Who doesn’t love pizza, right? It is definitely a staple dinner in our home year-round. My kids actually prefer the homemade version to any restaurant pizza we’ve had. I get cheers from everyone when it’s pizza night. We typically make two pizzas, one for the adults and one for the kids. The following two are our go-to favorites, but you are welcome to top your crust with whatever you prefer. Be creative, go a little crazy. You can even split the dough into smaller individual pizzas, and have everyone make their own. This is super fun for the kiddos. Just remember a smaller pizza will cook for a shorter time.
The key to making a great homemade pizza is really in making the crust as flavorful as possible and baking it just right. ***I’ve found that using a good quality infused oil in your pizza crust makes all the difference in the world.
2 cups very warm water
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
4¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoons coconut oil for greasing baking sheet
“Adult” Pizza Toppings
1 large ripe tomato sliced very thin
½ teaspoon salt (sprinkled over the tomatoes)
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
6oz pearl size fresh mozzarella cheese
8oz artichoke hearts drained well (make sure to get as much moisture out as possible, so the crust doesn’t get soggy) and coarsely chopped
10-15 fresh basil leaves chopped –OR–
2 teaspoons dry basil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
“Children’s” Pizza Toppings
½ cup pizza sauce OPTIONAL (we serve sauce on the side for dipping because not all my kids like it)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (it tastes best when shredded fresh from the block)
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons garlic powder
4oz sliced uncured pepperoni
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, dissolve honey in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
Stir the salt and 2 tablespoons of the oil into the yeast mixture. Then mix in 4¼ cups of whole wheat pastry flour until the dough starts to come together. Tip dough out onto a surface floured with the remaining flour, and knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the ball of dough becomes smooth.
Place dough in a bowl, and coat the surface of the dough with 1 tablespoon of oil. Cover loosely with a towel, and let the dough rest and rise in a warm place for about 10 minutes (the back of the stovetop where the oven is preheating works very well.)
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for about 2-3 minutes. Divide dough into two equal pieces for two thin crust pizzas. Grease two large baking sheets with coconut oil, and use a rolling pin to roll the dough directly onto each sheet.
Lightly prick the surface of the dough with a fork to prevent it rising too much in the oven (I like my crust thin and crispy.) Transfer the baking sheets into the oven and pre-bake the pizza crusts for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, and brush the remaining 1 tablespoon (½ tablespoon per crust) of oil on each crust. Proceed to top each crust with your preferred toppings. You can use our family’s favorites listed above and shown in the pictures, or make-up your own creation. Have fun with it, though remember the more toppings you put on, the longer it will cook.
Then, increase the temp on the oven to 425 degrees, and return the pizzas to the oven. Bake for another 14-18 minutes rotating the baking sheets halfway through cooking. The pizzas are done when the cheese is brown and bubbling and the crust is crisp and dark golden brown.