When we received our Kitchenaid stand mixer last Christmas, one of the items I was most excited to make at home was pizza! I love pizza and find it very hard to find good pizza in our area. (Although we did stop for lunch at Pizzeria Toro in Durham and we really love that!) This past winter I was only working part-time and so I started making homemade pizza a lot. It helped us hone in on how to make good pizza, what sauces and cheeses we like, and how to cook it perfectly.
One of our favorites that we haven’t looked back on, is the Nello’s marinara sauce. It’s actually made locally and it has the best flavor! I’ve become so picky on tomato sauce because some are too sweet and over powering that I don’t get to appreciate the other ingredients, but Nello’s has been the perfect solution. Plus it’s great to shop local!
To start with homemade pizza, I love to use Bobby Flay’s pizza dough recipe:
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling (Chef’s Note: Using bread flour will give you a much crisper crust. If you can’t find bread flour, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour which will give you a chewier crust.)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 envelope instant dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons
Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.
Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay © 2015 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.
A few ingredients and about an hour later, you have an excellent pizza dough, like above! Yum!
Once your ready to cook, preheat your oven as high as it can really go. If you can get it to 500 degrees, that would be great. You don’t need a pizza stone, but if you have one, make sure to preheat the stone! If you’re cooking on cookie sheet, it’s good to pop it into the oven for a few minutes too. While doing so, roll out the dough with a rolling pin, or even a glass! Stretch it, roll it fluff it with your hand on a floured surface. Grease your baking sheet if you’re using one and place the dough on the baking sheet and roll it out a bit more. Go ahead and put the dough in the over to crisp up for 3-4 minutes before we add any more ingredients.
Once the dough has crisped (check underneath to dough to see if it is no longer sticking), take the dough out of the oven and add all ingredients except for the cheese, and cooking for another 4-5 minutes. Take the pizza out and add your fresh mozzarella (use fresh!), bake for 2-3 minutes, and broil for the last minute to bubble the cheese, and viola! All done! Definitely use your oven light though and vary your cooking times depending on your oven and how quickly it bakes though.
Use any of your favorite ingredients and you’ll have an amazing pizza!