough to rise for at least 1 hour, but you can let it rise for up to 3 hours. Make sure to gently deflate the dough after each hour. About 30 mins before the end of the dough rising. Pre-heat the oven to either 500 or 550. The hotter the oven, the crispier the final pizza will be.

Stand Mixer Instructions:

Basically almost all the hand-mixing instructions apply to using a stand mixer. But instead of using your hands to mix the dough. Start with the beater blade on the stand mixer until the ingredients are just combined. Then switch to the dough hook and knead the dough hook for 15 mins. Then follow the normal rising instructions.

Tip: I usually let the dough rise for about 2 hours. 1 hour is basically the bare minimum for the dough to dough in size, and 3 hours is just to case you have to put the pizza’s on hold for some reason.

Making the final pizza:

Now that the dough is made, and the oven has been heated to either 500 or 550. Lets make the final pizza, so what do you feel like, thick or thin? All the times that I’ve made this recipe, I’ve always gone thin crust style, making two pizza’s out of the dough. But as I learned from my sister, you can use this dough to make one thicker pan style pizza. The option is up to you, but the dough works well with either style pizza.

After you’ve picked out a pizza style, roll the dough out on a floured surface until the thickness you desire. Then transfer the dough to a rimmed cookie sheet that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal.

Tip: If you are going to make two thin crust pizza’s consider rolling up the edge of the pizza. It will help contain any possible topping blowout later during baking.

Now comes the best part, assembling the final pizza. Since you’re making this pizza at home, you can put whatever you want on top, as well as however much you want. Personally I like a lot of pepperoni on my pizza. And since I buy my pepperoni from Sam’s Club in a 5 lb package I don’t have to scrimp on toppings.

Now that you have pizza all dressed up, bake the pizza for about 9-10 minutes. At about the 9 minute mark, start to check the pizza for the amount of color you want on the top of the pizza. After you pull it from the oven, let it cool a couple of minutes before slicing. Now enjoy the best pizza you’ve ever had, and will make all store bought and chain pizza’s pale in comparison.

Final Notes: I have a couple of 6” x 6” unglazed floor tiles in the bottom of my oven. So when I bake a pizza, I let it go for 5 mins in the cookie sheet. Then slide it onto the tile for the final 4-5 mins. One of these days I’ll finally try to cook it all the way on the baking stone. My sis on the other hand cooks the pizza the whole time in the cookie sheet, and has great results. So don’t feel obligated to do it just one-way, basically use what you got.

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