quality pizza can be made at home, and it’s fun too
Making homemade pizza is fun. From preparing the dough, prepping the crust, and choosing your toppings, to watching it all come together and finally to tasting it – the pizza process is pure satisfaction. It helps that a good-looking freshly made pizza gets a lot of “oohs,” “ahhs,” and “omg this is amazings” from the crowd. It all begins with preparing a good dough. When it comes to pizza dough, my heart belongs to Bobby Flay. If you like a crispier crust like I do, the not-so-secret ingredient here is bread flour. The recipe that follows yields two 14 inch crusts. I am including my light garlic crust option below, for those who know what’s good.
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 envelope instant dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups water, 110℉
- 2 tablespoons etxra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
- for garlic crust option: an extra 2 tsp of extra-virgin olive oil and 1-2 fresh garlic cloves)
- fresh basil for garnish
toppings (cheese pizza is below; you can get creative and choose your own adventure)
- pizza sauce (sometimes I prepare a homemade one using my regular marinara sauce, but you can easily use a store-bought one)
- mozzarella cheese – shredded
- 1-2 garlic cloves chopped, optional (if using garlic on yours)
- Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast, and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. While the mixer is running add the warm water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and mix until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.
2. Grease a large bowl with 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, approximately 1 hour. (Sometimes at this point I put mine in the fridge until I am ready to bake it. I typically leave it for 2-8 hours, but you can leave it from 1-3 days. Once ready to prepare it, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Some pizza makers say that a flavorful dough depends on a cold fermentation anyway. I have found that both methods — either preparing it as detailed below or refrigerating it after the first — yield very tasty results).
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.
4. Roll out the dough (you will have enough for 2).
5. Pre-heat the oven to 450℉, with the pizza stone in it if you have one.
6. If you want a garlic crust brush extra-virgin olive oil over the entire crust and then rub a garlic clove all over it. (If you don’t want a garlic crust skip this step and move on to number 7).
7. Once your pizza stone is warm, place the rolled out dough on it, add the sauce, cheese, and other toppings as you desire. If you want a bit of garlic you can add chopped fresh garlic at this stage as well.
8. Bake the pizza at 450℉ until browned along the edges and cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
9. Top with fresh basil and enjoy!