My family really enjoy homemade pizza with fresh mozzarella. My son likes his Hawaiian style with ham and pineapple. My husband likes his that way too but will add some red onions and black olives. I make mine vegetarian style, often with peppers, red onions, olives and whatever green vegetables we have.
The pizza dough I make several hours before we need it, sometimes even the day before which makes it even better, and I usually make a double portion, so we have extra pizza to put in the freezer for an easy meal. My go-to recipe comes from King Arthur Flour although I do add my own little twist by adding fresh garlic. Here it is:
- 1 3/4 cups (206g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (sometimes I replace 3/4 cup with white wholewheat flour)
- 1 1/4 cups (206g) semolina
- 1 large clove of crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
- Beat the ingredients at high speed of your electric mixer, using the beater blade, for 2 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, and knead for 7 minutes; the dough should be smooth and quite soft. If kneading by hand, mix the ingredients, then let the dough rest, covered, for about 30 minutes; this will give the flour a chance to absorb the water, which will make kneading easier.
- Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 minutes; then refrigerate it for 4 hours (or up to 36 hours); this step will develop the crust’s flavor. It’ll continue to rise in the fridge, so make sure it’s in a big enough bowl.
- Divide the dough in half. Note: for thick, Sicilian-style pizza, leave the dough in one piece, and press it into a rimmed half-sheet pan (18″ x 13″).
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, pick it up and let gravity gently stretch it into an oval. For a more circular shape, move your hands around the perimeter of the dough as it stretches. Once you’ve gotten the dough into its general shape, place it onto a piece of parchment to finish shaping. For thin-crust pizza, make a 12″ round or oval. For thick-crust, make a 9″ round.
- Cover the dough, and let it rest while you heat your oven to 450°F.
- After about 30 minutes (or 60 minutes for thick crust), use a giant spatula or pizza peel to transfer the pizzas and parchment to your hot oven stone; or place the pizzas and parchment on a pan, and place the pan on the middle rack of your oven.
- Bake for 6 minutes (for a thinner, larger crust), or for up to 8 minutes for a smaller/thicker crust. Remove from the oven.
- Top the pizzas with your favorite toppings, return to an upper rack of the oven (not to the stone), and bake for an additional 8 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbly.