If you’ve never made bread from scratch before, homemade pizza is an easy way to break into making your own dough for the first time. It’s nearly impossible to go wrong, and even if you do, the sauce, cheese, and toppings are there to cover for you!
This recipe requires no kneading at all, and the timing is incredibly flexible. You can make the dough up to 4 or 5 days in advance, whenever you have some free time, and just let it chill out (no pun intended) in the fridge until pizza day.
So let’s get started! This makes a single 10” pizza, which serves one or two, depending on side dishes.
You can do this step the night before you want to have pizza, or up to 5 days in advance.
Put the warm water in a bowl, add the yeast, and let it sit for 5 minutes until the yeast begins to bloom. If the yeast doesn’t bloom, it’s dead, and you’ll need new yeast.
Add the flour and salt and stir it together to form dough. It should be a cohesive ball, but sticky enough that it would be hard to handle.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in the fridge until the morning of pizza night. You can also save it in a tupperware in the freezer for up to a month. The longer it sits, the more of a “yeast-y” flavor your dough will have.
Dough is mixed and ready for the fridge.
The morning of pizza night, take the dough out of the fridge and let it rise throughout the day.
Dough after rising on the counter all day.
About two hours before pizza time, sprinkle enough flour over the dough so that you can handle it, and plop it into a 10” cast iron pan. Drizzle on the olive oil, and spread the dough to mostly fill the pan. It’s okay if it isn’t perfect, because it will expand more over the next few hours.
Patted into the pan and ready for the final rise.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and leave it until dinner time.
I’m a firm believer that pizza toppings are an intensely personal decision, so I won’t prescribe a list of toppings. Instead, I’ll offer a few tips from my years of pizza-making experience.
Tip 1: Quality over quantity The more toppings you pile on a pizza, the less you’ll taste each individual topping. Instead, I like to choose just a few toppings and spend a little extra money to buy the best quality of each.
In Victoria we’re blessed with amazing delis and farmer’s markets where you can seek out inspiration. Check out Charelli’s (@charellischeese), Ottavio’s (@ottavio.victoria), the Whole Beast (@wholebeastmeats), or the Moss Street Market (@mossstmarket).
Tip 2: Think outside the box Classic pizza toppings, like tomato, basil, and mozzarella; ham and pineapple; or sausage and mushroom, exist for a reason. They’re delicious. But there’s no reason you can’t expand your repertoire.
I like to find inspiration in flavour combinations I love in other foods. Broccoli and cheddar; salmon, lemon, and dill; spinach and feta; brussels sprouts, bacon, and parmesan; kimchi and gruyere. As long as you start with quality ingredients, there is no wrong way to top a pizza.
Preheat your oven as high as it will go, usually 500 ℉ for a typical home oven. Top the pizza as the oven heats. I bake my pizza for 14 minutes. You may need to vary this by a minute or two in either direction, because every oven is a little different.
That’s all there is to it! Dig in, and enjoy.