Forget Dominos. Homemade pizza is easy to make and--with all the economic belt tightening going on--inexpensive. This recipe for classic Margherita adds a healthy handful of fresh basil, but you can always add on your own toppings. And if you're not feeling up for making the crust at home, no one will fault you for buying prepared dough. You can still have fun tossing it in the air.
For the dough
- 4 Cup bread flour
- 1 Teaspoon sugar
- 2 1/2 Teaspoon dry active yeast
- 3 Teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 Cup lukewarm water
- 3 Tablespoon olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
For the pizza
- Pizza dough (fresh made or purchased)
- 6 Ounce fresh mozzarella
- 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 14oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
- 6 basil leaves, chiffonade (or gently torn)
To make the dough
Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and combine.
Switch to the dough hook attachment. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.
Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and put it in a warm area (I used my oven, preheated to 200 degrees and then turned off and cooled slightly) to let it double in size, about 1 hour.
After the first rise take out dough and knead on lightly floured surface. (fold each side in envelope form until you form a round smooth ball. Repeat about 3 times to activate the yeast. Place back into warm area for 1 more hour to let rise one more time.
Divide the dough into how many pieces as you please. Usually makes about 3 small/medium pizzas.
For the pizza
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and gently begin to stretch the dough to the desired shape and size (remember, this is homemade and doesn’t have to be a perfect shape) being careful not cause any tears in the dough.
Spread enough of the crushed tomatoes over the pizza dough just enough to cover, if you put too much the pizza crust with become soggy.
Sprinkle crushed garlic over sauce.
Slice or tear the fresh mozzarella and scatter over top of the sauce.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from oven and scatter the basil over the top just as it comes out.
Allow to cool for a few minutes, slice and serve.