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Easy Homemade Pizza Like A Pro

If you caught my recent post with Max’s homemade bagel recipe, you know we leaned in hard to the bread-making trend that dominated quarantine. Once he mastered the bagel dough, the natural next step was to move on to pizza. If you follow me on Instagram, you most likely caught some of our pizza making trials and competitions on my stories. Anything to make the covid year more interesting, right? 

Now that summer is here and we’re able to entertain on our patio, we’ve once again started to make an unholy amount of pizza each week. That’s right, we’re not backyard barbecue people, we’re carb people and we’re not ashamed. We recently invested in an Ooni Pizza Oven, which has seriously leveled up our pizza game. However, I’m here to tell you it is possible to make delicious pizza in your conventional oven. Really!

The full dough recipe is below, so I’ll spare you a long winded narrative about it. However, I do have a few notes to enhance the taste of the final product:

  • Use active dry yeast rather than instant types.
  • Quality of ingredients will affect the taste of your final crust. Use good quality olive oil and flour in particular!
  • The dough can rise longer if desired, as long as it has at least doubled in size you’re good. 
  • Don’t get caught up in perfectly shaping the dough. Organically shaped pizzas still taste delicious!
  • If you don’t have time to make the dough, store bought versions can work too. Just make sure to buy fresh dough, like the one that Whole Foods makes daily, rather than a pre-made, pre-shaped boxed frozen crust. 

Once you’ve shaped your dough and placed it on your baking sheet, top your pizza while you wait for your oven to pre-heat. As with the dough, the taste of your final product is hugely impacted by the quality of your ingredients. For a more authentic tasting pizza, use a sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes and mozzarella di bufala as the cheese. Do not buy pre-shredded mozzarella! 

Personally, I like a really crispy pizza. I definitely push the limits of the baking time to the point of it being almost burnt. If you’re like me, then I suggest covering the edges of your pizza with aluminum foil for the first half of your baking time – much like you would do for a pie crust. This will allow the bottom of the crust to cook more thoroughly. I also like to turn up the temperature for the second half of the baking time, I’ve even been known to broil it for a minute or so at the end. 

Max, however, likes his dough on the chewier side, so he bakes his for far less time than I do. The point is, you can’t really go wrong with the cook time so play around with it until the crispiness is to your liking!

Now that we have the Ooni, I’ll definitely follow up this post with more pizza recipes and techniques, so be on the lookout for that. As always, thank you for reading and sharing!

Homemade Pizza Dough
Ingredients
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cups water (warm)
  • 2 1/2 tsp yeast (active dry)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garic powder
Instructions
  1. Fit stand mixer with dough hook attachment.

  2. Whisk together warm water, yeast, and sugar in stand mixer bowl. Cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes.

  3. Add flour, olive oil, salt, and garlic powder. Beat on low for ~2 minutes.

  4. Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and hands. Remove dough from mixer and knead by hand for ~4 minutes, or until it’s soft and bounces back slowly when poked.

  5. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl and turn it to coat all sides with the cooking spray. Cover and allow the dough to rise for ~2 hours.

  6. Once risen, punch the dough down to remove any air bubbles. From there, divide the dough into desired amount of pizzas. This recipe usually makes 2 regular-sized pizzas, but can be divided as desired for personal pizzas, etc.

  7. Using a rolling pin, shape your pizza as desired on a lightly floured work surface.

  8. Once shaped, carefully transfer dough to a lightly greased baking sheet.

  9. Pinch edges up to create the “crust” and top the rest as desired.

  10. Bake at 475 degrees F until desired crispiness is achieved. 

  11. Slice and enjoy!

By Paces West

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