Pizza. Is there a more perfect food? Thick Chicago-style deep dish, thin cracker crust, veggie lovers and meat lovers — I love it all. But nothing beats homemade.
This week, I spent nearly two hours in the kitchen over a 550 degree oven after a long day at work. But that first bite of cheesy, garlicky goodness made it all worth it.
Like I said, homemade pizza is definitely a labor of love. You can cut down on the time by using store bought pizza dough, but I have yet to find one that compares to the from-scratch stuff. I use this pizza dough recipe from one of my favorite recipe blogs, budgetbytes.com. If you haven’t checked it out, definitely do. Not only are the recipes delicious, but she prices everything out by recipe and serving so you can get a sense of how far your money is going. This was an absolute life-saver in college!
Once you make it through the pizza dough making process, it’s time to pick your toppings! A beautiful ball of mozzarella I spotted in the grocery store this week inspired me to go with the Italian classic of fresh mozzarella, whole plum tomatoes, and basil. I added a half teaspoon of sugar to a half cup of my marinara sauce and spread a thin layer over the dough before piling it with fresh toppings. After about an hour preheating in a 550 degree oven, my pizza stone was hot enough to bake this treat in just a few minutes.
My fire alarm went off and the temperature in my apartment went up by about 15 degrees, but I think I’ll be making this again next week already.
- Pizza dough
- 1/2 c. marinara sauce
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 medium ball fresh mozzarella
- Half of a 28 oz. can whole, peeled plum tomatoes
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced
- Handful of fresh basil
- 2 tbls. Corn meal
- Preheat your oven to 550 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, allow the stone to heat in the oven for about an hour.
- Heat your marinara sauce in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the sugar and allow to simmer until sugar has dissolved.
- Once your pizza stone has had an hour to preheat, roll out your dough on a pizza paddle covered in corn meal.
- Once your dough is rolled out to your desired thickness, top with a thin layer of marinara sauce, slices of fresh mozzarella, whole tomatoes, and garlic. I broke my tomatoes up a bit before adding them to the pizza, but that’s a preference thing. Feel free to break them up or add the whole tomato.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 5-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your crust. If you went for a very thick crust and are not using a pizza stone, it may take as long as 30 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh basil, parmesan and crushed red pepper. Enjoy!