When I entered the kitchen, the smell of fresh pizza filled my senses. Mom was standing by the table, kneading the dough with her hands. Tomato sauce was simmering on the stove, and I could see an assortment of toppings laid out on a plate. I watched in awe as my mother expertly spread the dough on a baking sheet and then added a generous dollop of sauce.
After the prep, as she slid the pizza into the oven, I could hear it sizzling. The wait was killing me! Finally, after what felt like an eternity, my mom took the piping-hot pizza out of the oven. The crust was crispy on the outside but soft on the inside.
The cheese was perfectly melted on top of all our favorite toppings. We all gathered around for our first bite—it was heavenly! There is nothing like homemade pizza made with love and care to transport you to food heaven. Today, I am going to share my mom’s homemade pizza recipe.
Instructions for pizza:
Make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Mix well to distribute the ingredients evenly. Add the warm water and olive oil to the bowl and stir until a coarse dough is formed.
Knead the dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5–10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour; If it is too dry, add more water.
Let the dough rise: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Let it rise in a warm, windless place for about an hour, or until it doubles in size.
Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 450 °F (230 °C).
Make the sauce: While the dough is rising, make the pizza sauce. In a small saucepan, combine tomato sauce, thyme, and garlic powder. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is heated through, and the spices are well distributed.
Roll out the dough: Once the dough has risen, beat it down and turn it out on a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to roll it into a thin circle or rectangle, depending on the shape of your baking sheet or pizza stone.
Add the toppings: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled baking sheet or pizza stone. Spread the tomato sauce over the dough, leaving a little border around the edges. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the sauce, then add the desired toppings.
Bake the pizza: Bake the pizza in the preheated oven for 10–15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve and enjoy: Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy delicious homemade pizza!
Topping and crust variations to experiment with:
BBQ Chicken: Toss shredded chicken with BBQ sauce and top with red onion and cilantro.
Margherita: topped with fresh sliced tomatoes, fresh basil and buffalo mozzarella. Hawaiian: Add bacon and sliced pineapple for a sweet and savory twist.
Vegetables: Load up on roasted vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers. Meat Lovers: Combine pepperoni, salami, and bacon for a hearty and delicious pizza. Mediterranean: Top with feta cheese, kalamata olives and roasted red peppers for a Greek-inspired pizza.
Breakfast Pizza: Top with scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheddar cheese for a morning treat.
Whole Wheat: Replace some or all of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for a healthier crust.
Cauliflower: Use thinly sliced cauliflower as a base for a low-carb option.
Gluten-free: Use a gluten-free flour blend to make a pizza that’s safe for those with gluten intolerance.
Thin crust: Roll the dough very thin for a crispy crust.
Stuffed Crust: Roll cheese or other fillings around the edge of the crust for a decadent twist.
Deep Dish: Use a deep dish pan to create a thick, chewy crust that’s perfect for filling.
Garlic Bread Crust: Brush the crust with garlic butter for a delicious garlic bread-inspired crust.
By experimenting with different toppings and crusts, you can create a pizza that is uniquely yours. Don’t be afraid to try new things and have fun with the process!