Almost every Friday night our family takes part in a tradition of Friday night pizza night! It’s one night of the week that I don’t have to think about what I’m going to make. Of course, it’s going to be pizza! It’s MUCH cheaper than takeout, especially if you already have your staples on hand, which I do. Two pizzas costs us approximately $8 and it feeds our family of four dinner and lunch the next day. When we order pizza from our local pizza joint, it costs us about $30. Sorry, but I’m not paying that every week for junky pizza.
You guys know I like to simplify recipes as much as I can to make it doable for even the beginner cook. This pizza is the best and easiest I have ever made, so I am really excited to share it with you! When I first started experimenting with making my own pizza at home, I certainly had my fair share of soggy and dense crusts. After months of trial and error, we finally perfected our homemade pizza. It’s super easy, light and crisp, and takes less time than takeout to be delivered.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. It’s also a great project to get the kids involved. They can mix the dough, shape it and top with their own desired toppings with just a little assistance from you. Of course it might take a little longer, but hey, everything takes longer with kids. We might as well embrace it. 🙂
A few important notes:
- Don’t be tempted to get an already shredded mozzarella cheese. They come coated with additives to prevent the cheese from clumping. It will make your pizza taste weird and plastic like. Unless you like plastic, shred the mozzarella yourself. 🙂 You probably won’t use all of the cheese and you definitely won’t use all of the sauce, so you can save them for a quick pizza in the week for lunch for a kiddo on a tortilla, piece of bread, or english muffin.
- The parchment paper is essential here. It allows you to easily transfer the pizza from the counter to the stone, and out of the oven. The stone can be heating up while you are making the dough. The hotter the stone and oven, the better the crust.
- The stone is pretty important. You can try it without it, but you will get much better results by investing in a good baking/pizza stone.
Pizza making process
- 3 cups flour (I like a blend of 2 c. sprouted, 1 c. unbleached white)
- 2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 1/2 c. warm water
- 1 large can of tomato puree (I like organic Muir Glen brand)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 16 oz. block mozzarella cheese (low moisture)
- desired toppings: meat, peppers, onions, mushrooms, jalepenos, tomatoes, etc.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, salt and yeast and stir well.
- Add warm water. Stir until it becomes a shaggy dough.
- Then with floured hands, knead the dough until it comes together to a slightly sticky yet manageable dough. Add a bit more flour if needed.
- Cover and let rise for 30 minutes in a warm area.
- While dough is rising, make sauce and shred cheese.
- Stir together tomato puree, salt, oregano and garlic powder in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Shred cheese by hand or with a food processor.
- After dough has risen, preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- Put your baking stone in the oven to preheat as well.
- On a floured piece of parchment paper, carefully take half of the dough and gently stretch it to form about a 12 inch circle. Do not roll out or push down too hard. Be careful to also not allow dough to get too thin.
- Brush the edges of the crust with olive oil.
- Add sauce, cheese and toppings.
- Transfer pizza and parchment paper onto hot stone.
- Bake on top rack at 500 degrees for 6 minutes.
- Rotate pizza and drop the position to the BOTTOM rack for an additional 4-5 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown.
- Transfer pizza off of stone and parchment paper onto an elevated cooling rack, so crust does not get soggy.
- Repeat with second pizza.
- After pizza has cooled, transfer onto a cutting board and cut into eight equal slices with a pizza slicer.