It’s Friday, and that usually means homemade pizza in our house. (Unless it means Nachos, but it usually means pizza.)
I’ve been anxious to share my pizza recipe with you. It’s special to me because, well, there’s the obvious part about it being the best homemade pizza on the planet, and more importantly (is there something more important than awesome pizza that only costs a few bucks?) it’s a fond reminder of my childhood.
Yep. I’ve been eating this pizza since I can remember. My Aunt Helen taught me how to make it when I was young. I got to spend a little bit of time with her during out latest trip to Maine to visit family. She had baked some rolls and made a bunch of pizza earlier that day and just brought them to us out of the blue. When I went to visit her at her home later that day, she wanted to be sure that I had “Gram’s” roll recipe. I do have it, but we ended up digging into her recipe book anyway. It’s a little book with all of her favorite recipes– hand written, in pencil, with the name of the person who introduced her to each recipe. It stirred a long conversation about recipes and lots of stories of the people who made them special.
And that’s when I first heard the story of where this recipe came from.
She told me the story like this:
“It was one of those nights that you kids were all off to Bible school. I wanted to have something for you all when you got back, and decided to make a pizza. I couldn’t afford the 60¢ for the box of Chef Boyardee pizza mix. You know they used to make a box that had everything in it that you needed to make a homemade pizza?” (I stood nodding, I remember.) “Well, I didn’t have the 60¢, so I got out this cookbook (reaching to the shelf where her other little book had been and taking down another cookbook. It had no pictures, was yellowed with age, and full of memories, ) and made a pizza.”
We went on to talk about that pizza she always made, how she taught her son to make it and he made it for his college buddies all those years later and still makes it for his family today. We talked about how she always got the spices just right, just a little “kick”, and how my family doesn’t make any other pizza.
It was nice to visit with her and to copy down some of the recipes I remember making, (Like this one for Peanut Butter Bars) and some I haven’t tried yet. And now I’m ready to share it with you!
Ready to make some pizza? (I give you permission, even if it’s not Friday when you read this.)
First, follow the directions at this link to make the dough. It’s super easy. (Even if today isn’t pizza day, you can make the dough and put it in the freezer!)
Then come on back here when you’re ready to make some awesome pizza.
You’re almost there!
You’ve got your dough mixed, now it’s time to Let it rise
Spray a large bowl with spray oil, or swirl olive oil into the bowl.
Put the ball of dough, pretty side down, move it around a little to get it coated with oil, then flip it over so the smooth side is on the top. (OK really it totally doesn’t matter which side is on top, just so long as you get the whole thing very lightly coated with some type of oil.)
(See that gray paper in the background? That’s my grandmother’s recipe for date bars. YUM! Let me know in the comments if you want to see that recipe soon.)
When you see that it has doubled in size, you’re ready to make your pizza.
This dough will rise more in the oven, so be sure to spread it out pretty thin unless you specifically want deep dish pizza (which I can’t understand at all but we all have our preferences.) The dough in the pizza in these pics was spread so thin, you could almost see through it in places, and look how thick it is in the oven. It’s not deep dish by any stretch but gives a nice crust.
With one batch of dough I always make on pizza on a Pampered Chef rectangle stone and a small round stone. Just to give you an idea of how much it will make.
Spread the sauce evenly, leaving a little edge for the crust.
Don’t go crazy with the sauce or cheese. You have to be brave here and actually use less than you think you need. Or else you’ll end up with someone else’s pizza recipe that might as well be called something else entirely.
You’ll cook your pizza for about 15 minutes on 425° (preheated!). I use the bottom rack so it gets nice and crispy. If you cook it on a stone it will get a little bit crispier if you let it sit for about 5 minutes before cutting it.
Oh I’m so glad it’s Friday!
Enjoy your pizza!