We love to make our own pizza and set out toppings so all the kids can create their own pizza their way!
This recipe tastes great, we especially love the pizza crust.
Try it for a family night activity, along with a good movie!
- 1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- Big pinch of sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 1/4 to 31/2 cups unbleached flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups grated white Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella
- Toppers, such as sliced or chopped cooked meats and/or vegetables
- Pour 1/3 cup of the warm water into a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Now proof the yeast by stirring the sugar into it with a fork and letting it set for 5 to 8 minutes to see if the liquid turns frothy. If it does, you know it's active; if not, you'll need to start again with a fresh package of yeast.
- Combine the dissolved yeast with the remaining water, the olive oil, and the salt in a large bowl. Stir well. Add 2 cups of the flour and beat well by hand for 100 strokes. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining flour 1/3 cup at a time, beating well each time. When the dough can no longer be stirred and is firm enough to knead, turn it out onto a floured surface. With floured hands, knead the dough for 7 to 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
- Put the dough in a large, clean, lightly oiled bowl, turning it once to coat both sides. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm, draft-free spot until the dough doubles in bulk, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough several times to deflate it, then knead it again on a lightly floured surface for 1 minute. Divide the dough in half. Knead each half into a ball and set them aside on the floured surface, covered with plastic wrap, to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, lightly oil 1 very large or 2 medium-large baking sheets. Dust the sheets lightly with cornmeal.
- Once the dough has rested, roll or pat each ball into a large circle. The dough should be quite thin, about 1/4 inch, but not paper-thin. If the dough springs back as you work with it, let it rest for 2 minutes before trying again.
- Carefully lift each dough circle onto a baking sheet. If you're baking both on a single sheet, be sure to leave some room between them. Loosely cover the crusts with plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes. Heat the oven to 425°.
- Brush the edge of each crust with olive oil. Next, divide the tomato sauce evenly between the crusts, spreading it nearly up to the edge. Sprinkle half of the Cheddar cheese onto the pizzas. Add your choice of toppings, as thickly or as sparingly as you like, then top with the rest of the Cheddar cheese and all of the mozzarella.
- Put the baking sheet on the center oven rack. If you're using 2 sheets, stagger them on separate shelves so they aren't directly lined up with each other. Switch the positions halfway through baking. Bake the pizzas until the cheese bubbles and the edges are golden brown, about 18 to 22 minutes.
- Slide the pizzas onto large wire racks and let them cool for 5 to 8 minutes before slicing and serving. Makes 12 medium slices, or 4 to 6 servings.