Pizza is a great food. You can’t possibly mess it up. Really. Even the cheapest pizza is pizza, and pizza is good. No matter what. There’s no questioning it. That being said, what if I told you you could make your very own good pizza right in your own home? With your family even!
Seriously. It’s easy and fun. Group cooking is one of the best things a family can do to bond. Really. It is! So. Where do you even start?
First, you need to decide if you’re going to make your pizza dough or buy it from the store. Hand making your dough helps ensure that there’s less preservatives and whatnot, but it can take a little more time than simply rolling out a store bought version.
Picture From The Home Pizzeria
If you decide you want to go with the homemade dough route, here’s a great recipe to use from Bobby Flay:
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling (Using bread flour will give you a much crisper crust. If you can’t find bread flour, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour which will give you a chewier crust.)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 envelope instant dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.
Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Leftover homemade dough can be frozen and used at a later date. The recipe says to make the dough into two equal pizza, but I like to do more three so that my family can each have their own personalizable pizza. And yes, I did just make that word up.
Picture From Vinsar
If you decide to go the store bought route, I totally recommend Pillsbury pizza dough. It’s delicious perfection!
As a side note, even tortillas make a good pizza crust in a pinch. Watch these really closely while baking. They burn quickly. Oh, and French bread is another good crust in a pinch too. Hallow it out and fill it up like you would a normal crust. Don’t forget English muffins either.
I’ve done both homemade and store bought crusts and either are great options, so it really is up to your personal desires. Less preservatives or speed. You pick which is more important to your family!
Picture From Pizza Pan Best
Next, you need to pick out what toppings you’re going to be using. Cheese is of course a must if your family doesn’t have dairy allergies. I like to do a mix of cheeses like cheddar and real Parmesan (and I’m not talking Kraft here, people!). You, of course, can take it further and bring all sorts of other cheeses into the mixture. For toppings other than the basic cheese, pick things like bell peppers, pepperoni, sausage, spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, chicken, you name it. If it sounds like it would be good on a pizza, cut it up and throw it into bowls so your family can toss it on their pizzas when the time comes. Get fancy. Make themed pizzas. Have fun with it.
Then, you need to decide on a sauce. My family’s absolute favorite pizza is chicken spinach BBQ, so we do a sauce made up of a half-and-half ranch/BBQ sauce mix. It’s totally awesome! You can always go with your basic pizza sauce, too. Another good one is an alfredo/ranch combo. Again, the possibilities are endless. Play around and pick your family’s favorite. If you’re stumped, go with the basic pizza sauce. Like with the crust, you can go with store bought (Hunt’s is my favorite) or a homemade version.
Picture From AllRecipes
Here’s my recipe for a basic homemade pizza sauce if you decide to go that route:
- 1 medium can tomato sauce
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Garlic to taste
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Simply mix it all together in a bowl.
There are more complicated recipes you can follow, but this one is totally scrumptious despite how easy it it. It’s a great way to save money too! Way cheaper than going out and buying pizza sauce. It doesn’t take long to make, either. Five minutes– tops. Leftovers can be frozen, too. For easiest freezing, pour into an ice cube tray. That way taking out how much you need next time is super easy peasy.
Picture From Babble
After you’ve got your crust out, your toppings cut, and your sauce ready, it’s time to put it all together.
Like I said before, I like my dough to be in three parts so that each of my family members can put together their own pizzas. It’s super fun for kids to be able to make their own creation!
I layer each piece of flattened dough with sauce first, then sprinkle on an appropriate amount of cheese, which for my family is a lot. Then, each person picks what toppings they want and throw them on. It’s as simple as that! Of course, you have pop it in the oven for the appropriate time and enjoy too.
Let’s break it down the short way.
- Pick your dough.
- Pick your sauce.
- Pick your toppings.
- Throw the pizzas together, layering sauce, cheese, and other toppings.
- Pop it in the oven.
- And enjoy!
It’s a great bonding activity to do as a family and there’s parts of the processanyone can help with, no matter how young they are. My toddler loves to help make our pizzas and I’m sure yours will love to help too.