If you're like us, you have your favorite pizza joint on speed dial, ready to call at a moment's notice (or a last minute dinner on a Friday night.) Have you ever thought about making your own pizza, at home? Sure, the thought may be a bit overwhelming, but I promise this recipe does not require you to spin the dough in the air. That is optional.
This is a fun dinner to make with the whole family! Making a homemade pizza inspires creativity and imagination, as the toppings you have to choose from are literally endless.
The first step in making a homemade pizza is, of course, the dough. Follow this simple recipe (which makes enough dough for two 12 inch pizzas) to get the perfect pizza dough, every time:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) of active dry yeast
3 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
In a large bowl (I use my mixer) pour in the warm water, and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit 5 minutes, and if needed, stir to dissolve. Mix in the olive oil, flour, salt and sugar on low speed for about a minute. Attach the dough hook to your mixer and knead the dough on low to medium speed for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. If you don't have a mixer, you can absolutely knead the dough with your hands! You can always add a little more flour if the dough seems too wet. Take your dough ball and coat it with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, with your bottom rack (or pizza stone) near the bottom of the oven.
Take the dough and split it into two balls, each in its own bowl, cover them with plastic wrap and let sit for about 10 minutes. Flatten your dough by kneading it with your fists. Flatten the dough until it will not flatten anymore, and is about 12 inches in diameter. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil.
Now, for the fun part: Adding your toppings!
Start with a coating of sauce (we use marinara) all over the top of the pizza, followed by your choice of cheese (we love mozzarella- and a generous amount of it!) and whatever toppings your heart desires! This is where the creativity and imagination really comes in to play! Get creative, get daring, and think outside the box. We made a half and half pizza, with one half covered in sun dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts, and the other half in salami, bell peppers and artichoke hearts.
Place your masterpiece in the oven (straight onto the rack) using a pizza peel or baking sheet (we used a cutting board and the pizza slid right into the oven) and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted.