I’m certainly far from being a professional, but I really cooking and trying out different cuisines to try at home. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I try something new and it works nicely. One of the foods I have now added to my basic repertoire is homemade pizza. This is part 2 of a two-part post about homemade pizza. On part 1 I shared why I think it’s better to make your own pizzas.
For the base of every pizza you need dough, sauce,and toppings. Let’s break this down.
Making the Dough
We’ve experimented with quite a few different doughs, but we’ve settled with one of Martha Stuart’s recipe. Note that this is a light thin crust, so if you like a more bready pizza dough, you should test other recipes.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast (1 package)
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
- 1 tbls extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- Warm milk and water (30-45 sec in the microwave).
- Combine yeast and sugar to the liquid and let it sit for 5 min.
- In a large bowl, add flour, salt and olive oil to the liquid mixture.
- Knead the dough for 3-5 minutes in the bowl, then continue kneading for another 10 minutes on a clean surface. *you’ll use some flour on the surface to keep the dough from sticking to the surface.
- Brush the dough with olive oil, put it in a bowl and let it rise for 1-3 hours.
- Divide the dough in half (or any appropriate number according to the size of your pizza) . *you can freeze the other half for up to 6 months.
- Use a rolling pin to start stretching the dough. Once it’s starting to get flat, hold a corner of the dough and let gravity pull it down. Then hold a different corner and do the same. Repeat until it’s in the desired size. Use the rolling pin to help keep dough uniform. *this is obviously the official way to stretch the dough, but I noticed that it works. it does take some practice.
- Brush the surface of the pizza pan with olive oil and lay the stretched dough on it. Roll the corners so it’s even.
Note: the directions were adapted to what works in my kitchen.
The Sauce & Toppings
You can make whatever sauce you think will work best with your toppings. For our red sauce, I just open a can o diced/crush tomatoes. You can use the red sauce you’re used to making at home as long as it’s thick. We have also used alfredo sauce from a jar for white sauce. Be sure to spread the sauce evenly onto you pizza dough.
Once that is done, all you need is to add the toppings. If you’re not lactose intolerant, start with shredded mozzarella cheese. Just don’t put too much, or else the cheese will overpower the entire pizza. Unless that is exactly what you want! If you’re not into mozzarella you can choose any kind of shredded cheese. Your pizza, your rules.
When it comes to the toppings, choose three ingredients. Even though the possibilities are infinite, it’s quite hard to choose what you want to put on top of your pizza, so I figured that three is a good number. You’ll be able to taste all the ingredients well, not to mention that it’s easy to make combinations that will make sense. Here are some combinations if you’re not creative when it comes to food.
- pepperoni + mushroom + green peppers and/or onions
- zucchini + minced garlic +sundired tomatoes
- chorizo + onions + black olives
- arugula + sundried tomatoes (classic pizza you’ll find in Brazil)
- bacon + broccoli + feta cheese
- spinach + minced garlic + salami
- 3 types of cheeses (just pick three different types of cheese and have fun)
Food is fun! That’s for sure. And pizza is just a great canvas to have fun with. So I challenge you to call up some friends or your partner and make some pizza!
Before you go, what would be the three toppings you’d put on your homemade pizza?