The Perfect Pizza Crust and Sauce

Pizza

I read it somewhere on the internet. This week is National Pizza Week.

It is usually pizza week at our house every week and some form of pizza is on the menu just about every week.  Sometimes it is from Papa Murphy’s and sometimes it is homemade.

This week in honor of National Pizza Week I made homemade pizza.

Pizza

If I ever had to choose just one food item to eat the rest of my life, it would be pizza.  I love pizza.  I am a boring pizza eater though.  I like cheese.  Yes, plain cheese.  Sometimes I get a little wild and add black olives on my pizza.  I know, watch out!

I grew up in the midwest, an hour north of Chicago in a very Italian town.  We had lots of amazing pizza restaurants so I ate a lot of pizza.  Like I said – I love pizza.  So here are a few of my pizza crust making tips.

The crust can make or break the pizza.  I prefer a medium thickness of crust – not too thin and not too thick – just right and crisp on the bottom.  No soggy crust!

I let the dough rise for at least an hour, a couple of hours won’t hurt.

Pizza

If I have bread flour in the house I use it otherwise just plain old flour will do.

There are two pizza making tools that come in handy – a wooden paddle and a pizza stone.  Not essential but they make the job easier and the crust crisper.  If you don’t have a pizza paddle use the backside of a cookie sheet.

I put a light coating of cornmeal onto the pizza paddle (which I got at Target for less than $20.00)  Go buy yourself one, really!  It makes pizza making so much more fun and makes you feel so professional.

Pizza

Then add the dough.

Pizza

You can just use your hands like they do at the pizza place but I prefer a rolling pin to roll out my dough.

Pizza

About 30 minutes before you want to cook your pizza place your pizza stone into the oven and heat the oven to about 450 degrees.  You want that stone nice and hot!  As you can see my pizza stone is well used and so is my oven!
Pizza

After rolling out your dough add a layer of sauce.  I like a medium layer of sauce, not too heavy.

Pizza

Next comes your toppings.  Most of my family likes pepperoni and black olive so I usually do our pizza 1/2 cheese and 1/2 pepperoni and black olive. Ocassionally some of those black olives sneak over onto my cheese side.

Pizza

And then the cheese.  I like to use the real, ungrated mozzarella cheese (the big round ball, not the pregrated stuff).  It really makes a difference in the texture and flavor of the pizza I think.

Pizza

As a finishing touch I give it a light sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese too.

Then it goes into the oven.  Just slide it right off the paddle onto the hot stone.

Pizza

About ten minutes later you have a delicious, cheesy pizza!

Pizza

Now the question is – how do you cut your pizza.  I grew up with pizza cut into squares but then I moved out West and they cut their pizza into pie shaped slices – how do you like yours??

The Perfect Pizza crust and sauce

Pizza Crust and Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • 1 C warm water
  • 3 tsp yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
Add to yeast mixture:
  • 2 C bread flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbps. olive oil
  • Gather desired pizza toppings: sauce (see below), pepperoni, black olives, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, etc.
Pizza Sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 (26 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp Italian seasoning
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven and pizza stone to 450 degrees
  2. Combine yeast and sugar with warm water and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes until bubbly
Add to yeast mixture:
  1. Combine wet ingredients in dry ingredients into mixer and knead for 5 minutes until dough is smooth, will be a little sticky
  2. Allow to rise for at least one hour
  3. Cover pizza paddle or backside of a cookie sheet with a light layer of cornmeal
  4. Roll out dough (may need to add a little extra flour)
  5. Add a layer of sauce, desired toppings and then cheese
  6. Add a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese at the end
  7. Slide pizza from paddle or cookie sheet into oven onto the hot pizza stone
  8. Cook in oven preheated to 450 degrees for about 10-12 minutes until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned and edges of crust are golden brown
Pizza Sauce
  1. Heat oil and garlic and cook until garic is sizzling, about 2 minutes
  2. Add in tomatoes, sugar, seasoning and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes
Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

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Comments

  1. camie says

    Oh that pizza sure does look delicious. I’ve always thought leftover pizza makes the perfect breakfast!
    What is your favorite brand of sauce or do you make your own (if so can I please have the recipe)?

