Pizza is one of the most craved foods worldwide from the Italian cuisine palate. It is a flat round disk made from bread dough topped with veggies, like tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, cheese, and more. It’s traditionally baked in a wood-fired oven. Here’s a quick and easy pizza recipe to help you make delicious pizzas at home.
Pizza Recipe – Pizza Variations & How to Make Pizza at Home?
But before that, let’s discuss pizza variations and other key aspects.
The pizza variations are countless. Neapolitan Pizza, Chicago Pizza, Sicilian Pizza, and Greek Pizza, you name it. The variations are a result of the multiple transformations the pizza has undergone over the years. The basic and traditional variation of Pizza is Margherita, having only a few toppings, like tomato sauce, basil, and mozzarella. Variations of Pizza are defined by the type of crust or the base and the toppings used.
How to Make Pizza at Home?
Making pizza at home is no longer a challenge. The only complication, however, is that of creating a perfect base or crust. Breathe easy, pizza crust or base is readily available in the market. But a freshly prepared pizza crust ensures an authentic flavour.
Another vital thing to turn your pizza perfect is to bake it at the right temperature. Many use the store-bought pizza sauce to smear it on the pizza crust before adding the toppings. But using fresh pizza sauce adds energetic flavours to the homemade pizza.
Read on, as we discuss how to make a pizza at home. It includes creating a perfect pizza crust, tangy and aromatic pizza sauce, and then crispy and delectable pizza. So, let’s get started.
Homemade Pizza Recipe
Let’s divide the homemade pizza recipe into three parts: preparing pizza dough, making sauce, and baking pizza.
Preparing Pizza Dough
Here is a list of pizza ingredients required to prepare the perfect pizza dough.
- Yeast – 1 teaspoon
- Lukewarm water – 1 and ½ cups
- Raw sugar or maple syrup – 1 teaspoon
- All-purpose flour – 2 and ½ cups
- Olive oil – 1 and ½ tablespoons
- Salt – ½ teaspoon
- Make sure you have flour, yeast, and raw sugar or maple syrup at room temperature. Take them out from the refrigerator an hour before using them.
- Take a large mixing bowl and add lukewarm water to it. Make sure that water is not hot, as it will kill the yeast, and hence, your dough will not rise. To be more precise, maintain the temperature of the water to 40C or 105 to 110 F.
- Now add yeast and sugar or maple syrup to the lukewarm water. Ensure using only raw sugar and not refined one.
- Give it a good mix with a spoon and leave it undisturbed for around 10 to 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes or so, bubbles or foam will surface on the mixture. If the mixture does not turn frothy or bubbly, it indicates that the yeast you have used is inactive, and hence, discard using it.
- Once the yeast activates, add all-purpose flour, salt, and oil, and mix all well to form a smooth dough. Feel free to add a couple of additional tablespoons of water to ensure a well-kneaded dough. Ensure the dough is soft and non-sticky.
- Press the dough down with the heel of your hand and then fold it. Repeat this five to six times. The perfect dough is the one that bounces back slowly when you insert your finger into it.
- After the dough is ready, give it a round shape and apply a few drops of oil to it. Later, take a damp napkin and cover the dough with it. Allow the dough to rest until it rises double in size.
For the dough to rise, the ideal temperature is 26C to 32C or 80 F to 90 F. Therefore, the time required for the dough to rise depends on the temperature of your region. It may take one to four hours. But the best approach is to wait until the dough doubles in size.
Making Pizza Sauce
While the dough is set aside to rise, let us prepare a tangy pizza sauce for the pizza recipe. Below is the pizza ingredients list required for the sauce.
- Tomatoes – 4 to 5 medium-sized
- Oil – 1 and ½ teaspoons
- Chopped garlic cloves – 1 and ½ teaspoons
- Red chilli flakes – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – ¼ to ½ teaspoon
- Sugar – 1 teaspoon
- Italian herbs – 1 teaspoon
- Crushed black pepper – ½ teaspoon
- Crushed basil leaves – 4 to 5
- Take tomatoes and rinse them properly two to three times. You can create a cross-cut on either side of the tomatoes with a knife.
- Take a pan, add about 5 cups of water and let it boil. Add tomatoes to the boiling water and boil them until they leave their skin off. After they boil, allow them to cool.
- Once tomatoes cool completely, peel off the skin and add them to the blender. The pizza recipe requires you to blend the mixture well to form a consistent puree.
- Get another pan and put some oil in it. Ensure keeping the flame medium. After the oil turns hot, add chopped garlic cloves and saute them well until they leave their aroma.
- Later, add red chilli flakes, fresh tomato puree, salt, and sugar. Mix all well, cover the pan partially with its lid, and cook the sauce on low to medium flame. It is better to maintain the flame low as the sauce splashes out of the pan.
- Cook till the puree turns thick. Later, add Italian herbs, crushed pepper, and crushed basil leaves. Stir well and cook again for one minute.
- Once the sauce is ready, turn the flame off. Let it fully cool before transferring it to another bowl or jar. The sauce should have a spreading consistency and not be runny.
Preparing Topping and Baking Pizza
The next step of the pizza recipe involves choosing veggies and cutting them accordingly. Below is the list of veggies that will serve as toppings.
