How to Make a Pizza

This is the one thing I always have to make when the kids are home or we are there. The call is always for “Daddy made pizza”. They all have favorite toppings and my son is milk allergic so his version is made with a non cows milk cheese in a separate area of the kitchen and baked in a separate oven or it is epipen and ER time.


Rating:

Yes, two 5′s in a row. I have survive on this alone years ago. I have about 1000 of there pies under my belt.

Notes:  I have had two calls from daughter #2 for this recipe in the last month so it is time for a post.
I have traditionally not been allowed to make the sauce. My wife had to make the sauce. She gave up her method for this post and I was “allowed” to make the sauce. I never add any “heat” to this. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper if you want.

Make one recipe of Easy Everyday Pizza Dough from the previous post.
Mix sauce. One 6 oz can of tomato paste and 6 oz water. 1 tsp salt, 1/2 t pepper, 1 clove garlic and 1 t oregano.

 Prep toppings. I do 1 lb Italian sausage, one green pepper chopped, 1/2 medium yellow onion, and 3-4 oz of pepperoni. And lastly a lot of mozzarella 12-16 oz.

Preheat oven to 425 convection. Spread dough. Let set for about 10 minutes if you want a very thick crust.

 Top with topping of your choice.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Be sure to lift a corner of the pizza to check for done.

print dough recipe
How to Make a Pizza
by September-15-2011

My famous pizza. Always requested at family gatherings and a basic in our family for many years. Not a lot of work so great for family gatherings and weekends. Even for watching the game.
Ingredients
  • one batch Easy Everyday Pizza Dough from previous post

Sauce

  • 6 oz Tomato paste
  • 6 oz water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1 t oregano

Toppings

  • 1 lb Italian Sausage browned and drained
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 1/2 medium yellow or white onion
  • 3-4 oz pepperoni
  • 12-16 ozs Mozzarella
Instructions
1) Make one recipe of Easy Everyday Pizza Dough from the previous post. 2) Mix sauce. One 6 oz can of tomato paste and 6 oz water. 1 tsp salt, 1/2 t pepper, 1 clove garlic and 1 t oregano. 3) Prep toppings. I do 1 lb Italian sausage, one green pepper chopped, 1/2 medium yellow onion, and 3-4 oz of pepperoni. Vary to your taste. And lastly a lot of mozzarella 12-16 oz. I also like to “top” with some more pepperoni.4) Preheat oven to 425 convection. Spread dough. Let set for about 10 minutes if you want a very thick crust.5) Top with topping of your choice.6) Bake for 20-25 minutes. Be sure to lift a corner of the pizza to check for done.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: one large pizza

Updated

September 15 2011

DrDan

Easy Everyday Pizza Dough

Why oh why do people do everything they can to not make their own pizza dough?  They buy for the local pizza place… just buy the pizza and get it over with. They buy refrigerated roll out dough. They flatten biscuits. They buy precooked pieces of bread labeled pizza crust. I’m sure I’m missing some of other dodges. If you think of some, put them in the comments.

This is a recipe that I have been using almost 40 years. (Did I just let my age slip a little?) It was on the side of a Gold Metal Flour bag and I’m sure I have modified it some over the years but the principles are the same. Start with warm water. Add twice as much flour. Add some yeast, oil, salt and sugar. Keep it warm and let it double in size. Spread it out and let it set about 10 minutes if you want thicker crust. If you want thinner crust (like my 4 cheese pizza) make a smaller amount and spread it thin and don’t let it set.


Rating:

The easiest 5 I have even given. I suspect I have done this over 1000 times. Once a week when the kids were young. Twice a week when I was young. And still at least monthly.

Notes: You must “keep it warm”. Here are a few tips.

  1. “Preheat” your bowl with hot water.
  2. Use water of 100-110 degrees in the dough.
  3. Do NOT put the bowl on a stone type counter top. Put a wooden cutting board between it and the counter if that is where you want it to let it raise.
  4. Cover with a heavy towel.
  5. Don’t keep checking it. It will take at least 35-40 minutes to double in size.
  6. If it is really cold, then preheat your oven to it’s lowest setting then turn it off and use it as your warm spot to raise the dough.

A Note About Yeast: All baker yeast is the same organism (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Old fashion active dry yeast is processed differently and has less live yeast so will work slower. Other wise consider quick, cake, fast or any other adjective use approximately the same. Yes, even that “special” pizza yeast. The amount of yeast in a packet is about 2 1/2 tsp. I use balk yeast usually and use a light tablespoon (3 teaspoon minus a little) as the same thing. I also like adding the yeast to the water first to be sure I have even distribution of the little critters. Many will mix the yeast with the flour and that works also. When I make a smaller amount, I still will use a pack of yeast. I do increase the yeast if doubling.

Posted separately for easy reference in future posts (like the next one).

