Our kids can be picky about food, but homemade pizza is always a hit. Two of our kids won’t eat the “gross green things” so I typically make one cheese for them and a veggie for the adults and our
favorite child who isn’t as picky. This recipe will make two 10-inch pizzas. Of course, you can depart from the recipe when it comes to the toppings. That’s the beauty of pizza–you can do whatever suits your taste (or, if you’re like me, whatever you have in the refrigerator that week).
There are a lot of ways to make it (pizza stone in the oven, grill pan on the barbie, etc.), but I bought a Petite Pizzeria from Sur la Table about a year ago and love it. It really makes it easy, cooks the pizzas fast (about seven minutes) and has limited cleanup. And it’s perfect for summertime because you don’t have to turn on the oven.
The first step is to figure out what you’re doing for the dough. Here too, there are a lot of options. You can buy refrigerated pizza dough at the grocery store, you can pick some up from your local pizzeria (if they’ll sell it to you) or you can make your own. The last option may sound intimidating, but there are some very simple dough recipes out there. I love this one from Allrecipes because it requires only six ingredients and needs to rest for only 15 minutes before using (just enough time to prep your veggies and cheese).
You simply mix all the ingredients besides the flour together, getting something like the following:
Then you add the flour to the mix–I add a little at a time because it’s much easier to combine that way.
When you’re done adding all the flour, you end up with something that looks like a rough ball of dough.
While I’m waiting for the dough to rest, I slice and sauté the veggies. In this recipe, I used mushrooms (a mix of baby portobello and shiitake mushrooms), onions, green pepper and cherry tomatoes for the adult pizza. Here were the sliced cast of characters:
I then did a quick sauté of the onions and mushrooms, cooking the onions with some olive oil and salt and pepper over medium high heat for about five minutes and then adding the mushrooms to the pan (with a little more oil, salt and pepper) for an additional five minutes. The end product will resemble this:
Now is the time to figure out your cheese as well. You can buy pre-packaged shredded mozzarella and just use that for both pizzas, but I typically buy fresh blocks of mozz and then shred half the cheese for the kids pizza and tear the other half into pieces for the adult pizza.
Back to the dough. After it rests, it will have grown to something like this:
At this point, I divide the dough into two equal portions and then start shaping into thin round discs. I use a very well floured cutting board, with both flour and corn meal on the board to help prevent sticking (the dough is very sticky when you first start working it).
I flatten the disc a bit and then work the edges to keep pulling the shape out. If you hold one edge in the air, gravity will quickly do the work for you. I then sometimes push the ends around to create a nicer circle shape. Still, I admit that I am not a master pizza maker and I rarely end up with perfect circles (but thankfully that never seems to affect the taste of the pizza!).
Now is the big moment. Time to transfer the dough to your pizza maker or pizza stone. I have learned the hard way that, at least for me, it’s easier to throw the dough on the pizza cooking device and then quickly add the sauce and toppings. When I have tried to get the sauce and toppings on the dough before transferring, it invariably sticks to the pizza peel and becomes an unattractive mess when it finally makes its way onto the pizza stone. I am sure others will debate this order of assembly/cooking–to each their own. Here is a shot of one of the pizzas on the pizza maker with the sauce applied (I would suggest doing a little less in the center than I did here–I got carried away). You can use any pizza sauce you can find or make yourself, but if you have Rao’s Homemade Pizza Sauce at your grocery store, get that (it’s amazing).
I then quickly add the cheese and veggies. Today, I did sauce, toppings and then cheese. I don’t always do this. Sometimes, it’s sauce, cheese and then toppings. This is one of the variables that you have complete control over when making your own pizza. I will say that cheese after toppings does obscure some of the toppings when it comes out (which you may have noticed in the photos in this post). Trust me, there are sautéed onions under the cheese!
Any way you do it, I hope you make it your own and enjoy!
- 2½ cups of flour (plus lots more for prepping cutting board or counter)
- 5 tbsp of olive oil (3 tbsp for dough and 2 tbsp for sautéing veggies)
- 1 cup of warm water
- 1 tbsp of sugar
- 1 packet of active dry yeast (Fleischmann's or similar) (2¼ tsp)
- ½ onion
- 1 green pepper
- 1 cup of sliced mushrooms (any varietal)
- ½ cup of cherry tomatoes (sliced in half lengthwise)
- 1 lb (2 cups) of mozzarella (shredded or torn by hand)
- 1 cup of pizza sauce
- 1½ tsp of salt (1 tsp for dough and ½ tsp for sautéing veggies)
- ½ tsp of pepper
- Corn meal (for prepping cutting board or counter)
- In large bowl, combine warm water, yeast, sugar, olive oil and salt. Gradually mix in flour until rough dough ball forms. Allow dough to rest for 15 minutes.
- While dough rests, slice mushrooms, onions, peppers and tomatoes.
- Sauté onions in a pan over medium high heat with 1 tbsp of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste for five minutes. Add mushrooms to same pan with an additional 1 tbsp of olive oil and additional salt and pepper to taste and sauté for another 5 minutes.Set aside mixture for use on veggie pizza.
- Shred or tear mozzarella cheese (if you didn't purchase pre-shredded mozzarella).
- After dough is finished resting, divide into two equal portions.
- On a well floured board (use flour and corn meal), begin to shape each portion of the dough into a thin round disc.
- For the cheese pizza, transfer one prepared dough portion to a hot pizza maker or pizza stone and then quickly add ½ cup of pizza sauce and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Cook according to manufacturer's suggested time (about 7 minutes on the Petite Pizzeria, set to level 2), or until the dough and cheese start to brown.
- For the veggie pizza, transfer the other prepared dough portion to the pizza maker or pizza stone and then quickly add the remaining ½ cup of pizza sauce and 1 cup of mozzarella and the sliced mushrooms, onions, peppers and cherry tomatoes. Cook according to manufacturer's suggested time (about 7 minutes on the Petite Pizzeria, set to level 2), or until the dough and cheese start to brown.
- Allow pizzas to cool about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.