Pizza is one of my favorite foods — it’s inexpensive, easy, and incredibly versatile. It’s a great party food: you can load it up with any assortment of toppings to please anyone’s preferences. While I love delivery and adore chomping on big slices from a pizza parlor, there is just something extra-special about the homemade variety. You can customize it with toppings without breaking the bank (it’s incredible to me how much the shops charge to do half pepperoni and half mushroom!), and you can control the ingredients to keep it as healthy or not (!) as you’d like.
The biggest challenge to making homemade pizza is the crust. I know that supermarkets sell many choices for pre-made pizza crusts, but these can be costly and can contain a lot of preservatives and oils that are not so healthy. Another great thing about making your own crust is that you can truly make it your own. You can substitute wheat flour for white, add herbs, garlic, cheese, whatever your taste. This crust is flavorful, versatile, and most importantly, insanely easy. This crust is also awesome for making strombolis, calzones, and breadsticks at home!
Makes 1 15-inch crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp yeast
2 tbsp granulated garlic (optional, but recommended)
Substitute 2 cups of wheat flour for the AP flour for a hardier, healthier crust
Substitute 2 cups of bread flour for the AP flour for an even puffier crust
Add 1 tsp oregano, basil, or Italian seasoning to the mix for a little extra flavor
Add 2 tbsp of grated parmesean cheese to the mix for more salty, cheesy flavor
Press 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella into the crust when shaping it for more gooey cheese and the “stuffed crust” effect
Combine the yeast and warm water in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes to wake up. Mix the remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl. When the yeast mixture has sat for the allotted time, use a spoon to mix with the dry ingredients and olive oil until the dough is well mixed and pulls from the sides of the bowl. Shape it into a ball, spray a clean bowl with cooking spray. Place the dough into the bowl, flip once. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise for 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising, heat the oven to 425 degrees.
When dough has risen, spray a pizza sheet or stone with cooking spray, then work the dough into a flat circle (or square, if you prefer). Bake for 5 minutes.
Pull out the dough and top with desired toppings, placing the toppings first, then cheese. Return to the oven. When cheese is melted and beginning to brown, it is ready!