Homemade Pizza

pepperoni pizza

pepperoni pizza

I love pizza.

Yeah, everybody does, right? It’s one of my unholy trigger- food trinity, along with donuts and really good chocolate. Any of those are hard for me to say, “no” to.

I could eat it a few nights a week and never get tired of it. Sometimes when we lived in the city, I’d say, “want to get pizza for dinner?” and hubby would point out we just had pizza for dinner the day before. That’s how much I like it.

On a trip to New York a few years ago, I planned one whole day around going to Little Italy and eating at Lombardi’s, “America’s First Pizzeria.” That Travel Channel show on pizza joints pointed out the little place to me, and the pie was delicious!

Plain old cheese is my favorite…lightly sauced and not a lot of cheese. Sometimes I like green peppers and onions on it.

A good white pizza is hard to beat — a little olive oil, some garlic, and a variety of good cheeses can make a perfect pizza.

Sometimes I like some pepperoni or sausage, though rarely. And if I do have pepperoni, I want pickled banana peppers.

When we lived in Appomattox and I worked from home as a closed-captioning contractor, I had a lot of time to perfect my pizza recipe. My go-to dough has always been Alton Brown’s. It’s delicious, but it takes planning, and today I was not planning.

pepperoni, peppers, and onion pizza

pepperoni, peppers, and onion pizza

No, today I was unpacking and rearranging my new home office. Some folks have a very romantic idea of teleworking, and for many, it’s a walk in the park. For me, I head into my home office at 8:00, breaking only for tea and coffee (and what you need to do when you drink too much coffee). At noon I walk the dogs and spend an hour with them. Then I’m back at my desk till 5:00. I don’t really think about dinner when I’m working. Sometimes hubby calls and we dare each other to ask the dreaded question, “what’s for dinner?”

Today I didn’t telework. In fact, today I took the day off and spent my time rearranging my office and unpacking (yet more) boxes from hubby’s former duty station.  Early afternoon I thought, “hey…pizza for dinner!” I called hubby, who agreed to pick up a few toppings on the way home, and I set about planning.

First to find the recipe. This was too spur of the moment for Alton’s recipe, so I needed something easy and fast.  The sixth result in my Google search brought me to a really cute website with an easy pizza recipe. I’m not going to print it here because (1) I’m an editor, and, yeah, that’s someone else’s writing/work and (2) it’s pretty easy to click over and read the whole page. It’s a nice read, so I hope you’ll do it.

Next I had to assess the sauce. I have jars of homegrown and canned tomato sauce, but I didn’t have the hours I needed to turn those into a nice pizza sauce. I wanted something easy. I had accidentally picked up a #10 can of Hunt’s tomato sauce when I was at Costco trying to buy diced tomatoes, so I poured a little into a pan, put it on a high simmer, and let it bubble away and thicken a little. I added a few herbs, but I love a good, pure tomato taste, so I let it stay nice and light.

Finally I had to pull out the pizza stone. I used the thing all the time years ago, but in a couple of moves, it had been boxed up. Fortunately I was able to find it and stick it in the oven.  After a nice preheat, the twice-risen dough was ready for shaping.

I’m not an expert at making a thin crust. This recipe was pleasantly elastic without too much springback. I had doubled the recipe for two different pizzas, so I split it and stretched each ball into a disk.

One pizza I decked out with a little olive oil, sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese. The other was the same, though lighter on the pepperoni, and with a few green peppers, onions, and banana peppers.

About 10 minutes for each on the piping hot stone, and we had our pizza dinner. I was pleasantly surprised with the flavor of the dough. It was good though a touch on the salty side for me, so I’ll cut that back if I use it again.

I started looking for this recipe at 2:30. I put the dough down for the first rise at 3:30, and we had hot pizza ready at 6:00. Most of the work was hands off as the dough rose.

It’s easy, and if you haven’t tried homemade pizza, I hope you’ll give it a shot!

Already make homemade pizza? Do you have a favorite recipe you can share?


*** This site is comprised solely of the opinions of its author, Stacey Morgan Smith. She works to promote gardening and tourism in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, from Roanoke to the Potomac River.***

2 comments to Homemade Pizza

  • Don

    Your pizzas look delicious, and your article about them is interesting. I noticed you wrote this over a year ago and no one responded.

    Anyway, after making the dough ball and letting it raise once, I like to refrigerate the dough overnight or sometimes two days before I use it for pizza. It has way more taste, like sourdough only different in a way. The pizza tastes better and you don’t have to put as many toppings on to get a lot of flavor.

    Have fun with your pizzas! I’m on the west coast USA

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