Today the race season came back and as a tradition in our house, we always have food to kick off the Daytona 500. This year we decided to do homemade pizza! I made 2 pizzas, one cheese pizza for the kiddos and 1 pepperoni and mushroom pizza for my husband and myself. In order to have everything ready around noon I started working on the dough at about 9:40a. You have to let the dough sit for about an hour in order to let it rise, so it gives you some time to spend with your family or complete some things around the house. After the hour you divide the dough, let it rest for 10 minutes, and then it’s time to get to work!!
The great thing about pizza is that you can put whatever you want on it! You can load it up with everything yummy or you can go with a simple cheese pizza. This past December we had the best experience with pizza. We were able to get our 7 year old to try a slice of cheese pizza for the first time in his life. It was a celebratory event in our house! With his Autism we are very limited on what he eats and on the rare occasion that he tries something new, it’s amazing! Either way, pizza can be fun and versatile and super easy to make at home!
I made the dough from scratch, but did use a store bought pizza sauce and bagged shredded cheese. I will be working on making my own pizza sauce soon! Feel free to use your own homemade pizza sauce and freshly shredded cheese if you like. Once everything comes together it only takes about 15-18 minutes in a 425 degree oven before you have a delicious pizza to enjoy!
The recipe is down below and I hope it turns out as great for you and your family as it did for mine! Just remember you can use whatever ingredients you like on your pizzas. Enjoy!!
For the dough:
3 1/2 – 4 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 packet Instant Dry Yeast (I use the quick rise)
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups of warm water, roughly 110 degree
2 tablespoons of olive oil (or in a pinch canola works fine), plus 2 teaspoons
In the bowl of your stand mixer combine all dry ingredients on low speed. With the mixer on, add the warm water and the 2 tablespoons of oil, gradually upping the speed on the mixer. If the dough is too sticky, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. Dump the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead gently into a smooth ball. Take the extra 2 teaspoons of oil and brush the inside of a medium sized mixing bowl. Place the dough into the oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm location and allow the dough to rise for roughly an hour until doubled in size. After an hour, dump dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead once or twice and then cut the dough into 2 even halves. Form each piece into a ball and cover with a kitchen town to rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
On a lightly floured surface, take one of the dough balls and begin gently spreading it out in a circle. Using your finger, gently press around the the edges to spread the dough out while simultaneously making a crust. Pick the dough up and slowly spin it around (to stretch it out). I use a circular pizza baking sheet and will place the dough on the sheet to make sure it has been stretched enough.
For the pizza
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup shredded cheddar
Fresh sliced mushrooms
Your favorite pizza sauce
Take the homemade crust and place it on the pizza baking sheet. Add a ladle and a half of pizza sauce in the center of the dough and use the bottom of the ladle to spread the pizza sauce out in a circular motion. You only need a thin layer of pizza sauce! For a plain cheese pizza, you just add the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses evenly around the pizza. For the pepperoni and mushroom pizza start with with a small amount of the mozzarella cheese on top of the pizza sauce. Add 20-50 slices of pepperoni, to taste. Add as many or as few mushrooms as you like. Add the remaining cheeses on top of the pepperoni and mushrooms. Once the ingredients are all in place, brush the crust with olive oil (for an added bit of flavor try garlic infused oil!). Place your pizza in a 400 degree oven and bake for 15-18 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly! Check your pizza half way through, if the cheese is getting dark on one side, rotate the pizza half a turn for the last 7 minutes or so.
Once again, enjoy your pizza!