Make Your Own: Pizza

We are huge pizza snobs. Since leaving NY, we just can’t bring ourselves to eat inferior pizza from some of those chain places. And it’s okay if YOU do. We just don’t like it so much.

(Exception: Nicolitalia Pizzeria makes the best Boston-style pizza. It’s in Provo for any locals wanting to check it out.)

We like to make our own. And why not? It’s super easy. The possibilities are endless.

Most of you probably make your own already, but if you don’t–please try it. There’s something wonderful about rolling out your own dough and topping it with your favorite ingredients.

My favorite?

*Sun-dried tomato sauce
*Chopped artichoke hearts
*Ricotta (or goat cheese)
*Sprinkle of mozzarella
*Sprinkle of herbs (basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme)

See below for recipe and other ideas.

We found an amazing deal at Sunflower Farmers Market a few months ago. Grilled artichoke hearts. And get this–$0.99 a jar.

They are so good. We bought 5 jars and have already gone through a few of them.

This pizza is amazing. You have the tangy sun-dried tomatoes and the tangy artichoke hearts paired with creamy, mild chesses. It just works. (Ricotta also works well in lieu of a sauce.)

Another ingredient I love to use when making pizza is fire roasted tomatoes.

We like to use the FR tomatoes with ham and pineapple pizza. (You can get pretty good deals on the Muir Glen Organic tomatoes at Trader Joe’s, Sunflower Farmers Market, and occasionally the “mart” stores.)

My kids love pepperoni pizza. Everyone loves pepperoni pizza. We usually eat pizza once a month or so. And it’s a fun way to get the kids involved with dinner prep.

I have found that I really like the ease of the pizza dough recipe from The Joy of Cooking. It’s pretty hands off. And I adapted it to work with instant yeast.

Homemade Pizza
From Joy of Cooking

3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp.) rapid rise or instant yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups warm water (about 130 degrees F.)
1 Tbsp. salt

Sauce Ideas:
tomato sauce
fire-roasted tomato
basil pesto
sun-dried tomato
Alfredo sauce

Topping Ideas:
*ham and pineapple
*roasted or fresh veggies–onions, leeks, broccoli, carrots, spinach, artichokes, fresh tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.
*fresh herbs
*meats and sausages–pepperoni, prosciutto, salami, bacon, pancetta, sopressata, ham, etc.

Chevre (fresh goat cheese)


**I used my Bosch, so I didn’t have to switch attachments. If you use a KitchenAid or similar mixer, you will need to change attachments mid-recipe.**

Place 2 cups of the flour, yeast, and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (KitchenAid or similar type mixers). Mix for a few seconds to distribute the yeast.

Stir together the oil and warm water. With mixer running on low, add the water in a slow, steady stream. Mix until smooth. (Switch to dough hook.) Gradually add the remaining flour until the dough forms a ball around the paddle/beaters and comes away from the side of the bowl. Add the salt.

Let the machine knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. (You can also do this by hand.)

Rub the inside of a large bowl with olive oil. Turn the dough out into the oiled bowl and turn the dough over once to coat it with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double in a warm, draft-free place. (This takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.)

Punch the dough down and divide it in half. Place each half in a lightly floured or oiled surface. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rest about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. (If you are using a pizza stone, place it in the oven to preheat for about 30-40 minutes.)

Dust the dough and surface with flour. Roll each dough half into a large rectangle or circle. (Let it rest a bit if it shrinks back when you roll it.)

Oil two large cookie sheets and sprinkle with fine cornmeal. (For pizza stone, don’t use oil. Sprinkle cornmeal on the stone right before you place the pizza on it.) Transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Top with the desired sauce and toppings.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly.

Feel free to share what you like in the comments. I’d love some new suggestions and to hear what you like.

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  1. I love Nicolitalia! I like Canadian bacon on my pizza w/ pineapple or mushrooms. The pizza place I used to work for make a great taco pizza, but I haven’t tasted anything like it since moving away from the northwest.

  2. We also love Nicolitalia, and estes, and settebellos and rusted sun. Haha. Can you tell we are pizza snobs too? We looooove margarita pizzas and chicken and artichoke pizzas. The four cheese margarita I posted a while ago is delicious.

  3. One of our new favorite pizza is pesto sauce, sliced tomato (fresh), and cheese (usually we just do mozzarella and parmesan). Unfortunately it’s really only best in late summer/early fall when you can get tasty ripe tomatoes (I’m a tomato snob) and can make fresh pesto. Yumm, yummy!

    I also have a tasty recipe for ‘Mexican pizza’ where you layer refried beans mixed with salsa, chopped olives, chopped green onion, chopped tomato, and cheese (I like to use mixed cheddar/jack or the ‘quesadilla’ blend). It’s kind of like seven-layer dip on a crust. Totally not authentic, but still tasty :)

  4. I am a total pizza snob:) I like to make it at home so I get what I want. I load on the veggies. I do like Setebello and Rusted Sun in SLC. We make pizza a lot because my hubby ALWAYS wants it!!

  5. Yay!! Thanks Lindsey!! I am teaching the YW how to make pizza this week and have been getting things together. I LOVE your ideas!! Thanks! You’re great!!

  6. Oh! I forgot to post one of our favorites! I’m so excited about the timing of your post and your pizza ideas since that’s been on my mind a lot. We make a yummy pear pizza with pealed, sliced pears, caramelized onions, feta and mozzarella (no sauce). yum!! I’m excited to try some of your suggestions!!

  7. i’ve been wanting to make homemade pizza….yumm.

    you need to try Nevole’s in Sandy…up by Best Buy. Total non-gourmet pizza if you know what I mean, thin crust NY style…so good. lunchtime they have an all you can eat buffet during the week.

    see you soon :)

  8. Your pizzas all sound and look delicious!! I always make my own pizza. I have not had a shop bought one in about 9 years now! My favourite toppings include roasted artichokes, sundried tomatoes and those lovely salty cured black olives! Oh and hot sweet cherry peppers! YUMMO!!

  9. If we live close to you ever again we are totally getting together for pizza! For quick pizza night we do a margarita pizza (tomato sauce, or fresh tomatoes in season), fresh mozz and basil.

    On special pizza nights (usually having friends over) we caramelize onions, saute mushrooms, roast red peppers, oven dry tomatoes (in season), and put it all together with some fontina. YUM!

    We use the Cuisinart pizza dough recipe. It is so super easy and tastes great.

    And speaking of Mexican Pizza. We often do a “southwestern” pizza that has caramelized onions, delicious lime chicken and mozzarella. After it is cooked you slather on the fresh pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream. Friends always seemed worried before they taste it, but it is always gone and frequently requested.

  10. I’m going to have to try this for sure. I’ve been excited to try and make my own pizza dough. I’ve never made homemade pizza before. I love love love ricotta cheese on pizza too!

  11. Lindsey – it’s like you read my mind!! :)
    We were having the icky pizza discussion the other night – tired of the chain pizzas, but I was really looking for some great homemade tips.
    Thank you!!!

  12. homemade pizza is one of our favorite things to make. i have never used goat cheese as a topping, but have always wanted to. after reading this post i am inspired to do so. thanks!

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