Thursday, March 5, 2009

Show & Tell Friday: Pizza Party!

This week, I thought I'd share with you a true "Friday" Show & the sense that this is a tradition in our house on Fridays. We make homemade pizzas! There's nothing like winding down the week and saying TGIF with a piping hot pizza fresh from the oven (at least here in the US). I know, I know, my Jewish friends are shaking their heads saying, "We eat a lot better than that on Friday nights." But, for our family, it really hits the spot.

The most wonderful thing about homemade pizza is that it's (1) cheap--really cheap and (2) a whole lots healthier than you would think! Plus, you can create any combination of toppings you want. We most often have cheese pizza, especially now during Lent, when we don't eat meat and are especially supposed to abstain from meat on Fridays.

Here are some photos of one of our recent creations, and below is our recipe for crust, sauce, and baking the pizza.

Thin Crust Pizza Crust:

2 t. active dry yeast
1 t. sugar (to activate yeast)
1 c. warm water
2 1/4 c. flour (you can do half finely ground whole wheat and half white, if you like)

2 t. salt
1 T olive oil

Combine yeast, sugar and water and allow to proof five minutes. If it's not foamy, throw it out and try again with new yeast. Combine flour, salt, and yeast mixture in bowl of stand mixer. With dough hook, mix on low speed for about 6 minutes until dough is well-kneaded. It will be a little sticky but should hold it's shape when made into a ball without being tacky. Remove from bowl. Rub olive oil around in bowl. Drop dough back in and turn to coat thoroughly. Cover with clean towel and let rise 1 hour. Punch down dough, and let rise again for 1/2 hour. Lean on the side of over-rising rather than under-rising; it will make your dough more manageable. Split dough into two rounds and either refrigerate, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, until using or use immediately. You can also freeze the dough.

Pizza Sauce:

28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
3 T olive oil
pinch of sugar
1-2 t. dried basil

1 t. dried oregano

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan; bring to boil and allow to simmer, uncovered 20 minutes. Mixture will reduce to about 2 1/2 cups. Use immediately or cover and keep refrigerated, 5 days. You can also freeze this sauce.

Making the Pizza:

Preheat a pizza stone in a 425F oven for 15 minutes. Roll out the pizza crust on a lightly floured surface. If you use too much flour, the dough will lose it's elasticity so go easy. You should be able to make a good 12''-14'' round. Dust pizza peel liberally with cornmeal. Place on pizza peel, if using (this is the best thing for getting the pizza safely in and out of the oven). Spread sauce to within 1'' of edges. Top with a lot of grated mozzarella cheese. We use part-skim and it turns out fine, just be sure to use plenty of it. Top with your choice of toppings. Carefully transfer pizza from peel to pizza stone in oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove with pizza peel, and repeat with remaining crust, sauce, and toppings to make a second pizza. Enjoy!


  1. Looks yummy! We often have homemade pizza nights at our house. Lately I've been dividing the dough and letting the kiddos create their own *personal* pizza~they love it!

  2. You're making my mouth water. It looks so yummy. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I grew up with homemade pizza Friday in my family, and I am glad to see other families follow suit! My parents made Sicilian pizza because the neighborhood in Rochester, NY they both grew up in was dominated by Sicilians. You can use very much the same dough, but make the pizza crust thicker and bake in a square shape.

    It is one of the things I miss most about living hours away from my home, and a tradition I will continue on when I am blessed with children! Thank you for sharing!

  4. This sure looks like fun, Bethany! Have a lovely weekend.

  5. That looks great! I haven't done homemade pizza in a long time, because my husband is a thin crust kind of guy, and I haven't ever been able to do a really good thin one. I will give this one a try, and give it the hubby test.

    I also just wanted to say that I spent some (maybe too much!) time reading through the first few of your FAQ's posts. You answered a lot of questions I have been thinking about for a while. Your answers are so thorough and easy to understand. Thank you so much for having those available, and giving me a lot of food for thought!

  6. Katherine! I my goodness! I was born and raised in Rochester!! The pizza crust I make is Sicilian. What an amazingly small world.

  7. We love making homemade pizza too - most often on saturdays. We've got thin crust down but are looking for a good pan pizza crust recipe - Bethany have you ever tried making this one thicker, or have you ever run across a thicker crust recipe? I'd love to try whatever you have, since the search is on for us!


  8. Elizabeth- You know, oddly enough, I have found that pretty much every pan pizza dough I've tried has failed to rise properly. They must use a different method of measuring flour than I do! But, I have heard that using any basic bread dough, just cutting back some on the yeast, will work pretty well. I haven't tried it, though, so I can't guarantee that.

  9. One word...YUM!

    Thanks for the recipe...can't wait to try this one.


  10. Yum!--They look delicious! Homemade pizza was always a favorite at our house when all of our kids were home!

    We still do it sometimes when they are all here:) It's fun!

    Thanks for sharing this!

    Linda C

  11. You've totally inspired us here too. My husband is a pizza lover, so I'm sure he would be excited to have a regular pizza night. :)

  12. oooh, i love the look of that thin crust! we have always done thick crust, but i do prefer a thin crust, and amelia is coming to prefer it too. we'll try your crust next week. thanks so much for sharing♥

  13. We love making homemade pizzas around here and I'm definitely going to try this recipe. That thin crust looks so yummy!
    Elaine :)

  14. yummo! i'll be over about 7 PM this coming Friday. i'll need some diet pepsi to go with that pizza - lol.

    There is always room for you in The Shadow of the Cross. Feel free to visit anytime.


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