How to make extra cheesy pizza (Quick and simple)
How to Make Cheese Pizza
Homemade Cheese Pizza is one of life's simple pleasures -- just a soft crust, tasty tomato sauce, and loads of cheese, all baked to perfection. While you can always get a pre-made crust and a jar of sauce from the store, a little extra work is well worth the effort.
2/3 cup (165ml) of warm water (around 105°F/38°C)
1 teaspoon (5ml) of sugar
1 teaspoon (5ml) yeast
1/2 tablespoon (7.5ml) of salt
1 tablespoon (15ml) of olive oil
2 cups + 1tsp (250g) of flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
14oz can crushed red tomatoes
14oz can tomato puree
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped, or 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 small onion, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Optional:Shredded asiago, Romano, Ricotta
Preparing the Dough
Activate your yeast in warm water.Add your yeast and sugar to the water (it should feel warm to the touch, but not warm enough to burn you) and lightly stir it. Let it sit for 6-7 minutes, until you see small bubbles forming at the surface of the water.
- Activating the yeast is feeding it -- it eats the sugar and drinks the water. The bubbles are carbon dioxide made when the yeast "breathes."
Transfer the yeast to a large mixing bowl and add salt and flour.Pour the flour in a little bit at a time, adding more as it absorbs the water and yeast. Use one hand to add the flour and the other to mix it.
Add olive oil to the dough once you've added the flour.This keeps the dough from sticking to the bowl or your hands and keeps moisture in. Keep mixing until the dough is glossy and tacky, but not sticky. Pinch a small amount and stretch it thin enough so light passes through. If the dough doesn't rip, it's ready to kneed.
Knead the dough.With the dough still in the bowl, use one hand to gather the dough together, then press firmly into the center of the dough with the heel of your hand.
- Fold the far edge of the dough upwards and towards you, press your hand in again, and repeat. Continue the "press-fold-turn" for 3-4 minutes, or until your dough holds its shape without you touching it.
- If the dough is moist or sticky, sprinkle additional flour over the top and on your hands.
Leave the dough alone for 1 hour to rise.If you need more time, you can put the dough in the refrigerator, where it takes 4-5 hours to rise. The dough will be roughly twice as big when it finishes rising as when it started.
Set the dough out on a floured countertop.Sprinkle two or three tablespoons of flour on a cutting board out counter to prevent the dough from sticking. If you are making two smaller pizzas, cut the dough ball in half.
Using your fingers, pull and flatten the dough into a crust.Use your palm to push the dough ball into a disc, then use your fingers to push and pull the dough flat. This process takes some practice, but go slowly and use your fingers to massage the pizza into your desired crust shape. When done, fold 1/2 inch of the edge back over to create the crust.
- Work from the center of the dough outward to avoid ripping the dough.
Toss you dough for a perfect, round crust if you feel confident.While you can make great crusts without the famous "pizza toss," there is something satisfying about prepping your crust like the experts.
- Make a fist and drape the flattened dough over it.
- Make a fist of the other hand and slip it under the dough next to your other fist.
- Carefully move your fists apart stretching the dough more.
- Shift your fists (left towards your face, right away) so the dough rotates while stretching.
- When the dough has reached about 8 inches (20cm) in diameter, you can quickly move your left fist in an arc that goes backwards towards your face. Do this while twisting your right fist forward away from your face. If you give a a little push upwards with your right fist the dough will spin like a Frisbee. Practice how it feels to balance the force of the twists equally.
- Be sure to catch the falling, dough as gently as you can by lowering your fists as the pizza falls.
- If you notice that the dough is tearing, combine, kneed it again for 30 seconds, and start over.
Making Pizza Sauce
Heat large skillet with the olive oil on medium heat.
Add the chopped garlic and onion and cook for 3-4 minutes.The onions should be translucent, or slightly clear, around the edges.
- You can add chopped spicy or belle peppers too for a hotter sauce, or finely chopped carrots and celery for a sweeter sauce.
Pour in the canned tomatoes.If you want a smoother sauce, use only pureed tomatoes.
Add herbs, salt, and pepper.Stir everything well.
Bring the sauce briefly to a boil.Heat the sauce so that large bubbles are breaking on the surface, then lower the heat to a simmer. Stir regularly.
Let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.The longer the sauce simmers, the richer and thicker it will become.
Sample the sauce and reseason if needed.Many pizza sauces are sweeter, so some cooks add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar. Fresh basil or rosemary can also add new depths to a pizza sauce.
Cool the sauce and puree if desired.Pour the cooled sauce into a food processor and puree it to remove any large chunks of tomato or onion. This step is not necessary if you want a more rustic pizza in the end.
Alternatively, try a white sauce or garlic oil.While red sauce is the "classic," there are lots of other ways to top a cheese pizza. Try a white sauce, or simply sautee 2-3 cloves of garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and use the oil instead of sauce for garlic cheese pizza.
Making Your Pizza
Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
Line an oven tray or sheet with oil, flour, or cornmeal.This will prevent the pizza from sticking to the tray when it is done. cornmeal, which is found at most supermarkets, is the classic "restaurant style" ingredient.
- If you are using a pizza stone, apply the cornmeal and then put the stone in the oven to pre-heat.
Prepare your dough on a non-stick surface.If your pizza stone is pre-heating, put a little flour on the countertop and lay out your dough. If you are using a regular tray simply put your dough right on the surface.
Spread a thin layer of sauce across your dough.Leave an inch of dough around the edge of the crust uncovered.
Top the sauce with your cheese.Sprinkle your cheese blend evenly across the sauce. While mozzarella is the most frequent pizza cheese, try mixing in shredded Romano, Parmesan, provolone, Asiago, or a few dollops of Ricotta.
Bake the pizza in the oven for 15 minutes.If you are baking two pizzas at once and they are on different oven racks, switch them halfway through cooking to ensure that both cook evenly.
To make cheese pizza, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an oven tray with oil, flour, or cornmeal to prevent the pizza from sticking to the tray. Place your dough on the tray and spread a thin layer of sauce across the dough, leaving an inch around the edge of the crust uncovered. Top the sauce with cheese, such as mozzarella, provolone, or Parmesan. Then, place your pizza in the oven for 15 minutes.
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Video: How to make Homemade Cheese Pizza
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