Homemade Pizza Recipe

Cook // 01.08.2013
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My homemade pizza

DH and I love pizza. We go through quite a lot, so much so that Dominos actually gave us freebies for being loyal customers. Whenever the Dominos delivery man shows up at my door, my LO would jump up and yell “Pizza!”.

What deterred me from making my own pizza? The dough base, of course. I’ve tried so many different recipes and all of them are tedious and time-consuming, and the results lacklustre. But recently I’ve found a brilliant way to make and cook the dough base so that I get fantastic light crusty pizzas on weeknights. Yeah, you heard me, WEEK NIGHTS!

Admittedly, it takes a little planning ahead. I buy tomatoes in bulk and bake them in the oven to make tomato sauce. Then I also make my dough ahead of time using the artisan bread in 5 recipe, chuck it in the fridge and let it do its thing. Toppings are whatever I have in the freezer / fridge.

The secret to really good pizza? A very very hot oven. I turn the temperature dial of mine as far as it can go – 280 degrees celcius. Oh, and bake the crust slightly first on the lowest rack in the oven. Once the toppings go on, put on the highest rack in the oven and let the magic begin :D


Pizza Dough
by Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, adapted for bread flour

Makes about 6 thin crust 12-inch pizza

  • 3 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 810g bread flour

Method

  1. Get a very large container – I use a 4 litre plastic container with a plastic lid.
  2. Place the lukewarm water into the container. The water should feel slightly uncomfortable when you put your hand in it.
  3. Add in the yeast and put aside for 10 minutes to activate.
  4. Mix the flour and salt together. Add all of the flour at once into the container of water and yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon until everything is mixed together. The dough will be loose and wet.
  5. Let it rise, covered (not airtight), for approximately 2 hours.
  6. After this period, you can use the dough anytime, but I prefer to put it in the fridge and let it be for a couple of days. Refrigeration not only makes the dough easier to handle, but it improves its flavour too.

Tomato Sauce for Pizza Base

  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • olive oil
  • mixed herbs

Method

  1. Rough chop the tomatoes, onion and garlic. Toss with olive oil and salt.
  2. Place on a baking sheet and bake in oven for an hour at a 180 degrees celcius.
  3. Blend it in a food processor / hand-held blender. Finally, stir in some mixed herbs.
  4. I like to freeze these in ice-cube trays so I can control exactly how much I need each time.

Assemble & Bake

  • Pizza Dough
  • Tomato Sauce
  • 1 small onion – thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic – chopped
  • Cheese – Mozarella, Cheddar & Parmesan
  • Cooked Meat – Ham / Bacon / Chicken etc.

Method

  1. When you’re ready to assemble, preheat the oven at the highest temperature it would go. Mine can reach 280 degrees celcius and I preheat the oven for 20 minutes. Since I don’t have a baking stone, I use a baking sheet and let that preheat in the oven too.
  2. Get a piece of parchment and sprinkle some cornmeal on it. Sprinkle flour on the surface of your refrigerated dough. Flour your hands, pull up and cut off a piece of dough, roughly about the size of a grapefruit.
  3. Stretch out the dough on the piece of parchment with your hands. It will be sticky so make sure to dust it with more flour as you go.
  4. Cover and rest the dough for about 40 minutes to an hour (to get it down to room temperature). This is the best time to prepare your toppings.
  5. Once the dough has rested and the oven is blazing hot, we will bake the dough first. Carefully take your hot baking sheet out of the oven. Gather the pizza together with the parchment paper and place directly on the baking sheet. Place it on the lowest rack of your oven as close to the heat source as possible. Bake for 5 – 10 minutes. During this time, the dough will puff up. Take it out before it browns.
  6. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the pizza, then layer on onions, garlic, meat and finally the 3 cheeses on top. I try to restrain myself from adding too much toppings for I just hate a slimy undercooked crust.
  7. Place the pizza back in the oven, this time on the top rack. Bake until the crust and toppings are slightly charred – I like it this way because the crust is crisp and it gets a nice smoky flavour.
  8. Let the pizza cool slightly before slicing. Enjoy!
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