Have you always wanted to try making your own homemade pizza, but just don't know where to start? Making pizza at home is surprisingly easy, and is actually a lot of fun! The trickiest part is the crust, and even that is not too difficult, it just requires a bit of patience. The best thing about making pizza at home is the versatility! You can exercise plenty of creativity when it comes to toppings... try things like sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, olives, artichoke hearts, peppers, onions... whatever suits your taste! You can even make individual pizzas for the family, and let them choose their own toppings! The following recipe will make two medium-sized pizzas, or four to six smaller pizzas.
Place a pizza stone in the center of the oven, and preheat oven to 500 degrees farenheit. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast with the sugar and 1/2 cup of the warm water. Set aside until foamy. Add the remaining water, salt and oil. Slowing begin adding the flour a bit at a time, mixing well, until you have a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a counter or bread board, and knead, incorporating more flour as needed, until it is smooth and not too sticky. Place the ball of dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size. Press down on the dough to deflate it, separate it into the number of pizzas you want, and cover the balls of dough. Let rest again for 30 to 40 minutes.
Dust a pizza peel with a generous sprinkling of corn meal. Begin shaping the dough for your first pizza by gently flattening the ball into a disc with your palms, then pick the disc up and begin gently pulling and stretching it. Try to keep the center of the dough a uniform thickness, with a slightly thicker crust on the outside edge. Place the dough on the dusted pizza peel and cover with a towel. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes.
Spoon some of the sauce into the center of your pizza dough, spreading it around evenly with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle on the cheeses and other toppings. If desired, you can drizzle your pizza with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle on some Italian herbs. Slide the pizza off of the peel and onto the pizza stone. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Repeat for the next pizza.
Pizza is a cheap and easy meal, which is, no doubt, why delivery joints make money hand over fist selling them to you. But pizza is something you can make at home, without having to purchase and store those pre-made crusts.
If you're like me you love pizza but not the calories. You want a healthier crust and a guilt-free, nutritious pizza that still tastes delicious.