Cooking a homemade pizza for dinner or celebration among friends and family is an easy way to feed a lot of people without a lot preparation involved. You have the freedom to cook any type of pizza you wish, including varieties not found in pizzerias. Whether you prefer a gooey cheesy pizza with lots of meat or a vegetarian option made with healthier ingredients, the option is up to you and your guests. You can even create different combinations so that everyone has a few varieties to choose from.
Choosing Your Ingredients
You can choose to either make your pizza from scratch, making each ingredient as you go, such as the crust and sauce. The other option is to use premade products such as dough and marinara sauce in a jar. If you decide to go the easier route and buy premade ingredients, you will need pizza dough, pizza sauce, shredded cheese and any toppings you wish. If you are going to make your crust, you will need water, olive oil, sugar, salt, yeast and flour. The ingredients for pizza sauce include tomatoes, oregano, basil and olive oil. The type of toppings you want to use are limitless, but ideas include pepperoni, sausage, olives, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, grilled chicken breast, spinach, sundried tomatoes, and many more.
Preparing Your Crust
Assuming you will not use a premade crust, these simple instructions can teach you to make your own. Mix a cup of warm water with a tsp of yeast, a tsp of sugar, ½ tsp of salt, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. After the ingredients are mixed thoroughly, add in two cups of flour. If you prefer a healthier variety, use whole-wheat flour instead. After mixing, if the dough is sticky, you can add in additional flour. Knead until it feels like dough, and then let it sit under a thin, breathable towel for an hour or two until the dough rises to double its size.
Preparing Your Sauce
Begin by sautéing a chopped onion in a pan with olive oil until it turns brown. Add in a can of tomato sauce or 5-6 fresh, chopped and smashed tomatoes into the pan. You can then add in garlic, basil, oregano or any ingredients you wish to make the taste of the sauce to your preference. Leave this cooking until you can get to your sauce later on to place on top of the pizza. If you are using a jar instead, you can pour it into a saucepan to bubble up and add extra ingredients to, such as extra salt or basil.
Making Your Pizza
On a 14-inch round, baking stone, brush a little olive oil on the top so the pizza will not stick. You will then smooth out the dough on top, making a crust around the rim of the dough. Take a ladle and spread on your pizza sauce, leaving a ½ an inch free near the inside of the crust. Alternatives to pizza sauce include barbecue sauce and alfredo sauce. Sprinkle on shredded cheese, such as parmesan, mozzarella or other white cheeses. For non-traditional pizzas, you can even use cheddar and Colby jack, if you wish. The last step is to place the toppings of your choice. It’s best to stick to four or less ingredients as to not overwhelm it or weigh it down.
Baking Your Pizza
Place your pizza on the baking stone in a preheated oven set at 475 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes until the crust is a golden brown and the cheese has bubbled. Once it is cooked, remove and let cool for an additional 15 minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!