I would like my last meal on this earth to be . . . PIZZA!
If my hips could handle it, I’d eat pizza everyday.
I believe we have tried every pizza joint from A to Z. All it takes is just one 🍕
pizza slice, to know if it’s a keeper or simply NOT worth the calories.
I dare say, that if the pizza crust is lousy . . . it wouldn’t matter how perfect the cheese or the toppings are . . . it’s still a bad pizza.
Pizza is definitely high on most of our food favorite lists. Each of us has our own strict requirements, for what we think makes The Perfect Pizza.
I’ve found the perfect recipe, and I’m here to show you how to make the most delicious pizza you’ve ever tasted right at home.
Some of you might look at this picture with Ham & pineapple and turn inside out. I remember doing just that, when I ate pizza for the first time with my husband. He only liked one kind of pizza and that was what he called Hawaiian. I could not imagine pineapple on a pizza! Oh So disgusting.
One bite . . . I was hooked. Thirty eight years later, my favorite pizza is still Hawaiian. You might like sausage or pepperoni or just plain cheese, and that’s ok. You see, it really doesn’t matter. You can add any toppings you like as long as you have a good base.
I’m here today to show you how to make the PERFECT PIZZA AT HOME, using your own oven and a PIZZA STONE.
Once you master the crust . . . you will rarely order out. That’s my promise to you.
For quite a long time now, this recipe has been our favorite. It’s very good, but the votes are in and we like this one better. They are very similar, but this dough has a richer taste and overall is quite amazing. You can also use this same pizza dough to make calzones, amazing scones (think Elephant ears), flat breads, and chewy mall type pretzels as well. I’ll do posts on these very soon.
For now . . . let’s focus on some 5 star – amazing – absolutely awesome – pizza.
So where did I find this recipe?
I love this pizza dough, because once you make it, it keeps in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and makes several large pizzas or other delicious treats. We’ve had puffy fried scones dripping with honey butter & jam or cinnamon & sugar many times now.
All you need is warm water, 2 packets of yeast, Kosher salt, sugar, olive oil and unbleached all purpose flour.
Use a wooden spoon, a 14 cup capacity food processor with a dough attachment, or a heavy duty stand mixer with a dough hook. If you’re using a spoon, it will just take a bit of muscle.
*Mix the yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil with the warm water in a 5 qt. bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) container.
*Mix in the flour without kneading but until incorporated. Dough is still a bit sticky.
*Cover (not airtight)in a slightly greased bowl and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on the top) approximately 2 hours.
Dough has risen but hasn’t collapsed yet.
The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 14 days.
OK . . . When you’re READY to make a Pizza . . . follow these steps.
- Twenty to 30 minutes before baking time, pre-heat the oven with a BAKING STONE at 550 degrees or 500 if that’s your ovens max temperature.
I place the oven rack and pizza stone in the center of my oven. That seems to work best in my oven to evenly brown the top and bottom of my pizza. It might take you a pizza or two to decide which position is best in your oven. If I think the bottom of the pizza crust needs a bit more browning, I lower the rack one level, until it’s a golden brown.
- Prepare and measure all the toppings in advance.
The key to a pizza sliding off your wooden peel is working quickly. If I use a wooden peel, I sprinkle it generously with cornmeal first. I’ve found that using an inverted cookie sheet covered with parchment paper works just as well. When you have your pizza ready, you can easily slide the parchment paper holding the pizza right off of the inverted cookie sheet and right onto your heated stone. ( refer to pictures below) Once the pizza is set on the parchment paper, I slide the parchment out from underneath the pizza and discard it. This way, the pizza is sitting directly on the pizza stone.
- Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball. Dust your peel or parchment paper with a bit of flour and cornmeal as well.
- Flatten the dough with your hands and finger tips pushing from the center of the ball outward. If the dough springs back too quickly, cover it with a clean towel for a few minutes and let it rest. I also like to lift the small circle into the air, and from the outer edges of the circle, use a gentle pinch & pull method all along the perimeter of your circle. It will continue to grow and expand.
- Place the dough onto a liberally cornmeal-covered pizza peel or
- Place the dough on the parchment paper that is resting on top of the inverted cookie sheet and finish pressing into desired circle size. You can also use a rolling pin to produce a 1/8″ thick round circle, however i’ve found that the crust will bubble up and produce a better crust if you use your fingers.
It doesn’t have to be precise, as seen in the pictures.
You have 2 options now:
- Distribute desired sauce evenly over the surface of the pizza dough. Scatter the mozzarella cheese over the surface of the dough, then remaining toppings desired. Slide the pizza directly onto the stone if you are using a peel. If you have used the parchment and inverted sheet technique, simply walk your cookie sheet over to the oven. Slide the parchment with pizza off the sheet and onto the hot pizza stone. (This works like a charm) Check for doneness in 8 to 10 minutes.
