Ah Pizza, the ultimate comfort food for so many. This dish is one that combines knife skills with baking, and sauce making amongst a few others I’m sure. The real lesson here, however, is in the dough.
I think that learning to do work with yeast and kneading dough is essential to learning to cook. Making homemade pizza is a step towards homemade bread, rolls, and more things that can enhance your meals, and impress your friends.
Another thing I want to point out is that there are many different ways to actually cook the dough. In this recipe, I utilized a cornmeal method because it’s one of the easiest ways to cook pizza on a regular cookie sheet without it sticking. Personally, I have a pizza stone that I use and doesn’t require the cornmeal to keep it from sticking. I definitely suggest experimenting to find a method that works best for you.
Once you have the dough made however the toppings are all your own. I like to make homemade pizza on a Friday as a way to use up all the leftovers from the week since just about everything goes well on a pizza. It’s fun to try to come up with weird combinations that still taste great.
- 1 tablespoon active yeast
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- ¾ C warm water
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- small handful of cornmeal
- Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water in a large bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes. If the combination begins to bubble it is active, if not you may need to try new yeast.
- Stir in the salt, until well blended.
- Slowly stir in the flour until mostly incorporated, then add in the olive oil and finish adding the flour.
- Once a stiff dough begins to form use your hands to create a ball. Place the ball back in the bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let stand for a few hours to rise (instant yeast will only need about 10 minutes)
- Once its risen preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and with your hands form a flattened ball. Stretch the dough out to the desired thickness (remember the dough will rise some in the oven).
- Toss the cornmeal on the baking sheet and spread it evenly.
- Carefully, transfer the shaped pizza dough to the baking sheet and cover with your toppings of choice.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes (this may change depending on your toppings).
- Remove from the oven, cut and serve immediately.