Alex and I were debating pizza take-out options to close out our weekend, and the idea suddenly surfaced: why are we debating when we can deliver an extra cheesy pie from our own oven? I did my research, delved into the baking cabinet, and put together a pie from start to finish in—believe it or not—one hour. A first-timer in at least a few years, my pizza making skills were immediately reestablished. Now, because we don’t have a pizza stone, the crust wasn’t as “crispy” as some might prefer; ours felt like a lighter take on a deep-dish. Despite only 30 minutes of rising, the dough was airy and fluffy, carrying the extra cheesy toppings with elegance.
Give my pie a try — add whatever toppings suit the mood — and take a slice with a pat on your back for saying “no” to take-out and taking on the homemade version.
Makes 1 large pizza
1 cup warm water (105-110 degrees — accuracy is critical for the yeast!)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 packet active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces mini mozzarella balls, sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I love an Italian blend with a hint of sharp cheddar)
1 cup Rao’s marinara sauce
1. Attach hook attachment to your KitchenAid (if you don’t have one, kneading by hand is fine!). Place warm water in a KitchenAid mixing bowl. Add sugar and yeast, and stir to combine. Leave alone for 5 minutes, until mixture becomes frothy and bubbly. Add olive oil and gently stir.
2. Attach bowl to KitchenAid and carefully add 2 cups of flour. Turn on mixer, using a rubber spatula to push down any ingredients that don’t catch. Continue mixing until a ball begins to form. Add remaining 1/2 cup flour to form a dough ball. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball.
3. Reuse KitchenAid mixing bowl for rising, adding a light coat of oil. Place dough back in the bowl, pressing a thumbprint into the center of the dough — you’ll know it has risen enough when the thumbprint is no longer visible! Place a dishcloth over the bowl and allow to rise, 20-30 minutes (as much time as you have!).
4. While dough is rising, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a baking sheet or pizza pan and set aside.
5. Once dough has risen, transfer dough to a floured surface and roll into desired shape. Transfer carefully to the baking sheet. Spread sauce atop dough, followed by slices of mozzarella and shredded cheese.
6. Bake 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Slice and serve!