One of my favorite dinners growing up was Homemade Pizza and is still one of my favorites today. My mom always let us top our mini pizzas with whatever we wanted. I was a simple cheese girl then, but today my favorite combination is blue cheese, caramelized onions, and bacon.
I always make my own dough (it’s so easy) but you can use store bought. Here are the instructions to make my favorite version, but feel free to get creative with your own topping combination.
For the Dough:
2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water
4 cups unbleached flour (separated), plus more for dusting
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
corn meal for dusting the pizza peel
For the Sauce:
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
10 leaves fresh basil, julienned
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
For the Toppings:
16 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese, grated
4 oz parmesan cheese, grated
4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
caramelized onions (made from slowly cooking down 2 thinly sliced yellow onions in 2 TBSP olive oil)
1 package bacon, cooked
Begin by making the dough. I use a Cuisinart with the plastic blade. Dissolve yeast in the warm water. Allow to activate then pour into the Cuisinart. Add 2 cups flour, olive oil, and salt. Pulse until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add remaining 2 cups of flour. Run until dough forms into a ball. Dump onto lightly floured surface and knead into smooth ball. Place in a bowl which has been lightly oiled with olive oil. Rub a small amount of olive oil on the top and sides of the dough ball to keep it moist. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place bowl in warm spot and allow to rise to more than double in size (generally 3 hours).
Next prepare the sauce. Pour the crushed tomatoes into a bowl. Add basil, garlic, salt, and pepper, then mix. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. At this point I generally prepare my toppings so everything is set when the dough is ready.
Place pizza stone in oven and heat oven to 425 degrees. You will want the stone to remain in the oven at 425 degrees for at least 30 minutes before you cook your first pizza. Punch dough down and place on lightly floured surface. Separate dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place on floured surface. Cover all 8 dough balls with plastic wrap so they can begin to rise again. Dust pizza peel with corn meal.
Begin to assemble first pizza. Roll out dough ball until it is about 8 inches round. Place on pizza peel. Spoon on sauce and spread to edges. Lightly top with mozzarella then sprinkle with parmesan. Spread caramelized onions on the top and sprinkle with blue cheese. Crumble bacon on top.
Assemble one pizza at a time on the pizza peel and slide onto the pizza stone. I can fit 2 pizzas on my stone at once. Cook pizzas for approximately 10 minutes. Do not start the next round of pizzas until the previous round is complete. If you make them too early, they will stick to the pizza peel. Enjoy!
Note: This recipe can be easily halved or doubled, depending upon your family’s appetite! Pizzas can be refrigerated, then reheated.