I really like making myself and my family a good, old classic homemade pizza. Sure, store-bought pizzas are good, and there are a lot of pizza restaurant chains out there that make heavenly-tasting pizzas, but whipping myself my own version using my own recipes is always a victorious feat.
You can put anything– and I mean, ANYTHING– you want in your version of homemade pizzas when it comes to toppings. You can switch ground beef for sausages or make an all-vegan pizza–you name it. The big question lies on how long to cook the homemade pizza to make the dough just as soft (or crispy) as you like it without ending up with a burned crust.
Read on as we tackle different ways how to cook homemade pizza and sprinkle your personality on this delicious Italian dish.
Origin of Pizza
The origins of pizza can be traced back to various civilizations like Ancient Greece, Persians, and Romans who found baked bread and flatbread then flavored them with different toppings like herbs, onions, cheese, and garlic.
It wasn’t until in Naples, Italy, that tomato was added to the flatbread, and other toppings, which gave birth to what we know is the modern pizza today.
How to Cook A Homemade Pizza
In cooking a homemade pizza, you can use premade dough sold in supermarkets or create your own.
In making your dough, dissolve yeast and sugar in water, let it stand for 5 minutes, and add oil and salt. Add flour little by little until you achieve a soft dough. We recommend using bread flour to make a crispier crust, but all-purpose flour is also doable.
Make sure your yeast is active (it will foam or “bloom” at 10 minutes after adding water) because you would need to redo everything if your yeast is dead.
Then, take a surface spread with flour and start kneading and working on your dough. Knead the dough until it feels smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl and grease the top. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for up to 45 minutes.
We know it’s a norm to let your dough rise overnight, but it’s not really necessary in this case. However, doing so will give your dough more flavor and air bubbles when cooked. Keep the pizza dough at room temperature before working on it.
While your dough is rising, work on your toppings. The possibilities are endless in the kind of toppings you’d want for your dough. You can cook ground beef, sausage, ham, or bacon as meat toppings. As for the sauce, mix tomato sauce with oregano and basil. You can use a ready-made tomato sauce or puree a can of tomatoes in a blender.
Once the dough has risen, stretch and thin the dough into a greased pizza pan at whatever size you prefer. Remember that the dough will slightly puff after cooking, so consider that when deciding the thinness of your dough. Spread the tomato sauce mixture on top of the dough, and top with the meat of choice and cheese.
How Long to Cook Homemade Pizza
While the dough is resting, preheat your oven as high as possible, probably around 450°F. Pop the pizza dough into the preheated oven, and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is browned and cooked thoroughly. Don’t forget your pizza and burn them!
How to Store Homemade Pizza
To properly store leftover pizza overnight, place them in the fridge so they don’t attract other organisms to the dinner table. You can put them on a tightly sealed container or a dinner plate. For convenience, we recommend placing aluminum foil or wax sheets when stacking pizza, so you don’t get extra toppings at the bottom of another pizza. If you are keeping a whole pizza, wrap them in aluminum foil or wax sheets.
A refrigerated pizza will be good to eat until three to four days. Pizza placed in the freezer can be eaten for up to two months.
How to Reheat Homemade Pizza
To reheat stored and refrigerated pizza, let it thaw for 30 minutes or one hour for frozen ones. You can use an oven to reheat whole pizza batches to come out fresh as new. Preheat the oven to 350°F, place the pizza on a baking tray on the middle rack of the oven, then heat for 10 minutes.
However, if you’re eating one or two leftovers, you may want to use an oven toaster or a microwave instead.
You can also reheat a pizza on the skillet. Although this takes more time and effort, you’ll get a better-reheated pizza because heat is easily distributed and controlled when using a skillet. Keep the cooking low and steady if you have the time and patience.
Homemade Pizza Ideas
Since we’re on the topic of homemade pizzas, there is a wide variety of pizzas you can make. People worldwide have made different kinds of pizzas based on their needs and preferences, even enjoying pizza while being guilt-free. Here are some non-classic ideas:
- Chocolate peanut butter pizza
- Shrimp pizza
- Turkey alfredo pizza
- Chili dog pizza
- Eggplant flatbread pizza
- Chicken alfredo pizza
- Flatbread veggie pizza
- Salad-topped flatbread pizza
- Grilled sausage basil pizza
- Apple crisp pizza
- Meatball pizza
- Baked potato pizza
I can go on about this list forever, but this is a testament that pizza has evolved into part of people’s lifestyles and cultures.
Making homemade pizza isn’t as difficult as you think it is. The trick is to create a proper dough (or you can even use store-bought ones) and find the perfect sauce and toppings that suit your taste. I’ve been cooking the most mundane to the most complicated pizza forever, and it’s still one of the best things I make, no matter the switch up I do on the toppings.