If you ask my kids what one meal they could eat every day for the rest of their lives, it would be pizza. Hands down. When I ask what they want for dinner, they say, “Pizza.” Every. Single. Time.
We try to set aside either Friday or Saturday night as family pizza night. My youngest son is insistent that we have pizza on Friday nights, so we usually do. And then we watch a family movie together.
We lived in rural Colorado for many years. “Town” was about 30 minutes away from our home. Translation: pizza restaurants or take-out was 30 minutes away. And no one delivered to our house,
So, I learned to make pizza.
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I’ve perfected this recipe over the years. Like I said, I lived in rural Colorado for years, which also meant living in a high altitude. I now live close to sea level. Even though my elevation has changed, my recipe has stayed relatively the same.
To make the dough for 3 large pizzas you’ll need:
- 2 TBSP yeast
- 2 1/2 CUPS lukewarm/tepid water (I heat mine in the microwave in a glass container for 1 minute)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 TBSP oil (I prefer olive oil)
- 6-8 CUPS of flour (I like to use wheat flour for 2-3 of the CUPS)
Add the yeast to a mixing bowl, then add the warm water. Let the yeast soften/begin to foam.
Add the salt, sugar, and oil.
Add the flour cup by cup to the mixture until the dough pulls away from the walls of the bowl. Sometimes that can be 6 CUPS and sometimes it can be 8 or so. As you make this dough you’ll get a feel for when there’s enough flour added. I really like to grind my own wheat flour and add it in. I usually add 3-4 CUPS of unbleached white flour and 2-3 CUPS of wheat flour.
Set the bowl aside and let the dough rise for an hour or so.
Punch the risen flour down and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Separate the dough into 3 balls and set one on each pizza pan. Roll out the dough on the pizza pan, then add pizza sauce and toppings.
Bake at 425 degrees for 16 minutes or until the dough is as crisp as you like and the cheese is melted.
What I Use to Make Pizza
In order to make pizza, you’ll need a few items.
I use a Bosch mixer to make the dough. I also use this mixer to make bread. I have dropped it and beat it up through the years and it has lasted well over 20 years. I love my Bosch mixer so much. I’ve also used a stand mixer with a dough hook, but I prefer my Bosch.
I always, always use my stoneware pans. I’ve had these for probably 25 years. They make the best pizza! You can also use pans with holes in the bottom. I could never make a cookie sheet work. The pizza would burn around the edges and be raw/doughy in the middle.
Pizza roller. You can use a rolling pin and roll the pizza out on the counter, but I prefer a pizza roller and I roll it out right on the pizza pan.
Pizza cutter. Do not attempt to cut pizza with a knife. It tears up the pizza and makes a super huge mess. I have a couple pizza cutters just so I can always find one because I refuse to use a knife.
Fleischmann’s instant yeast. I buy the big, double pack because it’s more economical and I use a lot of yeast. I store it in the freezer. I’ve never seen the 16 oz package at the grocery store, so I order it from Amazon.
Our Favorite Pizzas
My family loves pepperoni pizza. I wasn’t thrilled about all the nitrites and preservatives, so I found uncured pepperoni and that’s what I use.
They also love cheese pizza, which is super easy. I use low-moisture part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese.
Veggie pizza is my favorite. I love to add mushrooms, onions, olives, green peppers, tomatoes, spinach. Sometimes, we add artichoke hearts.
We also like to make Hawaiian pizza with pineapple and ham. I rarely get Canadian bacon. I just slice up smoked ham lunch meat (the uncured kind).
My family loves pizza. I’ve tried to come up with ways to make it more healthy. I add wheat flour, uncured meats, fresh vegetables, and use extra virgin olive oil. For the cheese, I use part-skim mozzarella and I try to not use so much cheese.
It may take a couple of times to get the dough just right. I can practically make it in my sleep now, haha.
If I have more than one pizza in the oven (I almost always do), I’ll take the bottom one out at 16 minutes, and leave the top one in for an additional 6 minutes.
If I have a lot of my kids over for dinner, I’ll just double this recipe and make 6 pizzas–I can’t make more than that because I only have 6 pizza pans.
I use an organic pizza sauce. I do not use spaghetti or pasta sauce because it’s too watery and cooks over the edge of the dough and falls on the floor of the oven, which then burns.
After making my own pizza, any store-bought or restaurant pizza just isn’t as good. I may be biased, though :).
Does your family love pizza? Do you have a great recipe? Please, leave me a comment below with your favorite pizza recipe. I LOVE comments!