Who Likes Homemade Pizza?

I haven’t made homemade pizza in ages!  When H & I returned from our trip to Chicago several years ago, I was obsessed with recreating the deep dish pizzas we devoured.

(Would you like to read about our Chicago trip?)

H loves pizza, but I didn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.  I found an easy pizza dough recipe that was crispy and produced a medium crust (not thin or thick).  I’m not a huge fan of thin crust pizza; I like to be able to hold a slice up without it falling all over. I tried the recipe from Rachael Ray and Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman), and liked both.  H seemed to favor Rachael’s.  I preferred Ree’s (and it was so much easier)!

Since I had to experiment several times, it meant eating pizza for 4 nights in a row!  It was a bit of work, but “Sous Chef H” was up to the task.

We found that dicing some of the toppings into very small pieces helped to ensure even baking.  I didn’t have time to make a homemade tomato sauce, but I would suggest using a very good quality store-bought sauce.

Pizza Crust #1

Makes 4 small or 2 medium/large pizzas
Adapted from rachaelraymag.com


  • 1 cup lukewarm water (105 – 115°F)
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 cups (or more) all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1 ¾ tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  1. Mix the warm water and honey in a liquid measuring cup until the honey dissolves
  2. Sprinkle with the yeast and let the mixture stand until foamy, about 5 minutes
  3. Meanwhile, using a food processor, pulse the flour and salt to mix
  4. Pour the yeast mixture and 2 tbsp oil over the flour mixture
  5. Process until the dough comes together in a sticky ball, about 20 to 30 seconds
  6. Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead, using the heel of your hand, until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes
  7. Lightly oil a large bowl; add the dough, turning to coat. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough stand in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 hour
  8. Punch the dough down, and then turn onto a cutting board.  Using a knife, section the dough into 2 or 4 equal rounds (2 medium/large or 4 small pizzas)
  9. Place the dough ball on the work surface and cup your hand lightly over it.  Rotate your hand counterclockwise, letting the dough roll on the work surface. Use flour sparingly if needed.  Continue until the surface of the dough is smooth.  Repeat with the remaining dough balls
  10. Place each dough ball in a large resealable plastic bag or plastic container with a lid.  Refrigerate for 10 to 48 hours (the dough will continue to rise).  Let the dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour before shaping, or freeze for up to 2 weeks.  Let the frozen dough sit at room temperature for 2 hours before shaping
  11. Preheat your oven to 425°F.  Place oven rack in the middle
  12. You can use a non-stick round pizza pan or an aluminum pie plate.  If you are using an aluminum pie plate, make sure you grease it well with olive oil
  13. Place 1 ball of dough onto your choice of pan.  Press it out with your fingers and hand. The dough will stretch and resist, just keep shaping
  14. Spread tomato or pizza sauce sparingly and evenly over dough.  I find too much sauce makes for a soggy pizza
  15. Sprinkle with a light layer of mozzarella cheese.  Place toppings next.  We used green peppers, onions, portabella mushrooms, black olives and pepperoni. Layer lightly with more mozzarella cheese
  16. Bake until golden brown (from 20-30 minutes, depending on your toppings and oven temperature).  I always use a spatula to loosen the pizza once it starts to brown and to check underneath (to ensure an even brown crust on the bottom)
  17. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before slicing

Kitchen notes:

  • If you don’t have a pizza stone, don’t worry, we made it twice with and twice without.  The pizza stone will ensure a very crisp and evenly baked pizza, but it’s also a nightmare to clean, since you cannot clean it with water, soap or any chemicals.  It will stain and look scary!  We cleaned ours (after it cooled) with a very stiff BBQ brush
  • I found little difference in letting the finished dough sit at room temperature for 1 hour before assembling

Pizza Crust #2

Makes 1 large pizza
Adapted from the Pioneer Woman cookbook


  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup warm water (105 – 115°F)
  • 2 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp sugar or honey
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  1. Add sugar or honey to warm water and stir to dissolve
  2. Sprinkle yeast over water and let sit until foamy (5 minutes)
  3. In a stand mixer, add flour and salt and stir to combine
  4. With mixer on low, add olive oil, and then yeast/water mixture
  5. Mix until combined
  6. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel
  7. Keep in a warm draft free place and allow to rise for 1 hour
  8. The dough is ready to use!  Or, you can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  You can also freeze the dough – see steps in Rachael Ray’s recipe above

2 thoughts on “Who Likes Homemade Pizza?

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