Pizza is by far everyone's favorite meal, everyone can help (even the little ones) and it's easy to tailor the toppings to suit everyones' taste buds. What follows is our baking sheet pizza dough recipe and some of our favorite variations.
3 3/4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon + a pinch of sugar
1 1/3 cups (300 grams) room temperature (72°) water
extra virgin olive oil for the pans
*we usually add some whole wheat to this dough. To make this variation, substitute 100 grams of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour and increase the amount of water to 325 grams (this comes out to be a little less than an 1⁄8 of a cup).
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water and mix until blended. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the dough has more than doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
Remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface. Gently form into a rough ball. Then divide the dough into two halves, spacing them 4 inches apart, and cover both with a moistened kitchen towel for 30 minutes.
When you are ready to make your pizza, oil two 13-by-18 inch rimmed baking sheets. Pick up the dough and invert and stretch the dough the length of the baking sheet. The floured side should now be facing up and the moist side should now be on the pan. Using your palms, gently pull, press and stretch the dough to fill the entire bottom of the pan. Repeat with the second piece of dough and top with your favorite sauce and toppings.
When you are ready to cook your pizza preheat the oven to 500°F. The pizza cooks for about 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.
This recipe makes enough for 2 pizzas. If you only want to make one the other can be tightly wrapped and frozen until you are ready to use. We usually double the recipe and freeze several of them so we aren't making dough every week. When you are ready to thaw the dough place it in the refrigerator and then bring it to room temperature before using.
BBQ Chicken Pizza
- BBQ chicken pizza (my personal favorite): a thin layer of homemade BBQ sauce, and then add BBQ'd chicken, fresh pineapple, mozzarella and a sprinkle of blue cheese. After it's finished cooking you can add a sprinkle of cilantro. Kids version: no sauce, chicken, pineapple, olives, mozzarella and blue cheese.
- Pesto, ham, pineapple: a thin layer of pesto, ham, pineapple and mozzarella.
- Pepperoni: a little olive oil or pesto, pepperoni (we buy a pepperoni stick and slice it ourselves. The pepperoni is smaller than the pre-sliced version from the store but we are able to slice it a bit thicker), olives (of course), mozzarella, and any vegetables we may have in the refrigerator. When we have lots of zucchini some grated zucchini makes a nice addition!
- Grilled: Portobello mushrooms, onions and zucchini, topped with feta. Once the pizza has cooked add sliced heirloom tomatoes. Serve with salad of your choice on top. (shown below)
When it's too hot to turn the on the oven, we fire up the grill and cook our pizza outside. The dough works just as well cooked this way. A tip: pre-cook one side of the pizza, add your toppings to the pre-cooked side and place back on the grill.
Pizza dough recipe adapted from Jim Lahey's my bread