Want that fancy brick oven pizza at home?
Last week, I taught a friend of mine how to make homemade pizza dough and shared my recipe so it would come out on the thin side with a flavorful, crispy crust that tastes just like at the brick oven place. Why pay $18 for a pizza that can be made at home for much less? The trick is not only in the dough but also the oven temperature and a pizza stone, of course. While a pizza stone isn’t necessary to make homemade pizza (this recipe will turn out fine if you put it on a cookie sheet), it’s definitely a good investment if your house loves pizza as much as mine. The pizza you see to the left is pesto, pears, and brie.
Pizza night has become a Friday night staple at my house. We even use it as entertainment, and the running joke is that there is a “line” to get invited. My kitchen island becomes my dough rolling and topping assembly station. Everyone waits their turn, and one by one, we cook them while we chat and share appetizers. The added bonus is that the pizza is only in the oven for about 7 to 9 minutes, so we use that time to prepare the next one. I am telling you, it’s so much fun! The kids can select their own toppings, and adults can use whatever I have in my fridge. When I invite guests over, I often tell them that they need to bring the toppings they would like on their own pizza. I provide the dough and expertise. It’s good family fun and an inexpensive night in!
Brick Oven Pizza
- Cuisine: Dinner
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- All the ingredients must be at room temperature. Warm the water to approximately 110F.
- Add the sugar and yeast to the water, and stir. Let it stand for 10 minutes on the counter until the yeast has formed foam.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, olive oil, and salt.
- Mix in the yeast liquid, and knead by hand for about 10 minutes, until a pizza dough ball can be formed. In a mixer, mix for about 5 minutes on medium speed.
- Roll out the dough, and make a ball. Let the dough ball rest inside a bowl for about 2 hours until the dough has doubled. You can make it in the morning or the night before and store it in the fridge. The dough must rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours before rolling it out.
- Preheat the oven to 500F with the pizza stone in the oven on the lowest possible rack (remove other unused racks prior to preheating).
- Roll out the dough to make one extra-large pizza or individual-size pizzas.
- Add your toppings.
- Insert the pizza into the oven (with the help of a pizza paddle or a floured back side of a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 7 to 9 minutes. Enjoy!
Where do you find a pizza stone? There are inexpensive ones at Walmart and Target (between $10 and $20) or really fancy ones from Williams Sonoma. My stone is middle-of-the-road price-wise ($30), but it’s by far, the best I’ve owned. I prefer a rectangular/square stone, but a round one will be fine. Happy pizza-making!