Making The Perfect Pizza

How many of you love pizza? …or at least have kids that do? Okay, how many of you have a pizza stone? If you are like most of us, it is probably stashed somewhere in the depths of your kitchen cupboards, unopened and untouched since you received it as a wedding gift…oh, about six or eight years ago. With Papa John’s on speed dial, or a local favorite pizza joint right down the road, making your own pizza just seems like too much work, right? I am here to say absolutely not.

I am going to show you how to make perfect gourmet pizzas in the comfort of your own kitchen in just minutes. It is a fun family activity. It gives you better control over the quality of ingredients used. And the pizzas taste great! Are you up for the challenge? Okay…here we go.

 

Equipment
Homemade pizza ingredients
  • Pizza Stone
  • Pizza Cutter
  • Cutting Board
  • Oven Mitts
  • Hot Pads

Ingredients

Toppings Ideas
  • Pizza Dough – Pre-made dough balls available at most grocery stores. If not, I have also purchased dough balls from local pizza shops for a couple dollars.
  • Flour – Small amount for handling, prepping, and spreading pizza dough.
  • Mozzarella Cheese – Finely shredded works best.
  • Tomato Sauce – 8-oz can is just the right size.
  • Oregano
  • Onion Salt
  • Favorite Toppings
  • Chicken Breast, Bell Peppers, and Onions
  • Ham/Canadian Bacon and Pineapple
  • Chicken Breast, Pre-cooked Potatoes, and Rosemary
  • Chicken Breast, Tomatoes, and Onions
  • Chicken Breast, Pineapple, and Tomatoes
  • Chicken Sausage and Onions
  • Pepperoni, Jalapenos, and Onions
  • Pepperoni, Mushrooms, and Onions

Preparation
  • Place bare pizza stone in oven on the middle rack and pre-heat to 500°F (DO NOT GREASE or SPRAY).
  • Allow to pre-heat for approximately 20 minutes to heat pizza stone all the way through.
  • Remove pizza dough from refrigerator and bring to room temperature (it may start to rise slightly).
  • Prepare your favorite toppings.
  • Slice and cut veggies.
  • Remove cheese from the refrigerator.
  • Sprinkle some loose flour on a clean surface (countertop or table).
  • Remove the pizza dough from the packaging – be sure to sprinkle some flour on your hands and the dough to make it easier to handle.
  • Use the heal of your hand to flatten and shape the dough – be sure to not flatten to much or to create areas that are too thin and be sure that the diameter of the pie is not too big for your pizza stone.
  • Once the oven has reached 500°F, and the pizza stone has been in pre-heating for at least 20 minutes, it is time to get the show on the road.
  • WARNING: THE PIZZA STONE IS 500°F! DO NOT TOUCH!!! Using thick oven mitts, remove the pizza stone from the oven and place it on the stove top. DO NOT PLACE IT ON YOUR COUNTERTOP, as it may melt or blister the surface.
  • Carefully pick up the pizza dough and drop it on the pizza stone. Use a fork to remove folds and straighten. The flour on the dough should prevent it from sticking to the pizza stone.
  • Since the pizza stone is 500°F, the pizza dough will start to cook, so try to load the pizza toppings as quickly as possible.
  • Pour the 8-oz can of tomato sauce on the dough and sprinkle with some oregano and onion salt.
  • Quickly add your favorite toppings.
  • We usually put most of the toppings under the cheese, but sometimes put onions and peppers on top to roast and cook them a bit more.
  • Cover everything with shredded cheese (roughly one 8-oz bag, maybe a little less).
  • CAREFULLY place the pizza stone back in the oven.
  • WARNING: The pizza stone will still be very hot, so use thick oven mitts to pick it up.
  • It usually helps to slide out the oven rack in order to get the pizza stone loaded up.
  • Set the timer for 9-10 minutes and get the family ready for a tasty dinner.
  • Keep an eye on the cheese and when it starts to brown (between 9 and 10 minutes), it is usually ready to be removed.
  • To remove the hot pizza stone from the oven, again it makes things easier if you slide out the oven rack.
  • Use thick oven mitts to remove the pizza stone.
  • Immediately remove the pizza from the pizza stone, or it will continue to (over)cook.
  • The pizza should not stick, and should just slide off the stone when you tilt it. If it does stick a bit, just run a fork around the edges.
  • Cut the pizza into six or eight slices, crack open a nice cold beer or soda, and ENJOY!!

If you have any questions, or other suggestions for making the perfect pizza at home in your own kitchen, please join the conversation in the comments below, or in the comments over on our Facebook page.

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