For most of that time, I made homemade pizza. I haven't been doing it quite as much lately (we've got $5 Little Caesar's close by, though that get old after a couple weeks in a row). After a lot of trial and error, I've figured out how to make a pretty good pizza for our tastes.
For years I used this recipe for the crust, which I adapted from this one. The amounts seem weird because I scaled it from 10 up to 15 servings to make two thinner crusts. If I wanted (two) thicker crusts, I just doubled the original recipe.
- 1 cup and 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons white sugar
- 3-1/3 cups bread flour
- 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (or packet of fast rise)
- Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough cycle; press Start.
- Remove dough from pan after rise cycle and use for your favorite pizza recipe.
- .25 oz. pkt. active dry yeast
- 1/4 tsp. granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup 110 degree water
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Whichever recipe I use, I almost always use at least part whole wheat flour. I like the whole white wheat because it has a lighter texture and flavor than the more common variety, which is made from red wheat.
I also have learned that for the crust to be done and not doughy in the middle, I need to parbake the crust, even if the recipe doesn't call for it. I roll out the dough on the pizza stones, prick it with a fork, and bake it for about 5 minutes at about 450*. Then I add the sauce and toppings and bake it about 8-10 minutes longer, until the cheese is browning around the edges. Sometimes I brush olive oil around the edge of the crust after the first bake and use a sea salt mill to sprinkle a light dusting of coarse salt around the edge...it makes those edges that sometimes get left on the plate extra yummy.
Now for the sauce. I originally started with this one, but tweaked it to our tastes until it became this (enough for two pizzas):
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon honey, or even a little less
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
Do you have a family pizza night tradition? Order out, or homemade?