If there’s one food most families love, it has to be pizza. It’s easy to order, but it’s also not that hard to make. The main focus in this recipe is on the crust. Toppings and all that, I’m pretty sure you can figure out, although I will share some ideas. A good crust is key to a good homemade pizza.
A good pizza stone is a help when baking your pizza. You can use a pizza pan or baking sheet if that’s what you have, but a properly used pizza stone helps the crust bake better. How best to use a pizza stone varies by the company that made it, so check the instructions to see how best to use yours. Some need to preheat in the oven for as much as an hour. Others don’t need to be preheated.
You can have all kinds of fun making pizzas as a family. You could even break up the pizza crust dough into smaller batches to make personal pizzas for everyone, and let everyone choose their own toppings. It takes a lot more room in the oven, and it’s more work rolling out the individual pizza crusts, but it’s not too bad.
I have one kid who doesn’t like pepperoni, while the rest all adore it, so I usually make two pizzas. This also ensures leftovers. The kids love taking homemade pizza to school for lunch, so this is a good thing.
I use my bread machine to make the dough. It’s much easier than making it by hand. Give it some time to rise after the machine is done mixing it.
Believe it or not, I worked for more than a year in a pizza place, and I never learned to toss the dough. I worked the phones or front counter, taking orders and sometimes making salads. The guys who made the pizzas used to joke that women weren’t allowed, although they were perfectly willing to teach those who insisted. I didn’t especially want to back then, so I didn’t.
I roll out the dough instead. Coat the counter with flour and drop the dough for the pizza crust on it. Rub more flour on the rolling pin, keeping it above the dough so that flour falls on it as well. Sprinkle flour or cornmeal on your pizza pan, stone or baking sheet as well.
Roll out the crust to fit your pizza pan, stone or baking sheet. When the crust dough is the right size, place it on its pan. Stab several times with a fork to minimize bubbles.
I like to bake it for about five minutes before adding toppings; otherwise I’ve found it sometimes challenging to bake the crust completely without burning the cheese.
While the pizza crust bakes, prepare your toppings. I’m lazy enough to use grated mozzarella from Costco rather than grating it myself. If you want a better quality cheese, you’ll have to grate it. The Costco stuff does well enough for our purposes.
My family likes using bacon and pepperoni for toppings. We use the precooked bacon crumbles from Costco. They aren’t greasy, which I consider to be a huge plus. Feta cheese also goes well.
For my daughter who doesn’t like pepperoni, I just use the bacon and some vegetables. Usually, that’s olives and bell peppers. That all goes on half the pizza. The other half gets the same, but I add pepperoni and artichoke hearts to it as well. Everyone eyes the half I make for me, but they never want it made for everyone. All part of the fun of homemade pizza, I guess.
Finish baking the pizzas. The cheese should be completely melted and the crust lightly browned when done.
Wait 5-10 minutes before slicing. This lets the cheese solidify a little so the toppings don’t slide all over. Call in the ravening hordes (or just the kids) and let them eat.
Homemade Pizza With Herbed Crust
- 1 cup warm water about 110 degrees F
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups bread flour may need extra
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp Italian herbs oregano, basil, thyme, etc., to taste
Add water, olive oil, sugar, and salt to bread machine, then add both types of flour and the garlic.
Add the yeast on top. Sprinkle with the herbs and turn the bread machine on in a dough cycle.
Mix 15-30 minutes, then allow dough to rest for at least 10 minutes. You may need to add extra flour if the dough doesn't form a good ball.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
Sprinkle counter with flour. Sprinkle flour or cornmeal on pizza pan as well if desired. Roll dough out to fit your pizza pan, stone or baking sheet. Place on pizza pan and roll up any edges that hang over.
Bake without toppings for five minutes.
Add your choice of sauce, cheese, and other toppings. Bake 7-10 minutes more or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.