In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of warm water (about 100-110 degrees) with 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar and one packet of a rapid rising yeast. Mix well. Add 4 cups of AP flour.

Mix will with spatula and then finish with a little of hand kneading to get all the flour incorporated. Add a little more flour or water to make a relatively light but not too sticky dough. Usually you won’t need to add anything. Dust with a little flour on all sides when done.

 Cover in a warm place until double in size. About 40-45 minutes.

 Oil a large pan. A 15 inch round pan or this is a sheet pan.

Flour your hands and spread the dough. A little flour on top of the dough helps some. Let set for about 10 minutes if you want a real thick crust.

Top as you desire. (That post is coming up next). Cook for about 20-25 minutes in a preheated 425 degree convection oven.

Easy Everyday Pizza Dough
by September-14-2011

An easy pizza dough that you will do over and over. Adjust the size to make the amount you need. This is for one thick crust large pizza. A medium would use about half. Use less for thinner crust and skip the few minutes of rise before topping.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Warm water
  • 4 cups AP flour
  • 1 pack or 1 T rapid or quick yeast
  • 1 t sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T oil
Instructions
1) In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups of warm water (about 100-110 degrees) with 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar and one packet of a rapid rising yeast. Mix well. Add 4 cups of AP flour.2) Mix will with spatula and then finish with a little of hand kneading to get all the flour incorporated. Add a little more flour or water to make a relatively light but not too sticky dough. Usually you won’t need to add anything. Dust with a little flour on all sides when done.3) Cover in a warm place until double in size. About 40-45 minutes.4) Oil a large pan. Flour your hands and spread the dough. A little flour on top of the dough helps some. Let set for about 10 minutes if you want a real thick crust.5) Top as you desire. Cook for about 20-25 minutes in a preheated 425 degree convection oven.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: one large pizza

Updated

September 14 2011

DrDan

4 Cheese White Pizza

I have been recently reminded that the two pizza recipes I use most often do not appear on this site. This one is for daughter #1… a 4 cheese white pizza. This has a great taste with the mixture of cheeses.


With this pizza I uses less crust than with my normal pizza (that post is coming soon). It just wouldn’t seem right on a thick crust. With mozzarella, white cheddar, feta and Parmesan cheeses added to a butter and garlic coated crust and a little fresh tomato, the taste is wonderful. And adding chicken is the final touch to make this one great pizza.Add other toppings of your choice (I always add red onion. Also here I added a farm fresh green pepper. Bacon is a must if you have it on hand).

Rating:

An easy 5. I have done this at least 20 times. I could eat it for a week and still want more.

Notes: I like using thin slices of Roma tomatoes for a little more Italian taste. The chicken which is optional can be any cooked chicken you happen to have. This chicken is left overs that I purposely cooked extra of in my last post “30 Minute Chicken Sandwiches“. I frequently use precooked frozen chicken strips that I buy for salads. Left over rotisserie chicken would be excellent.

In a large mixing bowl, add 1 cup warm water, 1 pack rapid or quick yeast, 1 t sugar 1/2 t salt and 1 T olive oil. Mix well. Add 2 1/2 cups flour and mix. Add  a little more flour if too sticky but you are making a light dough not a heavy brick.

Cover and let rise until double in size. About 30-40 minutes.

While dough is rising, prep any toppings.

Preheat oven 375 convection. Spread the dough on a large pizza pan (this is 15 inch) or cookie sheet. Melt 2 T butter in a microwave for 15-20 seconds. Mix 2 t garlic powder in the butter and spread thinly over the dough.

Top with cheeses and other toppings of choice.

Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

4 Cheese White Pizza
by September-7-2011

With mozzarella, white cheddar, feta and Parmesan cheeses added to a butter and garlic coated crust and a little fresh tomato, the taste is wonderful. And adding chicken is the final touch to make this one great pizza.
Ingredients

2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups AP flour 1 cup warm water1/2 t salt1 t sugar1 pack rapid or quick yeast
Toppings2 T Butter2 t garlic powder2 Roma tomatoes sliced 1/8 inch1/2 cup Parmesan3/4 cup Feta3/4 cup White cheddar3/4 cup Mozzarella
Optional toppings2 cups Cubed cooked chicken1/2 medium Red onion thinly slicedone Green pepper diced3 strips Cooked bacon crumbled

Instructions
1) In a large mixing bowl, add 1 cup warm water, 1 pack rapid or quick yeast, 1 t sugar 1/2 t salt and 1 T olive oil. Mix well. Add 2 1/2 cups flour and mix. Add a little more flour if too sticky but you are making a light dough not a heavy brick.2) Cover and let rise until double in size. About 30-40 minutes.3) While dough is rising, prep any toppings.4) Preheat oven 375 convection. Spread the dough on a well oiled large pizza pan or cookie sheet. Melt 2 T butter in a microwave for 15-20 seconds. Mix 2 t garlic powder in the butter and spread thinly over the dough. 5) Top with cheeses and other toppings of choice.6) Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 15″ pizza pie

Updated

September 14 2011

DrDan

Healthy Deep Dish Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza

Is there really a healthy or at least healthier pizza that it worth the work. Yep there is. I won’t call this “Chicago Deep Pan Pizza” since I eliminated that layer of cheese at the bottom of the pan that I associate with Chicago pizza. But with one third of the calories and 94% less fat, this is a non-guilty treat.

