How to Make the BEST Pizza

Pizza is everywhere!

It’s at almost every sleepover, cafeteria, birthday party, and a common meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. People may enjoy the typical Domino’s pizza or simple Jack’s pizza, but I love homemade pizza. Having homemade pizza dough takes the meal to the next level, and it’s not hard to make at all. With a few simple ingredients and some time, anybody can have the best pizza ever from their own home.

The first step is making the dough. This is only four simple ingredients: flour, honey, water, and yeast. In a large bowl take ¾ cup of warm water. Make sure it isn’t super-hot or cold otherwise the yeast will not proof. Pour in one packet of active dry yeast, and two tablespoons of honey. Give the yeast five to ten minutes to proof. By proofing the yeast should bubble up in the warm water notifying you that the yeast is ready to be mixed into the dough. Once the yeast has proofed slowly add in 3 ½ cups of flour. I go about a cup at a time and mix the flour into the yeast mixture with a large wooden spoon. Once three cups of flour are mixed in, I transfer the dough mixture onto a clean surface and knead the remaining ½ cup into the dough. To prevent the dough from sticking to my hands I coat them lightly with flour before kneading. After kneading the dough for about 10 minutes transfer it into a new bowl with about a ¼ cup of olive oil coating the bottom. With the dough mixed up set it in a warm area with a towel covering it to sit for 30 minutes to rise.

After 30 minutes the dough should be double the size, it was before. To prep for the dough, place a flat baking sheet into the oven and preheat it to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. By doing this step the pan will evenly cook the bottom of the pizza, making the crust crunchy, but keeping the toppings from burning.  Retuning to a clean surface with another ¼ cup of flour knead the dough until all the flour is gone. I like to make a personal pizza for myself when I cook so I tear a small piece off and return the rest of the dough to a bowl into the refrigerator. The dough lasts about a week, but each time I use it after being in the refrigerator I add a little more flour and make sure to knead it again. While the pan is preheating with the oven roll out your dough. If you don’t have a rolling pin no need to worry. I always do the pushing method and slowly stretch my dough out to the desired thickness. I think it is easiest to transfer the dough to the hot pan without toppings on it, but to save time you can dress the pizza before the putting it on the pan. Once the dough is done being rolled out it’s time for the fun part TOPPINGS!

I really enjoy having saucy pizza, so I pile it on to evenly coat each spot. My secret ingredient for extra flavor is a little sprinkling of Italian seasoning, and I also enjoy a little spice, so I add red pepper flakes. To make the best pizza I use fresh mozzarella, but shredded works just fine and taste delicious too. By using fresh mozzarella, you must drain the cheese and pat dry before adding it to the pizza. Doing this prevents the pizza from getting soggy or having too much greasy from the excess of liquid. Once the cheese is evenly spread across the pizza, I add some pepperoni because I’m a very simple person. However, you can dress your pizza however you would like, that’s one of the best reasons that homemade pizza is the best. Once all toppings are placed the pizza goes into the oven for around 10-15 minutes. Each oven cooks differently and people like to have their pizza done different ways so I would check the pizza at 10 minutes and add a few if it’s not done yet.

Once the pizza is done, I let it sit on the pan for a couple more minutes before transferring it to plate. Being a bit extra I add some basil to my pizza and can’t forget a little bit of parmesan. Once sliced up I enjoy my delicious pizza. My favorite part of making homemade pizza is the freedom I have with it. Sometimes I even do a white alfredo sauce instead of the typical marinara, or even making it a desert pizza with a chocolate sauce and fruit on top. So, try out making the dough yourself and making the BEST PIZZA EVER!

Grace Tath

I am a freshman at Stephens College. I play softball and am majoring in Fashion Marketing and Management. I'm originally from Iowa and love baking.

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