Time for thin crust pizza
Here’s a great recipe for homemade pizza on the grill or in the oven. This picture is a pizza I made on the grill for the first time. I’ve made plenty in the oven, but I had to try the grilling method. I really like it, a lot.
My dough was too big for the pan, which is why you see an abundance of crust.
Dough (makes 2)
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 + 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 1 + 1/2 cups cold water (many recipes call for adding warm water to the yeast and letting it proof before adding the other ingredients, this one is a bit different)
- fresh sliced pepperoni (about 1/8th of a pound)
- 3 tablespoons tomato sauce with a sprinkling of basil and oregano (or marinara sauce)
- 1/2 cup whole milk shredded mozzarella cheese (or as much as you like)
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated Parmesan cheese for after the pizza is done
- salt and pepper to taste (add to sauce)
- 1 tablespoon corn meal
The dough: In a large bowl add the dry ingredients and combine. Next add the olive oil and water and mix well. Once you have all the ingredients incorporated your mixture should start looking like a big ball of dough. If it seems a little sticky, add a teaspoon or two of flour. Knead your dough for about 5 to 6 minutes right in the bowl. You can put it on a clean work surface dusted with flour if you prefer that method. I feel it’s easier to do it in the bowl, if the bowl is large enough. Plus clean up is easier. Divide the dough into 2 separate balls. Place them on an oiled pan or cookie sheet and cover with a clean dish towel, let rise for 1 hour. Now your dough is ready. If you want to use it later or the next day you can cover it in loose plastic and refrigerate. Use within 2 days.
Preheat your oven or grill. Oven with pizza stone at 450 F, the grill about 500 F.
Making a pizza: On a lightly floured clean surface, form 1 ball of the dough. Stretch it and if you’re brave you can toss it like the cool pizza dudes. I just stretch it and turn it over a few times on the floured counter until I get the shape and thickness I want. It doesn’t have to be round unless you’re using a round pizza pan like the one I used for grilling. Transfer the dough to a pizza peel or large (easy to handle) cutting board that is dusted with the corn starch for easy transfer, or onto the pizza grill pan. Make sure it slides easily, this part can be tricky if you’re trying to transfer it onto a pizza stone in a hot oven. Press the dough toward the edges to get the crust formed. It should be thicker around the edges depending on how much crust you like. That’s the beauty of making your own pizza, make it how you like it.
Next top the dough with the sauce or marinara, sprinkle on the spices, add the mozzarella, and top generously with pepperoni. Once the oven or grill is ready just pop the pizza in and close the lid or door. The one I made on the grill (pictured) cooked surprisingly fast, about 5-6 minutes. If you are making it in the oven it takes about 10 minutes. Keep checking it the last few minutes so you don’t burn it. Voila! You have a delicious homemade pizza. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
Here’s the grill pan I used. I bought it at Williams Sonoma. I actually use this for veggies on the grill too.
You can make another pizza with the other half of the dough or save it for tomorrow. I actually made a round loaf of bread with the other dough, and it was delicious. (My daughter’s idea) I took it out of the fridge, kneaded it for 2 minutes, formed it back into a ball and let it rise for 1 hour. I baked it in the round shape. I added some garlic granules and mixed seeds, then brushed it with melted butter. Bake for 22 minutes at 425 F. I was surprised it was excellent bread.
A few notes:
- As you’re forming the dough, constantly check the underside to make sure it moves easily if you’re transferring it to a pizza stone in the oven. You don’t have to worry about that if you’re using a grill pan.
- I use King Arthur flour or Trader Joe’s flour.
- Always check your yeast for freshness. If it’s out of date don’t use it.
- You can use any topping you want. Plain cheese is always a good option too.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try different recipes until you find the one you like. You’ll be glad you did. Homemade pizza is awesome!
- Ovens and grills differ quite a bit, keep an eye and adjust the temp as needed.
- I don’t measure the toppings exactly, add as much as you want.
- Use quality ingredients, it matters.
- If you haven’t made pizza before, please try it. It might take a few times till you get it right. Don’t give up, it’s worth it. If you want to make it in the oven and don’t have a pizza stone you can use a cookie sheet or other pan, the crust wont be as crisp, but it’s a start.
- Don’t add too much sauce, I did that the first time or two when I first started making pizzas. You don’t need much sauce.
- Have fun cooking. It’s not a chore until the dishes need washing.