My idea was to use a whole wheat crust, fill it with a sauce made of diced tomatoes with turkey pepperoni and turkey sausage. Add some veggies and top with a little cheese.

Rating

The sauce and idea is in the 4-5 range but the crust was 3 and will be changed next time and will republish. But taken as a whole. it’s still a 4.

I used Pizza Uno as my reference since we always go there when we are in Chicago and love the Classic deep dish. It is hard to get a handle on the fat and caloric content of their pizza. I think they are a bit sneaky, you can find numbers but the definition of serving seems elusive at best. A personal pizza has three servings in a 6 inch pie and each serving is 770 calories and 55 grams of fat for a total of 2310/165. By my count, my whole 9 inch pie is 1710 calories and 23 grams of fat total. Applying simple math vs the different sizes, I get 33% of the calories and about 11 % of the fat.

Notes: The crust could have been better. It needs to be lighter although this crust was better than most commercial crusts. I will use less whole wheat and a touch more water and then let it rise some in the pan next time. A little oil will help the texture and I suggest 2 tsp as a start. (not included in the above calculations).Also a lot of Chicago recipes call for some corn meal and I think I will experiment with dusting the pan with it.

Pizza toppings can be what ever you want. I want sausage (400 cal) and pepperoni (140 cal) so that was 540 calories. The crust could have been about 25% less dough especially if you let it rise some so that would be a 220 cal decrease. Which is 950 for the entire pie. Dieter heaven.

So you could do this under a 1000 calories for the entire deep dish pizza. Or just about a Lean Cuisine for a large 1/3 slice. And under 500 for half the whole pie which is bigger than the individual size Uno that has 2300.

Mix water and yeast and let set for a few minutes while mixing all other dough ingredients together in mixing bowl. Add water to flour and mix will with wooden spoon or by hand (may favorite way). Form in to ball and place covered in warm spot to rise for 30-45 minutes.

Remove casing to sausage and brown over medium high heat. Prep onion and pepper by dicing.

Mix all sauce ingredients into a large bowl. Add sausage. Add about 2/3 of the onion and pepper. Preheat oven to 425 convection.

On a lightly floured surface press out or roll out dough into a 13-14 inch round disk. Spray baking pan with PAM and now form the dough into the pan and crimp the edges as needed.

Put 1/2 the pepperoni into the bottom of the crust. Pour in the sauce mixture. First top with remaining onion, pepper and pepperoni. Then top with Parmesan low fat mozzarella. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Let set for a few minutes prior to serving.

Healthy Deep Dish Sausage and Pepperoni Pizza
by February 1, 2011

Is there really a healthy or at least healthier pizza that it worth the work. Yep there is. I won’t call this “Chicago Deep Pan Pizza” since I eliminated that layer of cheese at the bottom of the pan that I associate with Chicago pizza. But with one third of the calories and 94% less fat, this is a non-guilty treat.
Ingredients

Crust2 cups flour3/4 cup warm water1 package instant or quick yeast (2 1/4 tsp in bulk)1/2 t salt2 t Extra Virgin Olive Oil Sauce14oz can diced tomatoes6oz can tomato paste2 cloves crushed garlic1 t salt1 t dried basil1/2 t crushed red pepper Toppings/Fillings8 oz Turkey Italian sausage2 oz Turkey Pepperoni1 medium yellow or white onion1 green bell pepper1 oz freshly shredded Parmesan 2 oz low fat mozzarella shredded

Instructions
1) Mix water and yeast and let set for a few minutes while mixing all other dough ingredients together in mixing bowl. Add water to flour and mix will with wooden spoon or by hand (may favorite way). Form in to ball and place covered in warm spot to rise for 30-45 minutes.2) Remove casing to sausage and brown over medium high heat.3) Prep onion and pepper by dicing4) Mix all sauce ingredients into a large bowl. Add sausage. Add about 2/3 of the onion and pepper.5) Preheat oven to 425 convection.6) On a lightly floured surface press out or roll out dough into a 13-14 inch round disk. Spray baking pan with PAM and now form the dough into the pan and crimp the edges as needed.7) Put 1/2 the pepperoni into the bottom of the crust. Pour in the sauce mixture. First top with remaining onion, pepper and pepperoni. Then top with Parmesan low fat mozzarella.8) Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.9) Let set for a few minutes prior to serving.
Details

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

Updated

April 24, 2011