Homemade Pizza - Three Ways

This isn't your mom's homemade pizza from back in the day. Well, maybe it is. But it isn't the homemade pizza from my childhood - no offense mom or dad. Pizza back then was pizza crust out of a tube smooshed into a 9 x 13. And don't get me wrong it has nothing to do with the tube crust. There is always a time and a place for the tube. The problem was that it created a doughy pizza crust. And I am not here for that... thin & crispy all the way. Actually, sometimes semi crispy is a mood too. But soft doughy pizza is not a mood.


You might want to come back to this when you're really in the mood because it is going to be jammed packed with all my pizza thoughts!





First, you need a solid crust. This is my go-to crust using regular flour.

Ingredients:

1 and 1/3 cup of warm water (think of warm like a baby's bottle warm)

2 and 1/4 teaspoons of yeast

1 tablespoon of sugar

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

3 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

and an absolute must, yellow cornmeal for dusting the pan

and an option I love, Seasonings! Feel free to mix in some seasoning that match your pizza dreams. You can never go wrong with a good Italian seasoning!


Directions:

  1. Whisk the warm water, yeast and sugar together. You can start this process by hand in a mixing bowl or in your stand mixer with a dough hook. I personally love doing it by hand.

  2. Cover the water, yeast and sugar and let rest for about five minutes. You are looking for the yeast to activate and getting foamy. If this doesn't happen after five minutes, it may take a little longer with the temperature in your kitchen (colder = longer)

  3. Once the yeast mixture has been activated, add in the olive oil and salt. Mix around.

  4. Add in flour. If you're doing this with the mixer you can mix it together on low speed. If it becomes too much you will need to take it out and knead the dough on a floured surface. If you're doing it by hand, you will want to mix it until is incorporated and a dough is starting to form. Then take out and knead on a flour surface for five minutes.

  5. Once you've kneaded the dough and created a soft dough ball, you can place the ball in a lightly greased bowl (the same one you started in works perfectly). Gently toss the ball around to make sure it is fully coated in oil.

  6. Place plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel over the bowl (I generally just use a plate on top of the bowl)!

  7. Let the dough rise for 60 - 90 minutes or until it's doubled in size. Remember, the colder your kitchen the longer it takes!

  8. When your dough has doubled, preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

  9. Favorite part! After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down to let the air out. Divide the dough in half for two 12-inch pizzas (or divide it more for smaller pizzas).

  10. Roll the dough out on a slightly floured surface using your hands and rolling pin.

  11. Dust your pizza stone with cornmeal and transfer your round pizza dough to the stone.

  12. Using a form, poke quite a few holes around the dough to prevent air bubbles when baking.

  13. Bake for 5 - 7 minutes. This time depends greatly on your oven. At this point, you are just partially baking the crust. Starting to brown around the edges is ok, but you are not looking for a golden crust!

Now that you have parbaked pizza crust, you have a few different options. But before we get into those options... here are a few notes about the instructions.

  • If you don't have a dough whisk, you should consider getting one. They have them all over amazon, but I snagged this one from The Food Nanny. I can dream that one day Junky Janko Market will have one!

  • I love mixing by hand, this is a recipe that you need to enjoy making. I personally think that the stand mixer takes a little away from that. Put a little love into the crust!

  • I've made all sorts of sizes. Personal sized pizzas are perfect for the girls. A medium size for McKinley or I and then the shareable/Josh size. Make whatever size is best for your family!

  • Yellow Corn meal is a must. Do not skip this. While it serves a great purpose of preventing the dough from sticking to the stone, the greater purpose might be the little (sweet) crunch it adds to pizza crust!


Back to the three options you have now with parbaked crust:

Make pizza right away. You've created your canvas, now get to assembling your favorite pizza. While skies the limit with pizza creations, one rule in this house is that olive oil and chopped garlic must be put onto