Monday, January 31, 2011


Fresh, hot pizza, baked on my Emile Henry pizza stone - highly recommended
Last week I shared a recipe for Easy Pizza Dough.  I found this recipe so easy that I make a batch about once every two weeks (even though I could eat pizza every day) and I make several different recipes from the same batch of dough.  I divide the original batch into three parts and it works well for my family of two.  If you have a larger family, just make multiples of any of the recipes that I'm sharing this week.  First up:  Pizza.  I mean, this is pizza dough after all.

Why make your own pizza when you can buy it frozen or order takeout?  For one, it's generally less expensive.  You can make it with exactly the toppings you want without worrying about extra charges or delivery wait times.  Also, it can be healthier, depending on what you put on it.  I still order takeout pizza occasionally, but there's something special about savoring a slice of custom-made pizza with a nice glass of wine.

This is a very loose recipe and it's open to interpretation.  I only caution you to make sure not don't add too many additional toppings because it will weigh down your slices and make your pizza too wet, or even worse, greasy.  Also, I like to roll the dough nice and thin to imitate the slices we get at our favorite restaurants.  If you like a thicker crust, just modify the technique.

Ready for the oven
The biggest pain with making your own pizza is rolling out the dough and deciding how to bake it.  I love my Emile Henry Pizza Stone because it's easy to clean, retains heat well, and just looks nice.  However, you may not be invested enough in pizza to drop $50 on a pizza stone, so any thin baking sheet or pizza pan or stone is good enough to get you started.  If you find you love making pizza, you may want to invest in better equipment.

As far as rolling out the dough, I prefer to roll mine super thin on parchment paper and place the parchment paper directly onto the preheated pizza stone.  Once the pizza crust sets up (about 8 minutes into the baking process), I gently remove the parchment paper and finish cooking the pizza directly on the stone.  This method allows me to make a pizza with a crispy crust without shimmying the raw pizza off a pizza peel or stone and risking dropping it on a hot oven.

When your pie is par-baked, like this one, remove the parchment paper and continue baking.

It only takes about 10 minutes to get the pizza ready for the oven, so this is a great weeknight meal.  Make yourself a batch of Easy Pizza Dough (or cheat and buy dough from the store) and get creative with your own pizza. 

a basic recipe by Keeley, add toppings to suit your taste

1/3 recipe of Easy Pizza Dough
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pizza sauce (store-bought or homemade)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place pizza stone (if using) in oven and let stone heat for at least 30 minutes prior to baking pizza.

If pizza dough is refrigerated, let dough relax at room temperature for 30 minutes to one hour before baking.

Place dough on a sheet of parchment paper.  Roll dough into a 12-14" round with a rolling pin.  Use fingers to stretch dough, if necessary.  If any holes form, pinch dough to pull it back together.  The dough should be about 1/4" thick.  Use fingers to form a thicker rim to the dough for the crust.  The rim should be about 1/2" thick.

Brush olive oil on dough.  Sprinkle dough with salt.  Top dough with pizza sauce and cheese.

Bake pizza at 400 degrees for 12-18 minutes or until golden brown.  After 8-10 minutes (when pizza crust is set) remove parchment paper and continue baking until done.  Slice and serve immediately.


  1. Hmmmm.....It does look great! I'll just have to take your word on it being better when its custom made. Maybe when I get a little more room in a house, I'll stock up on all the good kitchen gadgets, like your pizza stone! And you know....actually use them!

  2. My family has been making the appetizer pizzas for years, but I love how you turned it into a meal! YUM!!!

    Pizza Equipment


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