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We’ve been making pizza at home for a long time.  Making homemade pizza using prepared dough is a quick and easy dinner to make any night of the week. Almost any grocery store sells frozen dough and many sell fresh dough. I’ve even bought dough directly from my local pizzeria. Of course, you can always make your own. There’s tons of recipes online.

Rolling in the Dough

There’s lots of preferred methods to roll out the dough, but I like to either use parchment paper or a baking sheet so I’m rolling the dough where I’m baking it. When I use other methods, the dough sticks and I end up with holes and tears.

Parchment

Roll the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Because you roll and cook the pizza right on the parchment paper you don’t have to worry about transferring the dough from where you rolled it to where you bake it. Halfway through cooking, the pie starts to detach from the paper and you can remove the paper.

Tear off a large piece of parchment paper. Place dough onto the paper and with your hands, form a large disk. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough until it is 1/4-inch thick or less. Tip:  If the dough starts to shrink back – rest dough for five minutes before continue rolling.

On a Baking Sheet:

Brush a thin film of olive oil on a baking sheet using a pastry brush. Form dough into a large disk with your hands and lay it on the baking sheet. Using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten the dough until it is 1/4-inch thick or less.  Tip: the dough starts to shrink back – rest dough for five minutes before continue rolling.

Preheat the Oven

Don’t be afraid to turn up the heat. 550 degrees or higher works well. High heat makes crunchier and more flavorful crusts. Let the oven heat for at least a half an hour before baking your pizzas. If you’re using a baking stone, place it in the lower-middle of your oven. Tip: Don’t forget to remove the pizza stone when done! Can’t tell you how many times I’ve left it in accidentally only to be reminded the next time I’ve turned the oven on.

Top This!

Spoon a couple of tablespoons of pizza sauce into the middle of the pizza. We use premade pizza sauce in a can or jar. With the back of a spoon spread the sauce to the edges.

There’s no real rules when it comes to toppings; use what you like. Just keep these measurements in mind: 2 to 3 cups toppings: sautéed onions, sautéed mushrooms, pepperoni, cooked sausage, cooked bacon, diced peppers, leftover veggies, or any other favorite toppings. Just remember vegetables should be to sautéed and meat should be cooked; 1 to 2 cups (8-16 ounces) cheese, shredded or sliced: mozzarella, monterey jack, provolone, fontina, or any other favorite.

Often, we just put the ingredients into small bowls and let everyone make their own pizza for individual pizzas.

Tip: Keep the toppings to just a handful. If loaded down with toppings, it may take too long for the crust to get crispy.

Bake It!

If you’re using a baking stone, use a pizza peel to slide your pizza (with the parchment) onto the baking stone. If you don’t have a baking stone, bake the pizza right on the baking sheet. Cook for 5 minutes and then rotate the pizza. If you’re using parchment paper, remove the paper from under the pizza. Bake about another 3-5 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese is toasted.

Eat and Enjoy!

Remove from the oven and let the pizza cool a bit before eating. Slice it up and dig in!