Pizza from scratch

We have lived here for more than a year, but we still haven’t found a place with pizza we love. Sure, there are a few places we like. But nothing amazing.

I am open to all styles of pizza, but my favorite is classic Italian margherita: thin, blistered crust, fresh tomato sauce, bubbly mozzarella and basil leaves. So I figured I’d try to make my own.

This was shockingly easy. Even more so because I found pizza dough yeast at the grocery store, which doesn’t require any rising time.

When I first told my husband I was going to make pizza, he goes, “Why don’t we just order one?” He changed his mind after he tasted it. In fact, he wanted me to make another the next day.

I don’t have a pizza stone, so that may be why the crust was not as crispy and blistery as I would have liked. But it was really good anyway. The second day, I added some oregano and parmesan to the crust and moved the oven rack to the very bottom. That gave the crust a little more flavor and made it crispier.

Feel free to use whatever toppings you want, but I would suggest not loading it up too much. The first day I put a little too much cheese on it and milk bubbled off and all over the pan.

Margherita pizza (serves 2 or 3 people)
Dough (from yeast packet)
1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 packet Fleischmann’s pizza crust yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup very warm tap water (120 to 130 degrees)
3-4 tablespoons olive oil**

Pizza sauce
Mozzarella cheese
Basil leaves

Put oven rack at bottom. Heat oven to 500 degrees (or as high as it will go).

Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add water and 3 tablespoons oil. Mix together until well blended, about 1 minute.

Gradually add 1/2 cup flour until soft dough is formed (I needed to add a little more oil and warm water at this point). Dough will be slightly sticky. If necessary, add more flour to form a dough ball.

Knead dough on a floured surface (adding more flour, if needed), until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes*. Press down in greased pizza pan (with floured hands) or roll out into 12-inch circle and transfer to pan.

Top with pizza sauce, cheese and basil leaves.

Bake on bottom oven rack for 12 to 15 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned.

*If the dough is being annoying, just let it sit for a few minutes.
**I am pretty sure you are supposed to use normal cooking oil, but I feel like olive oil makes more sense for pizza. I used it both times and it was really good.

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About Jen @ Marshmallows and Margaritas

Sugar addict / glitter lover / cocktail enthusiast
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3 Responses to Pizza from scratch

  1. Aaren says:

    Reminds me of that time we went to the Italian restaurant in Spain like every-other day (and the Italian restaurant in Belgium with your family)….also, every time you mention gnocchi, I think of one over-seas plane ride that we were on together (not sure which one) in which they served gnocchi as the airplane meal and I had never heard of it before.

    I seriously can’t wait to try this, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to find the ingredients.

  2. Jen says:

    Well, if they don’t have pizza yeast you can use normal yeast, but you will have to wait for it to rise. Smitten Kitchen has a recipe for pizza dough with normal yeast (with rising instructions).

    You can definitely find decent mozzarella at the grocery store (it may be the specialty cheese area) and you can use regular canned tomatoes if they don’t have San Marzano. But since they had all these ingredients in Jacksonville, N.C., I’m pretty sure they’ll have them there.

  3. Jen says:

    PS I don’t remember having gnocchi on a plane! Maybe on the way to Belgium? We weren’t sitting together, if you remember…

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