Making pizza at home with store bought dough is one of my favorite things to do. It’s easy once you get the hang of the dough and I found a few tricks along the way which help make it easier. The real trick to the dough is letting it rise and come to room temperature. If you try to work with cold dough out of the fridge it won’t work . You will need a rimmed sheet pan as well. I keep some dough in the freezer and take it out the night before and let it defrost in the fridge and the next day about 4 hours before I am using I place it on the counter ( in the sun even better) and let it rise and come to room temperature. There are many places to buy dough and you’ll have to find the best one by your home. I buy in Whole Foods when I am in Colorado and in NY Trader Joes , Whole Foods and your local pizza place or bakery will probably be happy to sell you a ball of dough. .Dough will need at least 3 – 4 hours to rise outside of the fridge. Nothing will happen to it so just set it out on the counter — I open the bag and let it rise away. My ingredients are simple and if you follow instructions you should be fine. Don’t be discouraged if the first few times it doesn’t come out perfectly — it took me a few times with the dough to really get the hang of it. Give it a try!
This is what I do and these are my instructions:
1 bag Pizza Dough — for 4 people I make for 2 and we always have extra slices
16 oz. Pizza Sauce — if I have homemade I use that if not I always have a jar of Raos Arrabiata or Marinara on hand
Italian Seasonings — dry app. 2 tsp. you’ll have to eyeball it
flour for stretching dough — this is a must
Olive Oil Spray for spraying baking sheet — I like this better than using olive oil — either one will work on baking sheet
Shredded Mozzarella — app. 8 oz. more or less
Let dough rise. Read notes above. Keeping the store bought dough on a counter for at least 3 hours or more. It will keep rising in the bag so I usually open the bag to give it room to rise. If you’re defrosting it do so overnight in fridge and then take it out the next day. You’ll notice it rising in fridge ( at least it should)
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees — very important to get oven hot so make sure you’re oven is pre-heated
Spray baking sheet with Olive Oil Cooking Spray or using a brush lightly coat bottom of baking sheet with Olive Oil . I use a 12x 17 rimmed baking sheet . You don’t need a pizza stone.
Stretch the dough. On a clean surface ( counter top ) I put down a light amount of flour (enough for both sides) and you can always add more , the flour will help to expand the dough. Place raw dough on top of flour, coating each side. Begin stretching the dough by pinching the outside in a circular motion to spread it out. I put my fists under the dough to stretch ( you don’t need a rolling pin) You can alternate between pinching the dough with your finger, pressing it out on your work surface, and using your knuckles to pull the dough from underneath in circular motions. Usually a few motions will get the dough stretching. When it’s large enough gently transfer to the prepared sheet pan. I spread it out thin in center and more dough around perimeter ( crust) if there are holes in your dough pinch together dough or fold over the dough in that spot and get rid of them . I spread it out all the way to cover entire baking sheet . Don’t worry about your dough being a perfect shape. All pizza is delicious and beautiful.
Bake the naked pizza dough in the oven at 450 degrees for 7 minutes. During this time prep your toppings. I am sort of a purist so it’s sauce, cheese , and seasoning. Never add the toppings to raw pizza dough.
After par-baking the pizza dough, remove from oven and raise temperature of oven to 500 degrees. ( make sure it gets to 500) I add my sauce — spreading it out on dough, I leave a little room around perimeter ( see photo) , dried Italian seasoning ( if you’re using) parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese . Obviously if you have other toppings you want to use this is the time to add.
Bake the pizza at 500 for another 10 minutes — all ovens vary so check on it after 7 minutes.
I like my cheese fully melted and a little brown in spots. Let it cool off for a few minutes before slicing .
I use a pizza cutter and get 8 slices .
Let me know how this comes out — tag me on Instagram story — I would love that.
these are some photos from current pizzas and past pizzas–sometimes they come out better looking than other times but they always taste incredible! No such thing as an ugly pizza in my book.