Some people think that making your own pizza might be too complicated, but it is a weekly staple in our house. I want to share with you a quick and easy way to make homemade pizzas for you and loved ones.
My biggest secret? Pre-made dough. No, I am not talking Boboli® pizza crusts, but raw, ready-to-use dough. I have bought mine at a variety of places: Safeway, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, to name a few. Each store's dough varies, some have white, whole wheat, multi-grain, or even an herb & spices pizza dough. Personally, I don't discriminate when it comes to pizza, I like them all. =)
Below, I will show you step by step how I make my pizza and tricks that I have learned along the way.
- 1 bag of pre-made dough
- 1/2 orange bell pepper (sliced thin)
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper (sliced thin)
- 1/3 red onion (sliced thin)
- 1 jar of any pasta sauce (Yes, pasta sauce and not pizza sauce)
- 2-3 cups of Low-moisture Mozarella Cheese (your personal preference)
- 1 small zucchini (thin round slices)
- 1/2 bag of turkey pepperoni
- 2 cups of fresh spinach
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
You start with preheating your oven to 425 degrees.
This is a 4 oz. bag of raw dough I got at a local Safeway, it cost around $3.00 and it will make about a 14 inch pizza (10-12 inch if you want a thicker crust).
Tip: If you took this bag out of your refrigerator, you'll need to set out and allow it to warm up before handling (About 10-15 minutes). If you brought it home straight from the store, you do not need to set it out to warm up.
I learned years ago that you don't need any flour when handling this dough. I know it sounds scary, but trust me, it won't stick to your fingers. I like to cook my pizza on parchment paper, directly on the rack. (If you use flour, which you shouldn't, your dough will not stick and set on your parchment paper)
You can use a pizza stone, I have in the past, but I feel my crust has a better crunch when it cooks directly on the rack.
I like to stretch my dough out a little by placing my fist in the middle of the dough and slowly stretching the sides down. Once it starts becoming too big to handle, I'll flop it down on the parchment paper and continually stretch and pull the sides out until I get the size I want.
Tip: Don't stress about your pizza's crust being even on the bottom, some parts will be thinner and some will be a little thicker, and as long as you do not have holes in the dough, it will cook fine.
Next, you will use about 3/4 to 1 cup of the pasta sauce for your pizza. If you don't like sauce, use less, if you're a "saucy" type of a person, add a tad more. Make sure you spread it evenly along the crust making sure you leave a 1 inch wide border around the edges so we can add our parmesan crust at the end.
Tip: The like to use pasta sauce because you enhance the flavor immensely. Normal pizza sauce tends to be quite plain (though I won't judge if you go that route), so when you use pasta sauce it gives your pizza a little more zing.
Even though I use pasta sauce for the extra flavor, I still like to "doctor-up" my pizza with spices. My go-to additives are minced onions, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper. Feel free to pass on these ingredients if you'd like.
After I doctor-up my sauce, I sprinkle the cheese on top of the sauce, making sure I coat the pizza evenly.
For this pizza I wanted an assortment of toppings: turkey pepperoni, bell peppers, fresh spinach, zucchini, and onions. Not to mention, I used a sausage & basil sauce, so the combination of all the flavors are going to be delicious!
Tip: I put my onions on top because they get a little crunchy while in the oven, and it's so tasty!
Look at that color!
Last but certainly NOT the least, the parmesan crust! For this, I put the oregano and parmesan together in a small bowl and slowly add the olive oil until you get a thick, paste-like consistency.
I brush (basically smush) the glaze onto the crust. This will not only make your crust a beautiful golden brown color, but it will also add such a wonderful flavor!
In my oven, I cook my pizza for about 18 minutes. This also varies greatly on your oven, some ovens tend to cook hotter and some tend to cook at a little lower in temperature. Usually it takes 15-20 minutes, and you can tell it's done by looking at your crust. It will have a nice golden brown color when it's ready.
Tip: Pizzas that are heavy on the veggies will tend to be a tad "juicy"on the top due to their moisture level. That's okay! Also, please let your pizza cool for about 5 minutes before you try to cut your slices or else it will be way too hot and your toppings will slide right off as you serve (yes, I have learned the hard way).
I hope you enjoyed reading this post on how I make my own pizzas. This is a quick, inexpensive and easy way to make homemade pizza for the family!
I want to know what types of pizza YOU prefer? Veggie? All meat?
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