Pizza is my favorite food. It is also near the top of my husband's list. As a result, pizza is consumed fairly frequently in our apartment. When we first moved to Minneapolis, there was a takeout place a few blocks away that had a pretty good deal on Mondays, so we'd have a weekly pizza. There were always a few frozen pizzas stashed in the freezer for times of emergency. Then, I discovered Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
Since then, we have not looked backed. We no longer get takeout or buy frozen, although we do occasionally go to Punch, although that's a different kind of pizza, so it doesn't really count.
I used to only like pepperoni on my pizza. Pure and simple. I've branched out a bit and now like a number of things, but stay far away from olives. We always have pepperoni, onions, garlic, and a pepper of some sort on hand and that's what goes on the weekly pizza.
I par-bake the crust before topping to prevent a soggy crust. I choose to bake the crust on a cookie sheet on a pizza stone. I have attempted several times sliding the pizza directly on the stone with varying levels of success (and failure) and feel safer using a cookie sheet.
The crust is crisp on the bottom and edges, with a good chew and airy crumb. It takes perhaps a bit longer than getting takeout, but it's far cheaper and tastes unbelievable better. Try it. You may never buy pizza again.
(The Artisan Bread in 5 recipes can be found here.)
Easy Homemade Pizza
Approximately 1 lb. no-knead boule dough (or olive oil dough, if you prefer)
Pizza sauce of choice (make your own or use store-bought for a short cut... I like Trader Joe's)
Toppings of choice (I like pepperoni, onions, peppers, garlic, and dried oregano)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle a nonstick cookie sheet or a cookie sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or brushed with olive oil with cornmeal. Pat or roll the pizza dough to approximately 1/4-inch thick (more or less, depending on how you like your crust). If dough resists stretching, let rest and try again a few minutes later. Let rise until dough loses its chill and becomes slightly puffy. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and top with sauce, cheese, and toppings. If using fresh herbs (such as basil and oregano) wait to put them on until the last minute or two or when it's out of the oven to preserve the flavor. Bake the topped pizza until the cheese is melted and golden and the crust is browned.
PS- See the pepper on the pizza? I grew that! Well, I planted the pepper plant in my parents' garden. I think that counts.