Cheesy, Tomatoey Goodness
Learning how to make pizza is easier than you would think. Start with the crust, add sauce and the cheese of your choice, and top with fresh herbs and desired pizza toppings. The best pizzas, we've found, are the ones topped with the freshest ingredients.
For the chewiest, crispiest crust, you'll need two tools. A hot oven and a hot baking stone will do the trick -- and if you don't have a baking stone in your kitchen, just use a cornmeal-dusted baking sheet.
Get the recipe for this Fresh Tomato Pizza with Oregano and Mozzarella here.
Step 1: Make the Dough
In a large mixing bowl combine 1-1/4 cups of the flour, the yeast, and salt; add warm water and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Divide dough in half. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Make the Sauce
Using your favorite herbs (we like oregano, basil, and garlic!) and crushed tomatoes, you can make your own sweet-and-savory tomato sauce.
Spicy Puttanesca Sauce
Add 1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata or ripe olives, 1 tablespoon capers, and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
Tomato Basil-Pesto Sauce
Whisk in 1/2 cup Pesto alla Genovese (see recipe) into the pasta sauce. Taste and add more if desired.
Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of garlic oil (see Caramelized Garlic recipe) and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper.
Step 3: Add Toppings & Bake
Next you'll add the cheese, meat, and veggies of your choice. Sometimes basic is best -- we love loading up on cheese and more fresh herbs. Crank the oven to 500°F and transfer your pizza creation to a prepared pizza pan or that trusty pizza stone. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes (less time with the pizza stone, and more time if using a baking sheet or pizza pan).