Homemade Pizza Success (& Failure)
Not going to lie, I was pretty nervous to try making homemade pizza dough for the first time. I mean yeast is alive..how creepy is that? But I decided to be brave and tackle my first homemade pizza. Everything was mostly successful, but there were a few casualties–let me explain.
First of all, homemade pizza sauce is very easy, so if you’re afraid of the homemade dough, at least go for the homemade sauce. The sauce was super flavorful with all the dried herbs that go into it, and you can make it ahead of time and just keep it in the fridge.
The pizza dough doesn’t have many ingredients, and the recipe I used didn’t require any rising time, which made it a little simpler. I’m definitely going to try a different recipe next time now that I have a little experience under my belt. Once you let the sugar and yeast sit (and bubble and grow…) for five minutes, you add and stir in flour and salt. Then you knead the dough, which is actually quite fun, except I definitely *need* (ha!) more practice with it since I never know when to stop. I was doing great and then…
Lesson #1–Roll (or stretch) your pizza dough thinner than you think, since it rises in the oven, obviously. I wasn’t sure how thin it should be, so when I pre-baked it (baking before adding any toppings), it came out WAY too thick even though I had pricked it all over with a fork. It was probably a good ½ inch thick, maybe more. So…I rolled it out again, even though it had already baked for 5 minutes, which made the edges split. It was no longer the pretty pizza I had imagined, but it was the right thickness!
Lesson #2–You don’t need that much pizza sauce. I added a relatively thick layer of it, covering the whole mini pizza. It had great flavor, but it was way more than necessary to get the right balance of crust, sauce, and toppings. When you spread your sauce on top of the crust, it’s good to still see the crust through the sauce. Too much sauce could lead to a soggy crust.
Lesson #3–If you’re going to use fresh mozzarella, you need to slice it very thin and pat/gently squeeze the moisture before baking. It’s so delicious, but does have a high water content, which can create little puddles on your pizza. Luckily, I did pretty well with my slices, so this wasn’t a huge factor.
Lesson #4–Pizza Stones are way more complicated than I thought…and I cracked mine the first time using it. How depressing is that? I checked out this article to look into what mistakes I made, and I checked off quite a few boxes. So please do your research before using your brand new, beautiful pizza stone.
Overall, I learned a lot about making pizza and it tasted pretty good.
If you want to check out more tips on how to make your own pizza, here’s the article from Food Network that helped me understand the mistakes I made.
I have to admit, I bought two cans of Pillsbury Pizza Crust (see below) just in case since we were having friends over. It was so easy to make and tasted just as good, if not better. So, we’ll see if I continue the hunt for the best homemade pizza dough or not. To be continued…
Pizza Sauce (1 large pizza)
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1-2 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning*
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ Tbsp garlic salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
*I didn’t have any Italian seasoning, so I substituted 2 tsp of each: dried basil, dried thyme, and dried rosemary.
Pizza Dough (1 large pizza)
- 1 cup warm water (105-110℉)
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast (≈ 2 packets)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt