Homemade Pizza + My Pizza Sauce Recipe

More Fridays than not, especially in the winter, Bob and I make homemade pizza for dinner. It’s turned into a fun tradition! After the pizza is done, we curl up on the couch and watch a movie or a few episodes of a TV show. Our current obsession is Eureka. Heard of it?

Your first step in a homemade pizza night of your own is making the dough. I have two dough recipes that I like. If I’m home and have a couple hours before dinner, I use this recipe from Lauren’s Latest. My one suggestion: the “warm water” she suggests should be between 105 degrees F and 110 degrees F. Pull out your thermometer and make sure. Hotter or colder and your yeast will die or won’t activate. Also, you don’t need a mixer to make this recipe. Just mix the ingredients with a spoon, and knead for 5-7 minutes.

20140221_160744If you work 9 to 5 on Fridays, and still want to do homemade pizza for dinner, then you probably won’t have time to let the dough rise for 2 hours.. Enter Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. Mix things up in a bowl before work, and come home to perfectly risen pizza dough. You will not be sorry. Simply follow directions for the 12 hour dough. The same water temperature rules apply as in the recipe above.

20140221_180444Once the dough is nearly risen,  make your sauce. You’ll need a can of tomato paste and a can of tomato sauce–6oz and 8 oz respectively.

20140221_180847 Mix the sauce and paste together in a bowl, then add:

  • 1 Tbs oregano
  • 1 Tbs basil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. honey

Taste it! Want it a little sweeter? Add more honey. Like your pizza sauce a little more garlicky? Salty? Peppery? Make it happen! There is no real science to pizza sauce, just add things little by little until you love it. This sauce can be made well in advance and stored in the fridge.

20140221_181519Now that the dough is risen and the sauce is made, the real excitement begins. Here’s what you do:

1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. If a pizza stone is your thing, make sure it’s in the oven before you preheat it.

2. Once your dough is fully risen, you’re going to take it out of the bowl. Do not punch this dough down like you would bread dough. We want to retain as much air as possible. Using a knife, divide the dough into two parts. Form them into balls, and let them rest on the counter for 10-15 minutes before you assemble. Cover the dough with saran wrap or a clean towel so it doesn’t dry out.

3. While the dough is resting and the oven is preheating, prep your toppings. Shred your cheese, chop your veggies, etc.

4. Stretch your dough. For a how to, check out this little tutorial. Bonus: he has an Italian accent–that makes it more legit.

5. You’re almost there! Now, add the toppings in whatever order and quantity you like.

20140221_1837426. Slide it into the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, and the cheese is fully melted and browning just a little.

20140223_1136327. After the pizza is done, melt 2 Tbs of better in the microwave. Mix in 1 tsp of garlic powder, and brush the buttery/garlicky concoction on the crust.

Happy pizza making!