No Take-out Pizza

It’s Friday night, everyone is tired from a long week, and what do you do for supper? We use to turn to take-out pizza until I discovered the easiest and cheapest thing in the world is to make your own pizza.

Let me tell you, after you make this, you will never order take-out again. Okay, that’s a lie. When you are dog tired, you probably will, but it won’t taste as good!

(This post does contain affiliate links.  My opinion of products are my own, and I will not recommend a product unless I have used that product and feel confident in that product.)

new york style pizza dough

The dough recipe is from Food Network.  It’s Bobby Flay’s recipe.  I was intimidated at first, but after I made it, I realized just how easy it really is to make pizza if you have the right tools.

What you need for pizza dough

These were the ingredients and tools that I needed to make the dough:

Kitchen Aide mixer or other mixer with dough hook

Paddle attachment

Dough hook attachment

Measuring cup for liquid and dry

Tablespoon and teaspoon

1 packet Yeast (I use rapid rise or the Pizza Dough Yeast if I have it) or 2 1/4 tsp yeast in a jar

1 1/2 cups hot water (between 100 and 110 degrees)

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt

2 TBSP olive oil

3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour


Let the yeast bloom

The first thing you do is add your water, sugar and yeast to the mixing bowl.  (Be sure that the water is not too hot.  If the yeast gets above 110, it will die.  I make breads and pizza so much, I can usually tell by touch, but use a candy thermometer if you are unsure.)

Allow the yeast to bloom about 10 minutes.  It will get foamy and frothy on top, like you see in the picture.

Next add your oil and salt.  Don’t forget the salt at this point.  If you forget to add the salt, it won’t taste right, and you’ll have an “I Love Lucy” episode on your hands.  The salt prohibits the yeast from rising too quickly.  If you forget the salt, your dough will get big quick!  Ask me how I know. 🙂

Measure flour

When you are ready to add the flour, be sure to use the back of your knife to help you measure correctly.  I use to be less precise when cooking, but when baking, especially breads, I like to be more accurate.  I start out with 3 1/2 cups and move up to 4 cups of flour.

Mix dough

At this point you want to use your paddle attachment to just barely mix the dough until it looks like broken strips of dough.  When it gets to this stage, I switch to the dough hook and let it knead the dough.  Basically, I turn on the dough hook and let it run until a ball forms.  If it is too sticky, I add more flour.  I keep going until most of the dough and flour comes off the bottom of the bowl.

kneading pizza dough in six steps

Time to knead the dough!

1.  Flour a clean surface and turn or dump the dough out.

2.  Begin to work the dough, pressing it down with both heels of your hand.  (I know it only shows one hand, but I was having to work the camera with the other.)

3.  Turn the dough 90 degrees and…

4.  Fold the dough over onto itself.

5.  Time to push down with the heel of your hand again.

6.  Keep doing this until a very soft, smooth ball forms.  I think it looks like a little baby’s bum that you can’t help but patty pat!

The moment you see it start to crack, you need to stop – you’ve gone too far!  The dough may look like it’s stretching too far and breaking.  This is overworking the dough and breaking the gluten.  Don’t get to this point.  (But if you do, don’t panic.  It’s fine, just not ideal.)

dough ball

Once your dough is worked enough, add a teaspoon or so of olive oil to your bowl and coat the sides.  Put your dough in top-side-down, coat it with oil, then flip it over.

(I use the same bowl I mixed the dough in.  Most people prefer to get a clean bowl, but why?  It’s just another bowl to wash later.)  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise for about an hour.

A couple of tricks to letting the dough double:  First, I turn my oven on as I’m covering the bowl with wrap.  When the pre-heat temperature reaches 105 degrees (takes about 20 seconds or so), I turn the oven off and open the door.  This makes it just warm and cozy enough, but not hot enough to kill the yeast.

Another trick that someone taught me – I think it was my mother-in-law – is to use your dishwasher after your dishes have finished a wash cycle.  It should be nice and warm.  My problem with this is that it usually has dirty dishes accumulating, or clean ones I am procrastinating putting away.  I stick to the oven.