- Onion – 1 large
- Tomato – 1 large
- Bell pepper – 1 large
- Grated cheese as required
Cut onions, tomatoes, and bell pepper into long slices. Ensure the veggies are at room temperature. Feel free to add your favourite veggies, like corn or baby corn, jalapeno, paneer, etc., as a topping. This will help you personalise the taste.
- Once you are ready with the sauce and veggies, it is time to check the dough. Once it doubles in size, get it out of the bowl.
- Knead the dough to remove air bubbles and divide it into three parts. Moreover, knead all those three parts a little bit and turn them into a round shape.
Tip: You can refrigerate these balls for a couple of days. Interestingly, the pizza crust turns out crispier when the dough is cold fermented. However, the dough should be at room temperature once you decide to work on it.
- Once done with the dough, preheat the oven to 220C-140C for half an hour. Additionally, prefer placing the baking tray in the oven’s middle rack where it’ll be heated optimally. This will help you achieve crispy and golden color pizza.
- After the oven is preheated, take out the baking tray and dust some cornmeal over the tray. Take a dough ball, flatten it with your palms and stretch it out with fingers to spread it over the tray in a round shape. Apply any edible oil to your palms before flattening the dough.
- Now, take a fork and prick holes in the pizza base to avoid bubble formation and blistering during baking.
- Take sauce and spread it with a spoon on the base evenly. Now, it is time for grated cheese to go on the pizza base. Spread an even layer of cheese. Later, layer the base with your favourite veggies over, and again add another layer of cheese.
- Finally, sprinkle Italian herbs and chilli flakes on the top. Keep the baking tray in the preheated oven for about 12 minutes. Once the cheese melts, extract the tray and let it cool for a couple of minutes. Later, slice it as per your choice.
A homemade crispy pizza loaded with cheese is ready to serve. Have it with tomato ketchup and also add some chilli flakes and oregano to the pizza.
Here’re a few pro tips to add that zing to your pizza recipe.
- Yeast activation plays a very crucial role in making a perfect pizza base. Therefore, always add the flour only after the yeast activates or when the yeast mixture starts bubbling or frothing. In addition, instant yeast is also available, and you can add it directly to the flour or use the same method for activation as that of the active yeast.
- In our recipe, we have used one teaspoon of yeast. You can even lower the quantity of yeast to ⅓ teaspoon and allow the dough to rest for 8 to 10 hours or overnight. Using less yeast helps you to achieve a perfect pizza crust as we get in restaurants or pizzeria.
- Allow the pizza dough to rise as much as possible or double. Don’t go by the timing mentioned.
- For the thick crust pizza, bake the crust first for around 5 to 6 minutes. Later spread the sauce, add cheese, veggies, again a layer of cheese, and bake it again for 5 to 6 minutes.
- A healthier alternative to this pizza is using wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour. Though the wheat flour dough does not rise compared to the one made using all-purpose flour, it is healthier and has no effects on health. When using wheat flour, baking a thin crust pizza would be the best choice.
On the other hand, all-purpose flour or maida is prepared by bleaching chemically, which harms health. Therefore, you can either opt for organic all-purpose flour or pick wheat flour to make the pizza crust.
How to Bake Pizza on a Stovetop?
Isn’t it amazing that you can cook a homemade pizza on a stovetop? Even if you don’t have an oven to bake pizza, don’t worry. Follow the below instructions to bake pizza on a stovetop.
- While baking pizza on a stovetop, make sure to use less yeast, i.e., ⅓ teaspoon, and allow the dough to rest for a long time.
- Heat a pan on a medium flame. Make sure to choose the cast iron pan. Now, take a chunk of the dough and create a slightly thick chapati or roti. Once the pan turns hot completely, place the roti on it.
- Using a spatula, press all over the roti’s surface slightly and cook it until it puffs up and you notice brown spots on its base.
- Now flip it and put in some oil. Smear the sauce, add grated cheese, place your favourite veggies, again spread cheese on the top, and finally, sprinkle chilli flakes and Italian herbs.
- Place the lid over the pan and allow it to cook for around 5 to 7 minutes or until the cheese melts.
A crispy and flavourful homemade pizza on a stovetop is ready to serve.
How to Make a Pizza Dough Without Yeast?
If yeast isn’t available, here is an alternative to preparing a pizza base without yeast. Let us see what ingredients we need.
These are ingredients to make pizza dough minus yeast.
- All-purpose flour or wheat flour – 1 and ½ cups
- Baking soda – ¼ teaspoon
- Sugar – ¼ teaspoon
- Olive oil – 3 to 4 teaspoons
- Water – ⅓ cups
- Yoghurt – 2 tablespoons
- Salt – ¼ teaspoon
- In a mixing bowl, add yoghurt, sugar, olive oil, and salt. With a whisker, mix all well until the sugar dissolves.
- Later, add baking soda and give it a good mix.
- Finally, add flour and mix everything well. Slowly, put some water into the mixture and start kneading it until a fluffy dough is achieved.
- Spread a few drops of oil over the dough, cover it with a damp cotton cloth and keep it aside for more than an hour.
The rest of the pizza recipe is exactly the same as the one mentioned above.
Whenever you crave pizza, give this pizza recipe a try and experience cooking pizza at home in simple steps. As it is a time-taking recipe, we would suggest you try it on special occasions or weekends.
We have mentioned instructions for baking pizza in an oven and on a stovetop. In addition, we guided you to bake a pizza dough with and without yeast. Therefore, you can choose any one of these convenient options to bake pizza at home.
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