Pizza & Salad is a favorite dinner around our house.  I’d say we have it on the menu almost every week. We consider ourselves experts when it comes to finding pizza places nearby that serve the most delicious pizza. When Michael and I were Our Favorite Homemade Pizza Recipesfirst married he would make the dough and I would make the sauce, and we made some very yummy homemade pizza.  As the years passed and we added four kids to the mix things changed….we were buying pre-made crusts (which aren’t bad but have NOTHING on homemade dough!) and jars of sauce.
Recently I decided that we need to go back to our roots and start making the dough and sauce again ourselves.  I started this week by making pizza dough for the first time.  I’m here to tell you it was the easiest thing to make, and ten times better than the store bought crust.  It’s especially easy if you let your mixer do the work.  In my excitement over the changes were making to pizza night, I want to share our favorite recipes with you.

Our Favorite Homemade Pizza Recipes:

Classic Dough & Sauce Recipes:

Pizza Dough:
Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups water, warm
1 tablespoon Sugar

1 packet or tablespoon active dry yeast
6 cups all purpose white flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon salt

Directions:
Preparing the dough: Pour the water into a mixing bowl and dissolve in it the sugar and yeast. When the yeast is active, add your first cup of flour, then the oil and salt. Add another 4 1/2 cups of flour, mixing with a large spoon until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and holds together.

Simple Alert: Use your mixer and let it do the kneading for you!Kneading: Sprinkle the last 1/2 cup of flour onto your kneading surface. Turn out the dough and knead until it begins to feel as if it really belongs together, adding only enough flour to keep it from sticking to the board or you. Let it rest while you clean and grease your bowl. Continue kneading the relaxed dough until it feels smooth and springy.

Rising: You have 2 options. Full Rise – Form the dough into a nice ball, place it in the greased bowl, turning it so the top is lightly greased also. Cover it and put it where it will be warm and cozy (no drafts). Let this rise until it is doubled (when you can poke your finger in it and the dough doesn’t spring back at you). No Rise – If this is a last minute thing, just give your dough a 5 – 10 minute rest. It won’t have quite the flavor or be as light as a fully risen dough, but it will still be better than store bought.

Shaping the dough: After the dough has risen, punch it down and turn it onto a floured board and knead out any stray bubbles. Cut it into the number of piece you need depending on whether or not you’re a thick or thin crust person. Flatten each piece with your hand and roll out with a pin you’ve dusted with flour. If it’s not being cooperative, let it rest for 3 minutes to relax the gluten. If you like softer crust, lightly wipe your pan with olive or vegetable oil. If you like a dryer, crunchier crust, sprinkle it with cornmeal. If you don’t have a pizza pan, a baking sheet with a lip with do just fine. Slide your dough onto the prepared pan (or stone if you’re using one).

Baking: The best way to bake pizza is on a stone set on the lowest rack of your oven and preheated. This makes the pizza crust crisp and brown. If you don’t have this, place the pizza on the lowest rack and bake in a pizza pan. Bake at 475º. Check after 5-10 minutes and if it is browning too quickly, lower the temperature to 450º. Bake for 15-20 depending on the thickness of the crust. Let is cool for a few minutes to solidify the cheese before cutting.

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients:
(2) 6 ounce cans tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

Directions:
Mix well in small sauce pan. Simmer, covered with lid vented, for approximately 40 min. Stir often.

THANKS so much to my cousins Doug & Vicky for sharing their homemade dough and sauce recipes with us!

Our Favorite Pizzas:
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Chicken Pesto Pizza

Caprese Pizza

Taco Pizza

Black Bean Pizza

Easy Pulled Pork BBQ Pizza

White Pizza with Chicken Sausage and Onions

Big Boy Pizza

Cincinnati Style Chili Pizza

Philly Cheese Steak Pizza

White Pizza with Lemon Basil and Grilled Chicken

And for dessert…Fruit Pizza cookies!

What’s your favorite kind of Pizza Pie?  Please share recipes in the comments below, as I’m always looking for new things to make!

 

(taste testing the dough)