Homemade pizza can not only be a hearty meal, but creating the dough, sauce and choosing exactly what toppings you want can be fun. Even kids can help make pizza at home. Playing around with different recipes, toppings and even combinations of flavors will help you create the pizza you have been craving. You should first learn to make a basic pizza and then experiment with different flavors, seasonings and toppings.
Things You'll Need
Prepare the baking stone by turning the oven on to the highest setting, or at least 550 degrees Ft. Allow the stone to heat up in the oven for at least 30 minutes, which should give you enough time to prepare the pizza.
Make the dough first. Use a basic pizza dough recipe to start, and after you perfect the process of making homemade crust, you can later experiment with different types of flours and seasonings. Add 1 tsp. of active dry yeast to a bowl with 2/3 cup warm water that has been heated to 110 degrees F. Stir and let the yeast and water sit on the counter for one minute. In a separate, large bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, the yeast and water mixture and 1 tsp. salt. Mix to form a dough ball and place the ball on to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for at least 10 full minutes with your hands to remove air pockets and mix all ingredients. Oil the inside of the mixing bowl with olive oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let it rise for one to two hours, until the dough has doubled in size. Roll out the dough and work with your hands to shape the dough to fit a 12-inch pizza pan that has been lightly rubbed with olive oil and dusted with cornmeal.
Prepare the pizza sauce. A basic pizza sauce recipe involves combining 28 oz. of crushed tomatoes and 3 tbsp. of olive oil. Simmer the mixture over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with 1 tsp. salt, 1tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. oregano or 1 tsp. basil. You can mix and match the seasonings to suit your preferred taste. Allow the sauce to cool down before putting on top of the pizza crust.
Add shredded cheese to the top of the pizza. You can use whole or skim milk mozzarella to create a traditional style pizza. Sprinkle a little crushed oregano over top and bake the pizza directly on the pizza stone which is inside the oven. Place the pizza to the stone using a paddle or even a wooden cutting board to held you maneuver the pizza in to the hot oven. Bake for eight to 12 minutes.
Experiment with different toppings on your pizza such as pepperoni, sweet peppers, red onions, ham, sausage, Parmesan cheese, black olives, anchovies, ham and pineapple. Add extra seasonings such as fennel, extra oregano, basil or even Italian parsley to further change the final flavor.
Keep notes on recipe cards regarding what worked and did not work for your taste.
You can also bake the pizza directly on the rack of the oven, however, lower the cooking temperature to 450 degrees F. If using a cookie sheet or metal pizza pan, bake at 375 degrees F for 15 to 18 minutes.
References and ResourcesEpicurious: Basic Pizza Dough
Epicurious: Pizza Sauce
Epicurious: How to Make the Best Pizza You Ever Had ... at Home
Sunset: Make Pizza Like a Pro