I’m not the best pizza maker in the family; that honor goes to my son Sean, who makes the most delicious pizza I’ve ever eaten. Since pizza is my favorite food, that’s saying a lot. So if I can make good pizza at home, anyone can. I’ve taught or made pizza to and with a few folks including parents and kids over the years and they, in turn, have made it with family and friends as it’s a fun group project. It’s simple for the solo cook as well. I made the first grilled pizza I ever saw back in the mid ’80s. And you? Always wanted to make pizza? Frightened off by words like yeast or wood-fire? Have an oven and a rimmed sheet pan? You’re in business, about to eat well, and this post is for you!
Food and health guru, writer Michael Pollan is fond of saying,
“Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”
While pizza isn’t exactly junk food as it’s often full of good things, it is highly caloric for the nutrition available. It’s also really easy to chow down on it. If you make it yourself, you’ll be careful about how much you eat because you had to make it! Try making the salad first and eating it while the pizza bakes. You’ll eat less pizza. Do include the kids: get them in on the baking; they love to make pizza and you’ll add a great skill to their arsenal of abilities. To say nothing of the positive memories.
This pizza, based on a Tyler Florence recipe, makes 12 or 15 pieces –enough for 4 to 6 people–and goes from start of dough to ready-to-eat in about an hour and a half. Maybe less. The dough recipe makes enough for two pizzas, so you could be prepping a second while the first bakes if you have a crowd. It uses no special equipment like a pizza stone or pizza peel. In fact, if you don’t have a pizza cutter (the little gizmo handle with a spiffy wheel at the end), you are not in trouble; a knife works fine and perhaps better. You’ll need a large bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a saucepan, a jellyroll or half-sheet pan (2 for $8.99 at COSTCO), and a stove with an oven. If you have a standing electric mixer like a Kitchen Aid, that will help make the dough, but if not, your hands and arms will work just as well and you won’t have to lift weights that day. I give directions for both methods. You can also pick up fresh dough from your local pizza place or the grocery store (check refrigerated section), but it’s just as fast and much cheaper to make it.
If you’re not in tonight’s class, try this at home and join us that way: