Making restaurant quality pizza at home can be inexpensive and easy once you have a routine. You don’t need fancy equipment either. The tips here will have you rockin’ great homemade pizza in a flash. Yes, we eat a lot of pizza at my house and I nearly always homemade.
How to Make Homemade Pizza
Gathering the Right Ingredients to Keep it Inexpensive and Easy
There is little reason to go out of your way to make pizza dough from scratch, since low-cost quality prepared dough is readily available. My first choice is always fresh dough, from a local source (when available cheaply). If you have any trouble finding a source for inexpensive fresh dough, most grocers carry multi-packs of bread frozen bread dough, that can be used in a pinch, and make a passable pizza crust. Either way you shouldn’t need to pay more than a dollar per dough ball (enough to make 1 pizza).
I have been using canned “Cento” pizza sauce, for quite some time. It is available at a local discount grocer for just 99 cents, and is the best I have tried yet. If this brand is not stocked at your market, just grab a jar of Ragu Traditional pizza sauce, or try one of your local brands. We tried “California” brand pizza sauce, but found it a little too sweet, for our tastes. Those with a stockpile of regular spaghetti sauce can utilize this for pizza also. I would just suggest simmering it down to thicken it, and adding a little oregano.
You will need about 8 oz. of shredded cheese for your pizza. Mozzarella or a pizza blend will do. Blocks of mozzarella tend to be a little more flavorful than bagged pre-shredded, and is a little less expensive too. I also sprinkle on some grated Parmesan cheese, after I put on the toppings.
Toppings for your Homemade Pizza
The sky is the limit. One of my favorite combos is chopped leftover grilled chicken, pepperoni and sweet onions. Look through your fridge and get adventurous. I do recommend Margarita brand pepperoni. It is a bit less greasy than most I have tried.
Once the pizza is assembled, sprinkling on a little oregano and grated Parmesan boosts the flavor. I also like using Mrs. Dash Table Blend or fresh basil on my pizzas, as well.
Homemade Pizza Equipment
I suggest using a simple aluminum half sheet pan (the kind used in restaurants). They are not that expensive and are an excellent investment. They last forever. Whatever pan you use avoid non-stick unless you don’t have any choice. Pizza stones are good too, but make certain it is well heated before putting your homemade pizza on it. A good pizza wheel is great to have on hand, if you don’t have one, use your heaviest chef knife.
Making the Pizza
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and put rack on lowest setting.
- Spread about a tablespoon of oil on the pan. (I use olive oil, but canola or vegetable oil will be fine)
- Place pizza dough on pan and stretch it to edges as best you can. (Don’t worry when it shrinks back, it will take a few times to set up the way you want.)
- Gather other ingredients and prep them for usage.
- Re-stretch dough til you are satisfied with results.
- Top with sauce (1/2 a can or jar should be just right). The back of a spoon works well, to spread sauce.
- Cover evenly with cheese, then toppings.
- Sprinkle with oregano and grated Parmesan.
- Bake for 22-26 minutes. Timing will depend on your oven. The top will be starting to brown and the bottom will have good color.
- Place your homemade pizza directly on an old kitchen towel immediately after pulling it from the oven. (Leaving it in the pan or directly on the counter will trap moisture and the crust will lose it’s crispness).
- Cut and enjoy.