I originally I posted this recipe a few years ago, but I realize over time I’ve made a few changes in my recipe so thought I’d update it here. Most Saturday nights we have family movie night when I make pizza and we all sit in front of the TV and watch a movie–It used to often be a cartoon, but we’ve also done the first Star Wars trilogy and several Disney nature/animal movies. Now we’re getting into classics from my youth and we’ve seen the original Karate Kid, Princess Bride, Indiana Jones, and more.
I’m often asked if pizza is healthy. To me, that’s not really a black and white question. Yes, pizza can be healthy, but to me there’s a wide range of possibilities that can make pizza healthier. But, one of the most important factors to consider is amount. Is eating an entire pizza yourself a healthy choice? Not really. Is a couple of slices as part of a balanced meal once in a while terrible? Definitely not.
Of course, making it at home allows you to control the ingredients and therefore create something more nutritious. For starters we always use reduced fat cheese, and I’m guessing, probably less than most pizzerias. For the crust, you can easily swap in some whole wheat flour, but I’ll admit I use bread flour because I enjoy the texture it gives the crust. I also make my own sauce, which is super easy, (and yummy!) This helps cut down a good deal on the sodium content vs using a premade sauce, several of which tend to be high in sodium.
Then of course, the toppings. We change it up sometimes, but our go-to is usually pineapple for my son, pineapple, caramelized peppers and onions for my daughter and I, and the caramelized veggies plus some sort of meat for my my husband. Often, I’ll just brown up some lean ground beef, but as a treat once in a while I’ll throw in a wee bit of ground sausage. So we end up with a good amount of fruit, veggies, and even meat, we just keep in lean.
I’ll admit, I use a bread machine for the dough. For years I tried by hand and certainly had an edible pizza, but once I tried the bread machine I knew I’d found the tool I needed to make it over the top! If you prefer to do it by hand, simply use the ingredients below with the technique from a by-hand recipe.
This dough recipe will make 2 medium size pizzas. The sauce is enough for 4 pizzas, and freezes well.
Here’s my recipe for the Best Homemade Pizza
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed in palm
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine or regular yeast
- 3 1/2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten* (optional)
- TOPPINGS--choose your favorite
- shredded mozzarella, cheddar mozzarella mix, or your favorite cheese
- sauteed veggies such as peppers, onions, mushrooms
- chopped fresh or canned/drained pineapple
- Place olive oil and garlic in sauce pan and heat over medium heat until garlic just begins to turn golden. Add sauce, sugar, and oregano. Turn to low, cover loosely, and simmer for half hour. Set aside until ready to use.
- Add all ingredients except cornmeal to bread machine in order directed by your machine. Turn on to dough cycle and start. When done, take dough out of machine, divide in half and place on counter or non stick mat dusted with cornmeal. Cover with clean, damp dish towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
- While dough rests, begin preheating oven to 500°.
- After dough has rested, shape dough into desired shapes (circle, oval, rectangle) and place onto pizza stone, pizza pan, or lightly oiled jelly roll pan. Top each pizza with 1/4 of sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and desired toppings.
- Place in preheated oven and cook 10-12 minutes, until its done to your liking. Let cool slightly, slice, and eat!.
- Note: I've found the earlier in the day I make the dough and let it sit in the refrigerator, the better the texture of the crust is. I simply divide it in two after removing from bread machine, put each in an oiled bowl and cover them with a damp cloth, then chill. I take them out about half an hour before I plan to begin to shape it.
- *Vital Wheat Gluten helps yeast dough rise more, not necessary but I like what it does for my pizza crust.
What toppings would you put on your pizza?