Pizza stone

After the dough is double in size, it’s time to build the pizzas.  Before you do that, you need to pre-heat your oven. (Make sure to take the dough out!) I suggest that you use a pizza stone.  If you don’t have one, you can use a cookie sheet, but you are missing out on some serious yummy crust without a stone.  I ordered my stone here.  This one was a little pricey but it can get up to 1200 degrees.  It is super thick and heavy, but the cool thing is that it can go onto a grill as well as in your oven.

Word of warning: Just be careful with stones.  They can crack very easily!  I have cracked several that I bought at kitchen parties.  Always preheat them in your oven.  Don’t put them in after it is hot.  And the most important tip – Don’t put anything cold onto a hot stone!  Your dough and pizza should be room temperature.  I take all my ingredients out of the fridge before cooking so that nothing is too cold.

ingredients and tools for pizza

These are the ingredients I used today to build the pizza after the dough was ready.

(You can see the risen dough.  Isn’t it pretty?  And it smells so good!)

You’ll need pizza sauce or olive oil, Mozzarella cheese, other toppings, a pizza peel and corn meal.

I bought my pizza peel here.

Now, on this day, I used sauce from a jar, and pre-shredding cheese.  If you have an amazing sauce recipe, please use it.  Also, I recommend good mozzarella.  This was what I had on hand, but I usually try to get a really good quality fresh mozzarella that we slice, or we found that Sams Club has a great shredded mozzarella.  It’s made by Bakers & Chefs.  

dough on peel

First, sprinkle your pizza peel completely with corn meal.  You really can’t add too much.  But you can easily not add enough.  If the pizza sticks and doesn’t slide onto the stone, you have a royal mess!  So don’t skimp on the corn meal!  Plus it makes the bottom crispy!

Next, divide your dough into 2-3 balls, depending on how large your stone and how many pizzas you want to make.  This recipe is for 2 (14 inch) pizzas, but sometimes I divide it into 3, especially if I want to use some of it to make breadsticks.  To help with dividing the pizza, you may find a bench scrape helpful.  I love using mine, but it was dirty from making biscuits that morning, so it’s not in the picture.

Slowly stretch the dough out around the edges, letting gravity do the work.  I use my full arm to stretch the pizza.  This helps me avoid tearing holes in the dough.  If you want to try it, give it a toss.  I’ve not been brave enough.  You can also roll it out, but this makes for a thinner/crispier crust.  I was making the pizza by myself, so I couldn’t take photos of the stretching process.  (Next time I make it, I’ll try to remember to get the hubby to video and add it to this post.)

Once you place it on the pizza peel, leave it alone!  The more you touch it and spread it around, the more likely it is to stick!

pizza sauce

Now add a thin layer of your sauce.  (Or just use olive oil if you want to make a veggie pizza or an herb pizza.)

pizza toppings

Finally add your toppings.  This one was for the boys, so we kept it really simple.  If you have left over veggies, add them.  This is a good time to clean out the fridge!

Pepperoni smiles

Here’s a pizza we made last year.  This is Piggy One (a year ago) and Billy with their smiley face pepperoni pizza.

Pistachio pizza before baked

And here’s our most favorite pizza of all time!  It is a Pistachio pizza!  If you live near Denver, Colorado, you must, must, must eat at Marco’s Coal-Fired Pizzeria.  This pizza has pistachio cream, italian sausage, and buffalo mozzarella.  I guessed how to make the pistachio cream and used my NutriBullet to wiz up pistachios and EVOO. It didn’t taste exactly like theirs, but it was still good!

Bake Pizza

After your pizza is topped and your oven reaches 475 degrees, slide your pizza onto your stone.  Close the door and watch it bake!  Ours usually takes about 10-12 minutes.

Finished pizza

Here’s the cheese pizza, all cut up and ready to munch.  I actually forgot to take a picture when it first came out.  My boys were tugging at my legs for supper at this point, so I cut into it before a picture was taken.

Pistachio Pizza

Here is the pistachio pizza fresh out of the oven!  YUM!  Did I say it was good?  I meant to say delicious!

Here is a printer friendly recipe:  Pizza Dough

Or you can find the recipe on Food Network

Next time you want pizza (and it’s not 20 minutes until dinner time), give this a try!  You won’t be sorry.  I promise, it is very easy!  What is your family’s favorite pizza?  Would you need to have a pizza for each person?  Some families all eat the same things on their pizza.  We’re all odd ducks and/or greedy and want our own.

Bon Appetite!


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