Family Time Recipes

Family Pizza Night: How to Make the Perfect Pizza at Home

I have been meal planning which I hope to share very soon because, it has really been working out beautifully.  Tonight our planned meal was pizza.  We have A LOT of experience making pizza.  There may have been an entire month last summer where we ate pizza every day so my husband could perfect his dough recipe.  We LOVE to make our own pizza but, my husband really has a sore spot for store bought dough.  I guess all that time spent working on his technique shouldn’t go in vane.  But, it has been a really long time since we last made our own pizza so I kind of forgot all about his loyalty and I may have bought a bag of whole wheat dough with my groceries this week.

Shoot me.

I have to be honest, the store bought dough was a bit stressful.  Store bought dough is REALLY sticky (I think because it is pre-frozen?) and my husband swears that his dough is so much easier to handle.  So there I was, trying to mediate between my super excited daughter saying “can I try?  can I do that?  can I roll it?  can I put the cheese on now?!!!!!”  While my husband held back his rage against this poor unknowing bag of dough.  Let the record show, I did offer to take over several times but, the pizza king claimed he was oh so much better at making pizza.  Note:  Do not add crazy amounts of flour, which I apparently do or at least did before he became the master of homemade pizzas.

But I promise you, it is possible to make yourself a pie comparable to take out even with store bought dough.  

So after a bit of dough wrestling, I was finally allowed to step in and finish pressing the dough out into the pan.  Then I was able to let my daughter “do it!” spread the sauce, sprinkle the cheese & finally cook the pie.  Really it is a simple process, anyone with a little patience can do it, I promise.  Even with the evil that is “store bought dough”.

First:  Take your store bought dough homemade if you remembered to ask your husband to provide you with his expertise ahead of time.  But if not… start by following the directions on the bag (if store bought).  This dough was bought frozen, taken home and refrigerated.  When we prepped for dinner tonight we had to take the dough out of the fridge and leave it out on the counter inside the bag, allowing it to rise and become room temperature.  This is what the dough looked like when we took it out of the bag…

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Then you want to sprinkle a tiny bit of flour (when your husband isn’t looking) just to make the dough manageable, and roll it into a ball.  It really does help the dough from sticking to your surface, ours being our nifty Silicone Baking Mat we have used this mat for every pizza and every pie I may have ever made.  It is a must in my opinion.  It has these great circles that allow you to press out your dough to size.  But if you don’t plan on making a lot of dough in the future, a large plastic cutting board work just fine too.  I don’t suggest rolling the dough out directly onto your counter or table because it will make the next step really hard but still, not impossible…

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As you can see, our daughter Summer was really excited to be making pizza …

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She was all, let’s do it RIGHT NOW as soon as I mentioned it.  This is the girl who eats nothing.  LOVING pizza making.

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Like I said, it’s been awhile.  We played with the dough a little bit, rolled it out a tad too thin, got some I’m gonna need to take over comments from the daddy, and were told to re-roll: let sit again for ten minutes.  So, if your a pizza making newbie don’t worry, you can start all over as many times as you need to.  Just try to not over-need the dough.  This is the dough after we re-balled and let sit for ten minutes.  It was ten minutes exactly, we set a timer because Summer was just way too excited.  She watched the clock and counted down when it got to the last few seconds.  I’m not kidding.  I forgot how much she loves making pizza.

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While your rolling out your dough preheat your oven to 450 degrees (or whatever your dough bag/ recipe says).  Once your dough is rolled out to about the size you think will fit in your pan, take your pan and put it upside down over your dough (I wish I had gotten a picture of my husband do this, sorry!  He was all, no pictures of me!)  But it is simple, grease your pan (we used solid coconut oil because it has a high melting point and we were out of Crisco) then, place your pan upside down over your dough, lift your silicone (or plastic) sheet and flip.  Your dough will now be inside your pan but chances are (if your husband insisted on limiting your flour usage) your dough is stuck to your sheet.  This is why I personally like to use a bit more flour on the sheet to prevent the sticking.  I just pretty much walked away at this point while my husband slowly peeled the dough away from the sheet and into the pan.

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Once he was all finished transferring the dough from the sheet to the pan, Summer and I stepped in and pressed out the dough, slowly stretching it out until it filled the pan.

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Then poke some holes, FORK IT!

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At this point, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil onto your dough and spread it around with a basting brush or your hand, I used my hand.  I will say, sauce DOES matter.  My Italian grandmother would not like to hear this but, I do not make my own sauce, ever.  Over the years I have tried SO MANY different jar sauces for pizzas.  I have finally found one that the entire family loves.  My super picky daughter actually loves it so much that she asked for a bowl full (cold) with a spoon and ate it all (whatever keeps them fed right?!).  It is Bertolli Vineyard Marinara Sauce w/ Burgundy Wine, 24 oz. (Pack of 3) I first bought mine at BJ’s Wholesale Club but, I’ve also bought it at Shoprite for about $4.00 a jar and it is available on Amazon for a hefty sum.

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Here we are adding our sauce and cheese:

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I think you love that my refrigerator is covered in magnets toys, always.  Don’t lie, yours is too… right?

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Here we are all cheesed up and ready to go:

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Bake according to the directions on your bag (or in your recipe).  Ours said, bottom shelf, 18 minutes.  So here we are, 18 minutes later…

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I have to admit, this pizza was exceptional.  Actual perfection.  I was actually making yummmmm mmmm noises as I ate.  I swore we would never order delivery pizza again.  It was one of those moments.  Mostly, lies of course.  But it felt reasonable in the moment.  I mean, look at this pizza perfection…!!

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We paired it with a simple cucumber tomato salad.  It really doesn’t get much easier, we just cut up two tomatoes and one cucumber and displayed it in my favorite dish…

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Originally I intended to make a cucumber tomato salad with Italian Good Seasons but, I may have forgot to buy the seasoning and improvised with Ranch.  Honestly, it was perfect, no regrets.

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Now I remember why we ate pizza for a month straight.  Pizza is just so good!!  Honestly, when you make it at home your looking at WAY less grease.  I actually think of our homemade pizza to be healthy.  This is whole wheat dough, sauce, a tiny bit of olive oil (good fats) and mozzarella which is naturally a low fat cheese.

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You CAN eat pizza and loose weight, I promise!  It also helps when you have a cute baby hanging around the kitchen while you cook.  I mean, who can really resist the view?!

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PIZZA

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And the best part?!!  This meal cost about $5 total and fed 2 adults and 1 child.  

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And let’s talk about the bend….  This is the holy grail of pizza making.

Pizza pride right here 🙂

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Yeah, he’s like “alright mom seriously this isn’t fair, you know I don’t have any teeth yet!!”

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To top it all off, I grabbed the extra cake we had in the fridge from the Father’s Day heart cake we made.  I did a quick messy frost and Summer added some sprinkles.  Cake = Happiness.  Pretty much always.  It’s a thing.

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Trim & Flip..  

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Then frost the bottom…

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Summer said, Whose Birthday is it?!!  🙂  I love surprises

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All my love,

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