  2. Lynne says

    Yummy! Pizza is my all time favorite too! I agree with the post above – what kind of sauce do you use? And she is right, pizza for breakfast is perfect!

    BTW, we eat our pizza cut into pie slices.

  3. says

    Mmm, that makes me hungry for pizza! Is pizza for breakfast acceptable? Of course, I’d make a nice, fresh pizza. Never cold. My hubby likes cold pizza. For breakfast. Bleh. Not me. Anywho! This looks delicious. And we eat our pizza in pie slices. The only time I haven’t was growing up when my mom would make pizza in cookie sheets. It’s a bit difficult to cut pie slices out of a rectangular pizza!

  4. Tara says

    Oh I am always looking for a good pizza crust….I just haven’t found it yet. I will try this one out! It looks wonderful.

  5. Kirstie says

    We love pizza too! We are making a pizza loaf tonight. I used to make it with my mom when friends would come over. Take a loaf of french bread and take out the middle leaving about an inch on the sides and bottom. Start with pizza sauce, then we like strips of salami, pepperoni, and olives. Top with mozzerella. I precook some sausage and add that on top of the cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted and bread gets crusty. About 20 minutes @ 350. Yumm!

  6. Jennifer says

    Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering!

    And I like my pizza in pie slices because with the squares I find it hard to eat those middle pieces. Just my preference though!

  7. says

    Thanks for some great tips, as always!! We love pizza night around here too. Our favorite is bbq chicken, a knock off of California Pizza Kitchen’s version – yum!

  8. kelly says

    i grew up in st. louis with Imo’s pizza, very thin crust but OOOOH so yummy!
    i miss it!since eating gluten free i only eat pizza when i go to whole foods and get their gf pizza with spinach and tomatoes, it is really a treat!

  9. says

    I grew up on the West coast, so I’m used to pie slices. But my husband grew up in Wisconsin and Ohio, and grew up with squares. Anyway you slice it, we’re big fans over here!
    When we make it at home, we usually have to bake it on a cookie sheet, so we mostly have it cut into squares. But lucky me, I got a pizza stone for Christmas. Maybe since it’s still Pizza week, we’ll have to break it in…

  10. Loretta says

    I’m a native Kansan and always had pizza sliced in pie shapes. Thanks for showing the pizza paddle (or peel is what I’ve heard it called) and how to use it with the oven. I have one but wasn’t heating my stone first. I’m going to try it tomorrow!

  11. Mary Kathryn says

    I like plain cheese pizza too— That way you don’t have anything masking the yummy flavors of the pizza. I also like a good margharetta pizza. I have been itching to do a homemade pizza and think this post is the inspiration I need. Thanks! :)

  12. Cheryl says

    I made this pizza crust yesterday and it is so good…Also more economical than the recipe I was using with 1/3 cup olive oil…Thank you!

  13. Debra says

    Thank you so much for this post! I have been looking for a recipe from a tried & true cook for pizza dough & sauce. Your recipes have never failed to please and I’m sure this one will be the same!

  14. bridee says

    We made your pizza dough last night!!!! We made homemade pizza with this dough. Everyone loved it!!! (Cheated on the sauce and bought the Ragu for .77) Thanks again for the great recipes. It is nice to know I can always go to your site for recipes and trust they are good!

  15. Joyce M. Johnson says

    I didn’t know that there was a National Pizza Week. Well if there’s a week that will be favorite, it will be this one haha. I agree with you, if there will only be one food item for the rest of my life, it will definitely be pizza. Even plain white cheese will do it for me. Please know that I’ll be subscribing to your RSS. Great recipe!

  16. says

    Thanks for showing how to use the paddle and stone. I never did quite get how that worked until now! lol It’s the simple things I have trouble with!

  17. mary says

    always square ,I am also from Chicago.we also love cold pizza.I use a stone that I leave in my oven all the time to warm rolls, muffins,biscuts.

  18. says

    I tried it today! It was delicious.
    The crust was a bit sticky when I was trying to put it in the tray tho.
    Is there a thing I should do so it gets more consistency, like be more solid and less sticky?
    Thanks for the recipe!

  19. Carol says

    I loved seeing your recipe. I make pizza every Friday night. Never have to decide on a crowded restaurant, and our grown kids know the invitation is always open for them to join us…and they get to eat out…at Mom’s!

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