Dominos just not cutting it for you anymore? If you’re sick of delivery and want something that’s NOT Digiorno’s, try your hand at making your own pizza. Don’t worry, it’s a lot easier than you think, so get those visions of kneading and twirling dough out of your head.
OK, first things first, the equipment. Now, you don’t need a fancy pizza oven or anything to make delicious at-home pizza, but having a pizza stone will definitely enhance the experience. You can find these at any home or kitchen goods store, and they’re pretty inexpensive. Don’t feel like running out to get one? No problem! Just turn any large baking sheet over, cover it with parchment paper and sprinkle with corn meal.
Next, preheat your oven to 450°F.
Now onto the base of any pizza -the crust. There are two roads you can can travel down here. If you’re ambitious and have the time, make your own dough. Here’s a great recipe for homemade pizza dough. Or, if you’re like me, and always in a hurry to get dinner on the table, cheat a little and use pre-made pizza dough which can be found at most grocery stores (my family is partial to the Trader Joe’s version.) Just don’t forget to let your dough rest at room temperature for at least half an hour so that it’s easier to work with.
Once you have your dough ready, stretch it with your hands on a floured surface to get to the desired thickness and shape you want it. Brush the top with a little olive oil to prevent it from getting soggy with the toppings you’re about to put on it.
Carefully transfer the dough to your pizza peel, or alternatively, a piece of parchment paper (sprinkle whatever surface you’re transferring to with corn meal first.) TIP: If you really wanted to save a step, you could just shape your dough on one of these surfaces to start out with.
Now for the fun part – the toppings. Go wild. Tomato sauce, cheese, sausage, onions, spinach, you want it, toss it on! This is the best part of making pizza at home – getting to customize it just how you want it.
Now transfer the pizza to the pizza stone or baking sheet (if it’s on parchment paper, you can just move the entire thing, paper and all to your baking surface.) Let it cook for approximately 12-18 minutes. Keep checking on it, you’ll know it’s done when the cheese is a nice golden color, and the crust is browned.
Take it out of the oven to cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!
Here are some homemade pizza recipes to get you inspired:
– Esther Carlstone