One of the easiest and tastiest doughs that graces our home most Friday nights is homemade pizza. Not only is it very forgiving, but everyone can tailor it to their own preferences, making it the perfect experiment for kids and a great meal for families. You can go crazy with toppings, or keep it simple with cheese or pepperoni. If you’re like me, it’s a time to clean out my fridge and see what I have that would be yummy on top of a pizza. I also like adding unique ingredients. One of my favorites is a brie, ham and apple pizza drizzled with honey. Pizza night has so many endless combinations that it is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
One of the best parts about this pizza recipe is that you can make the dough ahead of time…as in two to three days ahead! Mix together the ingredients and then throw it in a covered bowl and let it sit in the fridge for a couple days before pulling it out for family pizza night. Retarding the dough for this length of time actually enhances the flavor of the dough. But don’t worry, if you decide on pizza last minute or just keep forgetting to make it ahead of time, it will still turn out great.
I love using parchment paper and a pizza stone for homemade pizza. To get that beautiful crispy crust, a pizza stone makes a big difference. With that said, I used to make pizza all the time on a sheet pan. The crust never got super crispy, but it was still delicious. So, don’t let not having a pizza stone stop you from trying out this recipe. My kids absolutely love making their own mini pizzas. I like to set all my toppings out on the table and give each child their individual amount of cheese (we’ve got cheese hoarders around here). Everyone gets to work rolling out their own small piece of dough (it doesn’t have to be a complete circle) and topping it with whatever they want.
Another tip for delicious home-made pizza is cranking your oven up HOT! That will make for a crisp crust but a delicious middle. You want to bake your pizzas anywhere from 475-500 degrees and they will usually only take a few minutes. Make sure you preheat your pizza stone too.
I usually make one large pizza for our family and then my four kids all make their own. As they finish topping their pizzas I’ll bake them quickly and then bake our family pizza. The whole process takes maybe half an hour…for five pizzas. I love pizza night for getting my hands doughy and because I never have complaints from the kids.
And full disclosure: my freezer is still stocked with Costco frozen pizza because life is all about balance, you know 🙂
Yield: 2 large pizzas OR 1 large and 4 mini kid-sized pizzas
Time: 10 minute mix, overnight rise-3 day rise, 10 minute prep, 10 minute bake
- 2 cups of warm milk (you can also use warm water)
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
- 4-5 cups of flour all-purpose (can also do half whole wheat/half all purpose flour)
- Favorite pizza sauce
- Unlimited toppings
- Shredded mozzarella cheese (2-3 cups)
- Warm the milk (not too hot, you want it the temperature of a baby’s bathwater). Pour the milk into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a bowl to knead by hand). Add the sugar, instant yeast, salt, garlic powder and oil. Then, a cup at a time, add the flour. Use the dough hook to mix. Continue adding flour until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but is still a little sticky. Knead for about five minutes.
- For the most flavor, put the dough in a bowl and cover it. Leave in the fridge overnight or up to 3 days. When ready to use, divide the dough in two (or more depending on how many mini pizzas you are going to make). Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
- If you would rather use the dough immediately after mixing, divide the dough into two balls for two large pizzas, or make 1 large pizza and 4-5 mini kid-sized pizzas. Let dough rest for about 10 minutes before rolling out.
- Before rolling out the dough, place a pizza stone in your oven and preheat to 475-500 degrees.
- Place each ball of dough on a piece of parchment paper. Use a little flour if necessary to roll out, stretch with your hands and shape your pizza. Let the dough rest for a minute and then continue rolling or stretching dough to your desired thickness.
- Top with your favorite pizza toppings and bake. Large pizzas should bake in 8-10 minutes. Mini pizzas will take around 5-6 minutes. Enjoy!
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