When I think about all the pizza I’ve consumed in my 28 years on Earth, I can’t recall a time when I’ve had bad pizza. Even cheap pizza is good pizza, because if you think about it, it’s hard to mess up something that involves bread with a lot of melted cheese. But one way to make sure that your pizza never disappoints is by making your own at home!
I’m sure the lazy side of you is thinking, “Why would I do that if I can just have it delivered?” In the long run, making your own pizza is significantly cheaper. It also guarantees you total control over the ingredients. Imagine every kind of pizza you wish existed—mine involves a lot of pesto and goat cheese—and you can turn it into reality in 90 minutes.
So if making your own pizza is an adventure you want to take, read on for everything you need to know about how to do it at home! Don’t forget to have fun.
Making Your Own Dough
Yes, you can buy pre-made dough from the grocery, but making your own doesn’t take a lot of ingredients. The most basic recipe requires these five things: water, flour, yeast, olive oil, and salt. Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl:
- 3/4 cup of warm water
- 1 tsp. active-dry yeast
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. of salt
Knead it for five minutes then place it in an oiled bowl, covered.
If you’re only feeding yourself, you’ll want one pound of dough; this receipt is equivalent to one large pizza (that we suggest you don’t consume in one sitting) or two smaller pizzas.
You’ll need 90 minutes for the dough to rise, which means 90 minutes before you can shape or bake it. You can also plan ahead and make the dough two to three days prior to when you want to eat it. Fact: It tastes better after a few days in the refrigerator because it lets the flavors in the dough develop over time. You’ll know it’s ready when it has roughly doubled in size.
Shaping Your Pizza
Again, for the recipe we used, you only need about half of the dough you made if you’re eating solo. Take a piece of parchment paper and cover it in flour before placing the dough on top. It’ll be easier to transfer the dough because it sticks enough to the paper but can be easily removed halfway through baking.
With a rolling pin, stretch the dough until it’s about 10 inches. That’s enough room to really work your magic with the sauce and toppings. If, however, you don’t have a rolling pin, rub some flour on your hands before you pick up the dough. Pat the dough down until it’s flatter than before then use the tips of your fingers to push the edge of the pie to create the crust. Picking up the dough, pass it back and forth from one hand to the other while gently rotating it.
As mentioned, the sky’s the limit, but you also don’t want to overwhelm your dough by putting *too* many toppings on it.
Don’t overthink it. If you want a traditional pizza, buy a jar of tomato sauce. If you want to experiment a little, add some pesto or ricotta cheese in the sauce. You can also go the untraditional route and opt for white sauce instead.
For the cheese, we suggest Mozzarella or Parmesan because they don’t have a lot of moisture so they’ll cook faster. I like my pizza with pepperoni and sausage, which I prioritize. Then I add a lot of onions, black olives, and jalapenos. But again, this is your pizza, and you can go nuts if you want (read: pineapple, lol). When that’s done, add more cheese on top to seal the deal.
Bake Your Pizza
This is the tricky part because to make sure your DIY pizza is a success, you need a really good oven. Set your oven to 260 C or hotter, if possible. Remember: The more toppings you have, the slower your pizza cooks. If the oven isn’t hot enough, your pizza could turn soggy with all the toppings.
If it’s hot enough, your pizza should bake for only five to 10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready if the crust is golden and the cheese is melted. Allow for a few adjustments, of course, since this could change depending on how thin or thick your dough is. Let it cool before you attempt to eat it. If you feel like you can’t eat one more bite, store your pizza in a plastic container and place it in the refrigerator.
How To Properly Reheat Leftover Pizza
There are some people who find it almost comforting to open their refrigerator and discover cold pizza. But if you prefer your pizza hot, you don’t have to go through the entire process. Simply reach for a frying pan and turn your stove on. There’s no need to preheat the pan; just throw your pizza flat on it.
The key to heating your pizza up this way is by making sure it’s covered. Covering the pan traps the steam in, which melts the cheese on your pizza. And don’t worry, it doesn’t make the crust soggy—in fact, it might even be crispier than before! If you have an electric stove, it could take longer.
What To Do With Your Leftover Dough
So now that you’re stuffed, what do you do with the other half of your dough? You can keep it in your refrigerator for a couple of days if you feel like you’ll be craving more pizza within the week. But you could also freeze it! You just have to give it time to rise before you stick it in the freezer. It can be stored for up to three months. When you’re ready to use it, just thaw it in the fridge overnight.
Enjoy and pizza be with you!
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