2. Partially bake only the crust of the pizza, (see pic above) just until the dough has bubbled up and it’s set but NOT BROWN. This will take about 1 to 2 minutes is all. I like to do this, because the crust is quite crisp on the bottom and stays very chewy. (Try both options, and choose your favorite) Once the crust is par-baked, grab that cookie sheet again, and carefully reach into your oven and slide the parchment holding the pizza crust off the hot stone, and place it back onto the inverted cookie sheet. Quickly evenly spread on the sauce, scatter the cheese and toppings you like. Slide the parchment & pizza back into the oven on the pizza stone. Check for doneness in 6 to 10 minutes. Since the crust has been partially baked it doesn’t take quite as long. I like to turn the pizza around in the oven, if it looks like one side is browning faster than the other. Remember that every oven is different. If your pizza takes a bit longer to bake, it’s A ok.
When the pizza is ready, carefully remove the pizza stone from the oven. The stone stays HOT for quite a while so be careful when cutting.
EAT and be AMAZED!
Now for a few more side notes:
See this funny orange thingamabogger? It’s called a Mouli Julienne. If you can still find one, you should buy one.
I love this thing. I’ve had it forever it seems. It was one of those infomercial kind of things that actually worked. I have fancy schmancy machines, but prefer this to grate cheese. It came with several different metal disks that make slices or shred in different thicknesses. I use this thing to make my potatoes say . . . hash browns as well!
Remember to PREPARE YOUR SAUCE & TOPPINGS prior to pressing out your pizza dough.
Most of the time, I do something a bit different with the little bits of ham. You can do the same thing with bacon. Melt about a tablespoon of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add your pieces of ham. Sprinkle a generous tablespoon of brown sugar over the ham and toss all together. Let the ham or bacon brown slightly and caramelize, them remove from skillet. Place prepared ham or bacon on a small plate until ready to use on your pizza. Yummy!
I’ll give you my favorite sauce recipe below.
I’ve made mall type yummy pretzels and west coast type fried scones with this same pizza dough. Oh sooooooo Good.
One of the most IMPORTANT STEPS TO A PERFECT PIZZA:
Always pre-heat your pizza stone for at least 20 to 30 minutes on 500 to 550 degrees F.
DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.
Before baking your pizza:
You can also combine One tablespoon Olive Oil + 1 tablespoon melted butter and brush the outer edges of the crust. Sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan before baking.
Remember this dough recipe will make at least 4 large pizzas. You can store the dough covered in the fridge for up to two weeks. It so nice to just pull some dough out and in 30 minutes or less, have dinner on the table. Nobody will complain!
Try this recipe soon. I promise you that it’s a KEEPER. Let me know if you try it. Once you do, you’ll be hooked.
- PIZZA DOUGH:
- 2¾ cups lukewarm water
- 1½ tablespoons granulated active yeast (2 packets)
- 1½ tablespoons Kosher salt (make sure you use Kosher)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
- PIZZA SAUCE:
- adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
- 1(28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and liquid discarded (I used 1 – 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes instead)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 heaping teaspoons of granulated white sugar
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons) Note: I used one clove)
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (I used ½ teaspoon)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about ¼ cup)
- FOR THE PIZZA:
- Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, and olive oil with the water in a 5 qt bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
- Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon, a 14 cup capacity food processor with dough attachment or a heavy duty stand mixer with a dough hook. If you're not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of the flour.
- Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 12 days to 2 weeks.
- FOR THE SAUCE: Process all ingredients in food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. (Only if using whole peeled tomatoes) Otherwise you can just mix all ingredients together with a whisk. Transfer to medium bowl or container – cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- TO PREPARE PIZZA:
- Twenty to thirty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven with a baking stone at 500 to 550 degrees F. Middle placement in the oven seems to work best for me.
- Prepare and measure all the toppings in advance.
- Prepare your pizza peel with a bit of flour and cornmeal or better yet, use parchment paper sprinkled with a bit of flour and cornmeal.
- Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 pound of grapefruit size piece of dough. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball. Place ball of dough onto prepared parchment and start pressing dough from the middle, pressing outward until desired size circle is achieved. ⅛" is best. I like to hold the dough up in front of me and turning the dough clockwise, grabbing and pulling gently on the edges of the dough as you work around the circle.
- (If the dough springs back and is hard to work with, you may need to let it rest for a few minutes)
- Place prepared pizza dough either on a pizza peel that has been sprinkled with cornmeal for easier removal or better yet, place your pizza dough that was pressed out of top of parchment paper on top of an inverted cookie sheet. (see picture tutorial on justgetoffyourbuttandbake.com)
- Distribute the tomatoes or tomato sauce over the surface of the dough. Scatter the mozzarella then remaining topping over the crust.
- PAR-BAKE FOR A CRISPIER, CHEWY CRUST:
- Par-bake just the pizza crust for 1 to 2 minutes before adding sauce & toppings. You can easily slide the parchment paper& pizza from the cookie sheet onto the hot pizza stone. Don't let it brown. Just let it bubble up and set the crust slightly then slide the parchment from the stone back to the top of the inverted cookie sheet to add sauce and toppings.
- Slide the pizza back onto the stone to continue baking. Check for doneness in 8 to 10 minutes. Turn the pizza around in the oven if one side is browning a little faster than the other. The Par-baked pizza bakes a little faster. Every oven is different, so adjust baking time until the top and bottom of the crust if golden brown or to your liking.
- Remove pizza stone from the oven and use a pizza wheel to cut. Be careful as the stone stays HOT!
Preheat Pizza stone for 20 to 30 minutes at 500 to 550 degrees prior to baking pizza