Let's see. To have good pizza, you must have good crust. That's basic, common knowledge. I have also learned that freshly shredded mozzarella cheese is important. Do not purchase shredded cheese for pizza. And the third thing for our family is homemade pizza sauce. I have an easy recipe. I like to double it, and then freeze it (once cooled) in baggies in the freezer. An extremely important tip is to put the sauce on very, very lightly! Many swear that the hot oven and pizza stone are crucial. They probably are. Since the oven is SO hot when I use it, I have learned the hard way (repeatedly) to keep my oven light on while cooking the pizza, and to check it after just five minutes. Seriously, we have eaten too much burned pizza.
In the past, I have shared about grilling pizza. That was very good. I also wrote about pizza buns. Not Derek's favorite, but still good.
When time is short, and it usually is, I use this recipe for my quick pizza dough. It only takes about half an hour.
I know the best pizza dough should ferment overnight. (I'm not sure if ferment is the right word, but that's what I'm using.) I had tried this recipe a couple times. I know I burned it once, and I think I did something wrong the other time, too, even though it was still good. Well, this past week I wanted to keep at my pizza attempts. AND I remembered the day before that I wanted pizza the following day. It was time to try a brand new recipe!
The winning recipe that Derek and I both really liked comes from 101 Cookbooks. It is amazingly detailed! I truly think all those details are what made this recipe a success for me. It gives instructions for hand-kneading and for using a stand mixer! There are nine steps total, and wow, are they detailed...perfect for someone like me who really isn't a very capable cook past the basics. Find the Best Pizza Dough Ever by clicking the link. You'll have to scroll down a ways to get to the recipe, but it's well worth it.
Some things to know.
- For this recipe, you need to prepare the dough a day in advance.
- It makes a large amount of dough. The directions tell you specifically how to freeze the dough, too. The directions suggest you divide it into six equal pieces, but I divided it into four. We froze two pieces for future use, and used two pieces for our family, and that was perfect for us, with just a snack left over.
- I have found that 500 degrees is hot enough for our oven and pizza stone. If it's hotter, I seem to burn the pizza.
- I made both pizzas on the stone. With only taking a bit more than five minutes to cook, it was just fine.
- We're rather boring. We prefer cheese and sauce on our pizza. Nothing else. (Though ham can be a nice treat on occasion, according to me. Derek doesn't mind pepperoni and some other toppings.) When testing recipes, try to be consistent in your toppings (or lack thereof) so you can fairly gauge the pizza dough.
- We've only made this pizza one time. It was very good. It was also sticky. Though I had learned to "knuckle" pizza dough when I was a teen working in at Roman Pizza, I struggled with using my fists this time. Next time I will thoroughly cover the backside of the dough in cornmeal...it still stuck to my pizza peel a bit, and my pizzas were NOT circular. Despite the funky shapes, we agreed that this recipe was a keeper.
- Is all the effort worth it? Yes, I think so. I would like to eat pizza every week. Take out gets pricey, even with coupons. And really, take out just isn't practical for us to do each week. This is good pizza, and worth the effort...and though very good, nothing compares with pizza from your favorite pizza joint, though this is close!
If you like thin crusted pizza, I would definitely suggest trying this recipe. Let me know what you think!