Ok, so I have to admit. I am quite the pizza snob. I don’t crave pizza too much and it isn’t my favorite, but when I do eat it, I want the real deal. My family and I lived in Perth, Australia (AMAZING experience!) and there was this quaint café called Pizzaca with wood fired pizza that was so good. I know it is probably not common to think of pizza when I mention Australia, as most people talk about the best pizza coming from New York, Chicago, etc., but this pizza held its own! The many options of flavors and toppings inspired me to think outside the box with pizza. The butter and cheese in Perth was so fresh, delicious, and rich with flavor in comparison to what we were used to in the U.S. Quality ingredients make all the difference! When we returned from Australia, we started experimenting making our own pizza.
My family will sometimes hit the chain restaurants for pizza, however I much prefer homemade. It is super easy, inexpensive, and to me tastes so much better. And you can be so creative! It is perfect for when kids or company come over because you can make individual pizzas and everyone can put whatever toppings they want. I really like Barefoot Contessa’s pizza crust recipe. The addition of honey gives it a nice flavor. If you have never made your own pizza crust, it is SUPER easy! The Kitchen Aid mixer (need a dough hook) does almost all of the work. You could also even make calzones using the dough. Have an awesome combination? Please share below in the comment section!Print
- Pizza Crust (I make Barefoot Contessa’s recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/white-pizzas-with-arugula-recipe2-2124588 (You could use store bought or make your own)
- 1 14oz. jar of store bought pizza sauce (Rao’s, Dellalo, or Classico)
- 1 package Turkey Pepperoni or Regular Pepperoni (I use Boars Head)
- 1–2 cups of Cooked Italian Sausage or Turkey Sausage
- ~2 cups of Mozzarella Cheese (shredded or very thinly sliced)
- ¼ cup Fresh Basil
- Make pizza dough (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/white-pizzas-with-arugula-recipe2-2124588) and allow to rise (30 min). Be sure the hot water is right temperature (100-110) for yeast to dissolve and activate!
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees and if you have a pizza stone, put in the oven as the oven is heating.
- Take your pizza dough and roll out as thin as you can on floured surface (pizza peel, cutting board, parchment paper).
- Transfer pizza dough to pizza stone (pull out from heating) or cookie sheet
- Spread thin layer of pizza sauce and Pepperoni and top with desired amount of cheese. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted. I always put basil on when the pizza comes out so it doesn’t burn
TRY THESE FUN OPTIONS:
Margherita Pizza: Spread with thin layer of preferred pizza sauce, thinly sliced (1/4-1/2 inch) fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes, and fresh Mozzarella, drizzled olive oil and chopped garlic I top with julienned fresh basil at end of cooking (so it doesn’t brown)
Meat Pizza: Pizza Sauce, shredded Mozzarella, Cooked Italian sausage, ground beef, ham, bacon
Hawaiian: Chopped Pineapple, Ham, and Red Pepper Flakes
Roasted Veggie: Roast favorite vegetables in oven beforehand and top on pizza with mozzarella and/or herbed goat cheese. (Ex: Mushroom, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, squash, Onions) Instead of red pizza sauce use basil pesto as sauce! YUM!
Basic Cheese Pizza: Pizza sauce and combination of your favorite cheeses (Mozzarella, Romano, Parmigiano, etc.)