(13.8 oz) can Pillsbury™ refrigerated classic pizza crust
oz (1 1/2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
cup shredded romano cheese
(1/4 inch thick) slices italian plum tomato (about 6 medium)
cup fresh thin basil strips
Place oven rack in lowest rack position; heat oven to 425°F. Spray 15x10x1-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with cornmeal.
Unroll dough; place in cornmeal-coated pan. Starting at center, press out dough with hands to edge of pan. Brush dough with oil; sprinkle evenly with garlic.
Place crust in oven on lowest oven rack; bake at 425°F. for 6 to 8 minutes or until set and dry.
Remove crust from oven. Sprinkle mozzarella, Parmesan and Romano cheeses over partially baked crust. Arrange tomato slices over cheese. Sprinkle with half of the basil.
Return pizza to lowest oven rack; bake an additional 12 to 17 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown. Sprinkle remaining half of basil over pizza. Cut into 20 squares. Serve warm.
Pizza is one of those foods that needs no introduction. You can find it all over the world – there are even pizzerias in North Korea – and the simple marriage of flat dough and toppings is a fantastic example of the beautiful simplicity of Italian cuisine. This collection of pizza recipes demonstrates that perfectly.
However, not all pizzas are created equal. There is a world of difference between drab frozen pizzas that taste like cardboard and artisanal, handmade offerings cooked in the furnace-like heat of a wood-fired oven. A good pizza starts with a good dough, but the toppings are important, too – you’ll rarely find jalapenos or pineapple as an option in Italy. But while many Neapolitan pizzaiolos stay fiercely true to tradition, using nothing more than cheese, tomato and basil to adorn their pizzas, some Italian chefs are branching out and exploring new ways of working with pizza. Just take a look at Rosanna Marziale’s Inside-out pizza, or Fabrizio Marino’s Gourmet pizza.
Of course, you can top your pizza with whatever you like, but if you’re after the ultimate pizza dough recipe, check out Franco Pepe’s guide. His pizzas are regarded as the best in Italy, and we have several of his full recipes, too – take a look at his Chickpea and ham pizza for something a little different.
After the dough has been rested for 4 to 5 hours, you can freeze any extra dough in two layers of plastic wrap sprayed with nonstick oil. Next time you’re in the mood for pizza, simply thaw the dough overnight in the fridge, let it then sit out for 30 minutes to come to room temp, and you’re ready to form it into your crust.
Caputo Tipo 00 Flour is a specially milled flour that is superfine, almost like baby powder. It has a protein content of 12.5%. This is the preferred type of flour used to make Italian style pizza crusts and absorbs less liquid than all-purpose flour and creates the classic chewy crust.
All-purpose Flour can be used in place of Caputo Tip 00 Flour. You have probably eaten many a pizza made from all-purpose flour already. The flavor is good, though you may notice the dough tears easily with all-purpose flour.
Bread Flour is second only to Caputo Tipo 00 Flour. You won’t have the same dough tearing fiasco that all-purpose flour can have, and the texture will be better. However, be prepared for a more difficult shaping process. The higher gluten content causes it to spring back while trying to shape.
How to make a homemade pizza
Making a pizza is actually really simple, it just depends on the type of crust you get. I'm a fan of getting the pre-made dough in the frozen or refrigerated section of the store. When the dough is fully thawed to room temperature, I evenly spread the dough in a cast-iron skillet. Hot tip: Do not make a crust with the dough. It will just make the center flimsy. Instead, leave room around the pizza when you put the sauce on it to make a "crust" that you can easily grab.
Add in the easy pizza sauce recipe below (about a quarter of the mixture), some shredded mozzarella cheese, and whatever other toppings you desire. Bake in the oven at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes.
For the most accuracy, weigh your ingredients and use 500 gm flour, 10 gm salt, 12 gm fresh yeast, 300 ml water, and 35 gm olive oil.
Roll the dough into 8-inch circles for calzones, or for thick crust, family-sized pizza, use the full amount of dough and roll to fit a large, rectangular sheet pan (the one that comes with the oven).
To freeze dough: Wrap individual portions of dough to freeze. Place on the counter for 4 hours to thaw, or in the refrigerator for 8 hours--both methods are successful.
If people like saucy pizza, pre-bake the crust for 5 to 7 minutes to help the bottom firm up, then dress the pizza and finish up back in the oven.